We left Konstanz and drove Northwest through the Black Forest region toward Heidelberg. On our way we made one pit stop in the town of Triberg to visit one of the tallest waterfalls in Germany, and another pit stop in Baden Baden to bathe bathe in the bath baths.
|Triberg, nestled in a beautiful landscape|
|Cuckoo clock central|
|universal signage at the trail head|
|a section of the waterfall|
|town view from the trail|
On to Baden Baden. The highlight of the day was a visit to a spa with thermal spring water baths fed by artisinal aquifers 6,000 feet beneath the ground. Our spa had nice paved pools with varying temps, whirlpools, massage jets, fountains, grottos, and saunas, but alas, no cameras allowed! We spent a few hours there swimming, relaxing, and slowing the aging process by alternating dips in the really cold and really hot pools. We left pruny and content. (Baden-Baden, I have learned, was given a double name to distinguish it from other Badens. The name is a shortened form of 'Baden in the state of Baden')
Here are some shots from the rest of the day:
Sadly, after Baden Baden we parted ways with Christina and Francis who were headed back to stay the night in Konstanz and fly home the next day. The rest of us pressed on to Heidelberg, an enchanting city on the River Neckar in the Rhine Rift Valley. With a few hours of daylight left we checked into our hotel and wandered the streets.
The next morning we hoofed it up to the Heidelberg Castle ruins which sit on a hillside above the city. The earliest mention of a castle on this site was in 1214 but wars, fires, and the passing of time have led to destruction and rebuilding many times over. Restoration and historical development are ongoing.
|giant wine barrel, apparently used to hold taxes and gifts (both in the form of wine)|
At the far end of the gardens we saw a dirt trail heading down the hill (which was a much more direct route than walking back the way we came) so we hopped a little guard rail and took to the trail. Unfortunately the trail was not well-traveled and our footwear was not ideal, so we slid and crab walked down some of the steeper sections until we got to the bottom where we met with a high concrete wall and a locked gate. Thankfully the gate was climbable and we made it back onto the city streets with only minor abrasions and minimal bleeding.
Farewell, Heidelberg. Onto Cologne!