Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 181

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Thursday, September 16 2010 (diary)

Bärental Railway station Thursday morning is overcast, but the forecast is positive so I take the bus to Kirchzarten and from there catch the train to Bärental. They have a lovely railway station there. As I get out I immediately turn left onto the 6.5km trail to Titisee.
The first 3.5km gradually descend through thickly wooded forest to the South side of the Titisee lake. Then the road is flat and follows the souther shore of the lake until eventually turning north into the small town.
Titisee is very touristic, but clean and nicely maintained. Most shops sell the usual poor touristy taste stuff, but there is one with some nice watches and, surprisingly, a large collection of Frey Wille jewelry.
Titisee From Titisee I travel by train to nearby Hinterzarten. I want to find out about the Höllental and the Ravennaschlucht at the local Tourist Information centre.

The Höllental is a famous narrow valley, part gorge, in the Black Forest. At its narrowest point, the Hirschsprung, it used to be just 9 meters (10yds) wide at the top. Legend has it that a deer chased by a hunter once jumped clear across this gorge from one side to the other. In time the gorge has been widened at this point for the construction of a highway, while the train, which also travels through this gorge goes through several tunnels.

Unfortunately for me the Höllental is closed to all traffic at present for 4 weeks, in order to clean up trees and loose rocks on the cliffs and resurface the road at several places. But the Tourist bureau informs me that there is a good solution.
Bärental - Titisee walk At the upper reaches of the Höllenbach (which flows through the Höllental) are two narrow valleys : the steep Ravennaschlucht (with the Ravenna which feeds the Höllenbach) and the more gently inclined Löffeltal (Spoon valley).
I can walk from Hinterzarten down the Löffeltal, then, when it reaches the Höllental, turn right and up the steep Ravennaschlucht.
Once on top I can either catch a bus at Ober Höllsteig, or walk back to Hinterzarten. Taking the latter option it is an 8km walk all up.   I will take a day rest and probably attempt this walk on Saturday, provided it is dry.

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Friday & Saturday, September 17 & 18 2010 (diary)

Waldcafé, Sankt Peter Friday I am having a rest day, writing on my laptop in the morning an a swim in the Hallenbad in the afternoon. On my way back I drop in at the Waldcafé for a traditional neue Wein mit Zwiebelkuchen. This is available in many Cafés and Restaurants around September in this region.
The "neue Wein" is a sweet, not yet fully fermented, white wine served with a type of quiche made of onions, eggs and bacon, quite a nice combination.
I must say I love the fact that the Restaurants with their dishes very much follow the seasons. We just had the pumpkins period, with many pumpkin dishes on offer. Now it is neue Wein time, just before the grapes harvest.

Rutscherhofsäge, Löffeltal Saturday morning it is again sunny (good weather and higher temperatures are predicted at least until Wednesday) and I head off by bus and train to Hinterzarten for my walk down the Löffeltal and up the Ravennaschlucht.
What can I say ? It is an absolute cracker of a trip.
The Löffeltal, narrow with steep slopes on either side, has several narrow waterfalls (some 50 meters high) gushing into the main Löffeltalbach which feeds two 19th century water driven wood mills, no longer in use, but maintained as historic relics.
To me this valley has a distinct romantic feel about it, and the bubbling Löffelbach, running all the way along the walking trail is a sheer delight.

On the Ravennaschlucht Entering the top end of the Höllental (where the Löffelbach changes its name to Höllbach) there is the Gasthaus Sternen, a typical tourist monstrosity, with busses and many people mulling about. But I ignore this and quickly turn right, underneath the beautiful 36 meters high natural stone railway bridge and up the Ravennaschlucht.
This is an uninterrupted orgy of turbulent rapids and foaming waterfalls, tumbling over rocks and underneath fallen trees all the way up.
The track alongside alternates between short steep passages, some by stairs, and flatter pathways where one can recover one's breath. So all in all not too strenuous for me. I believe it is best (as advised by the local tourist bureau) to go the Ravennaschlucht up rather than down, as you have a continuous view of this water spectacle, rather then having your back turned to it most of the way.

On the Ravennaschlucht Here too is an old wood mill, the Grossjockenmühle, and there used to be a few other trade establishments here in the 19th century, including a "Löffelschmiede (spoon smith ? I must find out about that).
Eventually I reach the top of the Schlucht and to my great delight find a small restaurant there, Gasthaus Ketterer. I sit down on their terrace with a Coke and chat with some other people resting there from the climb.

After a brief rest I continue my walk back to Hinterzarten. There is in fact a nice trail (this time along the North side of the railway line) back to town. I am quite tired but satisfied and feel I have deserved another neue Wein mit Zwiebelkuchen when I reach the Waldcafé back home.

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Sunday & Monday, September 19 & 20 2010 (diary)

Although the weather was good on Sunday I was rather tired and stayed at home all day, working on photos on my laptop etc. In the evening Wivica and I were invited by Georg and Lydia Blattmann, my hosts on the Steingrubenhof. Knowing my fondness for the local Zwiebelkuchen, Lydia had prepared a similar quiche for us but with different ingredients, mushrooms, asparagus, etc., very thoughtful of her.
We had a very pleasant evening drinking wine and also some locally brewed Hummelhof - Kirschwasser (42% alc.!). I have purchased a bottle of this to take home, drinking a glass from time to time to remind me of my wonderful stay here.
Mainau island in the Bodensee
On Monday (a lovely sunny day again) Wivica and I drove to the Flower Island of Mainau, located in the Bodensee. I visited there 3 years ago in May 2007 when their wonderful rose garden was in full bloom. Once again it was a wonderful experience to walk through this wonder landscape of trees, flowers and water.

After returning home (a 2 hours drive) I realised how tiring driving a can in Europe can be. In contrast the rail journeys I have made this year have been wonderfully relaxing. I shall certainly use this mode of transport again during future visits to this Continent.

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