Down the Schwarzwald's Murg Valley

Published Fri 26 October 2007 22:47 (+1300)

The day after my Hechingen/Hohenzollern trip didn't really work out (you can't win them all) and ended up being mostly a travel and logistics day.

I got up early and checked out straight after breakfast, and jumped on the trains down to Freudenstadt, which is pretty much the transport centre of the Northern Schwarzwald (Black Forest) area I was heading to.

From there I went by S-Bahn all the way into the valley of the river Murg – didn't realise until this point the S-Bahn covered such areas – and got off at the place I was staying, Forbach.


Forbach's covered bridge over the Murg
Forbach's covered bridge over the Murg

Forbach's a nice little town, very scenic in the right weather (tomorrow!), and with a cute little covered bridge dating back to the 16th century (much restored more recently, of course).

Covered bridges used to be a lot more common; they weren't so much to protect the people passing through them in the elements (though they would temporarily provide that in a storm), as to protect the bridge structure itself – in times long before modern wood treatments a wooden bridge, piers sitting in water and all, would last only a decade. Covered bridges might be expected to last 80 years or so, so it was a worthwhile investment.


Swarzwald Kirschtorte (Black Forest Gateau)
Swarzwald Kirschtorte (Black Forest Gateau)

In fact I decided there was only one thing really wrong with Forbach, and that's that my guesthouse is bloody well closed. WTF?

Spent a while walking around making 100% sure I was in the right place, and yup, definitely was, and it definitely wasn't open. How can a hotel not be open?

So after standing around for a bit I decided they must have just popped out, so I went for a walk around the town looking for some cake. No cake for me, they don't do the gateau thing in Forbach apparently! This deal is getting worse all the time.

Went back to the hotel, still closed.

By this point I was getting a bit grumpy since I was all amped up with big plans to spend the day walking around in the forest area, and this pretty much put a hole in that (there weren't any baggage lockers or attendants at the S-Bahn stop, so couldn't leave just my pack there while I wandered off, plus time was fast awasting).

In the end I gave up, and went back to the S-Bahn and went down the other half of the line through the valley, checking out which part seemed the nicest to walk in, and ending up Rastatt where I set up camp in a cafe where I could get on the net.

I checked out other accommodation options if the hotel situation didn't sort itself out, dealt with some blogging and other online matters, and had my precious cake.

I'm normally not allowed to eat chocolate, but dammit, I was in the Black Forest, and I'm gonna eat Black Forest Gateau :). I used to get this every single chance I got when I was a kid, I was addicted to it!

It was pretty damn good… the dark chocolate taste mostly neutralises the very sweet cherry liquor in it. Yum. Almost made me ungrumpy :).

Back to Forbach

After that it was getting on towards evening so I went back to Forbach, and thankfully they had now got around to leaving me a note & key in an envelope pinned to the door. Today was their day off, it explained, so just let yourself in…

I was pretty tired after running an hour down on sleep every day for the last week or so, plus lugging a pack around all day, so I had probably the earliest night ever and slept for 10.5 hours. So good :).

The next day was all for walking.