28th April 2009
Although we didn’t ride today we did cover some miles. It had rained during the night and this continued this morning. We were worried about the sidestands on the bikes sinking in to the ground and them falling over.I checked them (and got very wet doing so) at about 3 am and they were, thankfully, OK. Once again we had breakfast in the tent. When the rain let up for a bit we went to the main block of the campsite to wash and check the weather forecast on the internet- it was for more rain!. Whilst there we also got some wooden blocks to put under the sidestands to spread the load.
Since we didn’t feel like riding in the rain we wondered what we should do. We decided to try the German public transport system and visit Freiburg. Due to our exceptional and finely-honed planning skills we missed the bus into Titisee. Since it wasn’t far we decided to walk into town despite the drizzle. When we got there we headed for the train station (“Bahnhof”) to wait for the train. Much to Isabel’s delight it was a double decker and we found an empty seat on the top deck (She is such a child sometimes – unlike me, of course- I am a child all of the time!).
Anyway the train arrived and left on time. Luckily we survived the shock of that and we were soon wending our way through beautiful mountains and valleys. I wish I were a good enough photographer to convey the beauty of this place. After 38 minutes we arrived at Freiburg station as per the timetable (when will these people learn that this not the proper way to run a railway? 🙂 ). We then headed for the old part of the city which is beautiful.
We wandered around looking for the cafe (for Black forest Gateau) we had found on the internet the other day. Unfortunately it doesn’t appear to exist any more. Bummer! In the cathedral square there was a market on. The quality of the produce was unbelievable. We decided to leave purchasing of fruit and vegetables from the market until later. We did, however, buy a sausage in a roll. Very nice and just what we needed as it had just started raining again. Of course, due to our aforementioned, superior planning skills we didn’t have any waterproofs with us. Typical!
From there we wandered through the back streets looking at shops and the historic buildings. Eventually we came across the Cafe Schmidt and decided to see what their Schwarzwald Kirschkuchen was like – All I can say is that I am so glad we did! What a revelation that was!! (If it wasn’t over the top I would add another “!” there 🙂 ). It was light with a crisp thin base. Seven layers (yes I did count them). You could taste the Kirschwasser but not so much as to be overpowering. The cream was fresh, the cherries dark and tart. It was a typical German (read “big”) helping but it didn’t feel it – wonderful – even Isabel, who doesn’t like cherries in any form said she could eat it. She had already opted for a cheesecake though.
From there we did some more wandering and then back to the market to purchase food for this evenings meal. Whoops! The market had closed! There was one vegetable stall still open where we bought some tomatoes and two pears which they wrapped in a cone shaped bag. We saw a greengrocers in the corner of the square so we went there for some potatoes. Once again the quality and choice of the goods available was amazing. They even had some small artichokes which I was almost tempted into buying but was not sure how we would cook them back at the campsite. On leaving I counted (because I am actually a very sad person 🙂 ) the number of different type of tomatoes they had – nine (including green ones – great for making chutney) and this was just a small shop! We also visited the North Face shop to look at tents and lightweight waterproofs. They had the most interesting small (Mr Teddy sized) tents which I can only assume are for demo purposes. They also had rainwear in 3XL (i.e. my size). Amazing – try finding that in the UK!
After making our purchases we headed to the cathedral to take a look around.It is currently being renovated in part and you can see the stonemasons at work. Inside it is an amazing place. Lit a candle for my parents and for others we miss. After that we did some more wandering around before ending up in an eiscafe (no shock or surprise on that one really 🙂 ) for a well deserved coffee and ice cream.
From there we walked back to the train station via a Tabak shop for some Montechristo cigars – my one weakness (well my one weakness I will admit in public) and a gentleman’s outfitter for some braces as I have been having errr “gravitational” problems with one set of trousers I have with me. We then got on the train which, depressingly, once again left on time for the journey back. When we arrived back at Titisee the bus pulled up outside the station and we boarded. After a journey of about 10 minutes we got off at the campsite stop for the short walk to the site. we then had a coffee and Kirschwasser before going back to the tent for dinner and bed.
- German public transport is very efficient
- Buy food whenever you can – do not wait until later
- A very good Black Forest Gateau is a wonder
Adrian & Isabel
& Mr Teddy
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