Waterfalls and Alpine Slides

It’s been raining EVERY SINGLE DAY here, which makes it extra important to take advantage of rare pockets of sunshine. Sometimes it pours in the morning, sometimes it pours in the evening. Sometimes it pours all day long. So that’s one reason why this day trip to the town of Triberg felt so magical – ideal weather, gorgeous views, and memories galore!

Upon reflection, I’ve really missed road trips. When we lived in Omaha, other cities and points of interest were spread much further apart. Aside from a few weekends in Des Moines, we generally stayed put. So now, I truly appreciate Stuttgart’s central location. For example, we can easily drive to Zurich, Switzerland (2 hrs 20 mins) and Strasbourg, France (1 hr 42 mins) for a quick jaunt. And that’s not even including all the villages and things to see that are within an hour!

Needless to say, I anticipate many more blog posts about all of those locations. πŸ™‚

But, our first day trip was to the town of Triberg, which is nestled in the Black Forest about a 90-minute drive away. I’d learned about it from a Facebook post and it ticked all the boxes – nature (hiking to see waterfalls!), culture (authentic cuckoo clocks!), and food (Black Forest Cherry cake!). Plus it was dog-friendly. What more can you ask for?

Schwarzwalder Kirsch Torte – aka Black Forest Cherry Cake!

That morning, we ate a quick breakfast before setting off on our journey. The drive was uneventful, but it made Ralph sleepy so our first stop was to a cafe for a little pick-me-up. But then, we saw the Schwarzwalder Kirsch Torte on the menu and you can’t pass up Black Forest Cherry cake when you’re in the Black Forest! I didn’t realize it would be so boozy, but hey – you gotta go with the flow. πŸ˜‰

With our bellies stuffed full of sugar, it seemed like the perfect time to burn off a few of those calories by starting our waterfall hike. So we reparked the car in the Edeka parking lot (which had a sign for the waterfalls) and then we walked up the hill to the town’s museum, just across the street from the entrance point.

That’s when Ralph realized that he forgot something. He forgets what he forgot, and so do I. But as the minutes ticked by, it became clear that Ralph had diverted from the plan. Apparently, he went INTO the Edeka and bought some snacks. IN CASE OUR FOOD BABIES GET HUNGRY?!

Finally, we were reunited and ready. The town was adorable, peppered with shops selling hand-made cuckoo clocks. They’re not quite my jam, but I can appreciate the craftsmanship!

After paying a fee to enter the park, we began our “hike” – and I’m putting that in quotes because the main path was completely paved and developed. Not a bad thing, just not the most natural if you know what I mean. That said, after spending the last few weeks in a city, being surrounded by mossy boulders and forest ferns was a welcome change of pace.

Since it was a Friday, it wasn’t too crowded. Still, on the narrow parts of the path we’d have to wait for others to pass, especially near the vantage points. Here we are with our waterfall selfies!

After about 45 mins, we’d gotten to the end of the paved area. We passed a control point and kept traipsing up the hill until we got to the top. It was a steep grade, but the view was pretty stunning and we needed to burn off those cake calories, too. πŸ˜‰

Phoebe was pretty good throughout this whole adventure. One thing we’re starting to notice is that she tends to want to herd us when we’re out and about, which isn’t surprising for a shepherd dog. It IS annoying though – because any time one of us wants to look at something or gets ahead of the group, she gets anxious and whiny – and that makes all the Germans look at us like we’re coming from another planet. Apparently we’ve got some more dog training ahead of us!

The guys with our little princess

After the hike, we found a lovely little restaurant by the Bergsee and had a leisurely lunch outside in the sunshine.

One thing I realized was that the “Hugo” cocktail is kind of a thing over here, popping up on all the menus. And why not, because it’s the perfect afternoon spritzer with sparkling wine, mint, lime, and elderflower syrup. I’m going to have to try this recipe sometime and start making them at home!

As the boys ran off to play on the nearby playground (um, yes they’re 16 but loving these German playgrounds!) we used the time to plan the rest of the afternoon. I’d remembered my friend Kathleen telling us about a rodelbahn close to Triberg, so we looked it up. Only about a 30 min drive away – perfect!

But what is a a rodelbahn, you ask? It’s an alpine slide – basically, a gravity-powered individual roller coaster with a hand brake. Sometimes you see these in operation at ski resorts in the summer. This one is built into a hillside and for about €3 a ride, you can speed your way down the hill all afternoon. Even Logan liked it!

With our appetite for adventure thoroughly whetted, it was time to head home. We pulled up Waze (as usual!) to help us navigate back.

The app seems to have the best real-time traffic info. What it didn’t know is that we are currently tooling around in what I call “an Easter egg on wheels.” And we’re lucky to have this compact loaner car, because it is fantastic in the city. But when you pack it full of four people and a chunky puppy, the car REALLY feels it.

So when Waze decided to route out through the mountains on these little single lane roads? Yikes! We were flooring it and still doing only about 60 kph, which comes out to about 36 mph. And let me tell you, the people behind us and the cars approaching head-on were in the mood to go much, much faster!

BTW – a good rule of thumb for converting mph to kph is to multiply the kph by 6, and the drop the zero. I learned that while studying for my USAREUR driver’s license, which I just got. πŸ™‚

Our chariot…

After what seemed like forever winding our way through the mountain roads, we made it back to the relative safety of the autobahn. Whew!

Not bad for a first road trip in a new country…and now we’re gearing up for more! In fact, we just booked our first overnight trip – Lake Constance for Labor Day weekend. I can’t wait. πŸ™‚

Got recommendations? We’ll consider them!

4 thoughts on “Waterfalls and Alpine Slides

  1. What a fun trip πŸ™‚ I LOVE the black forest! Next time you go, check out the Vogtsbauernhof Freilandmuseum. It features the traditional farm houses (and way of life) in the area from up to 600 years ago until today. Plus, it has playgrounds for your little ones.. haha πŸ˜‰ (And a car wearing one of the traditional hats with the red balls out front!)

    SO many recommendations for Lake Constance:
    Meersburg (visit the old castle)
    Konstanz (including Insel Mainau – the flower island)
    The Celtic pile dwellings
    Monkey Hill in Salem (another playground there!)
    Sigmaringen Castle (not at the lake but could be worth a little detour on the way there or back)

    Can’t wait to read your post about that trip!


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