Biographical Log of Michael Furstner - Page 181
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Thursday, September 16 2010
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.
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
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).
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
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
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.
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
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
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.
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
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
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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.
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
Copyright © 2010 Michael Furstner