Author Archives: andywindy

About andywindy

I've been on this Earth for six and a bit decades, been Married for (and the best) Four and a bit of them to a wonderful girl called Julie. We live apart but not by choice... Work, Daughters, Illness, Depression, and a Grandson all conspired against us in varying forms and strengths. Oh and Deaths, don't forget the Deaths, too many of them. I live in the Beautiful Western End of Cornwall, though my Family are in Hampshire. December 2021. Well, that's changed a bit, so I had better update it! I'm now 66, and have now been married for 45 Years to my Wonderful Julie. I have now retired and have moved from Cornwall back to Hampshire and we are living as a couple once more. Real Life isn't easy, but why, oh why does it have to be so hard?

Schiltach to Cologne.

Black Forest or lost.

Sunday 5th June 2016

After Breakfast I loaded the car, Nice thing taking you own car on these trips is that you can take as much luggage as you like, and having a Peugeot 3008 it’s got a large boot! As our two large wheelie cases and overnight holdalls, I managed to get Laptop case and Cuckoo Clock in and my Fleece jacket, all under the Parcel shelf.

Went and found Rose and paid for our room, the evening meals and all the wine. After the Bank added their large bit of silver as well, the Seven Nights B&B and Five evening meals etc. came to £736.18. try that in a Three star hotel in the UK for two people, Super-king bedroom etc.

We left Schiltach and travelled alongside the Kinzig river to join the B33 west to pick up the A5 northbound near Offenburg, then onwards and Northwards, stopping for Tea and cake then Lunch North of Frankfurt on the way to level with Koblenz, when I peeled off the Autobahn and cut across to follow the B42 up the Right hand side of the Rhine through Linz, Konigswinter etc. (As a resident of Cornwall I get withdrawal if I don’t see the sea or Boats on the water every week!)

This took us to the B59 and then at J35 we left to fill up with Diesel then go to the Karsten, our bed for the Night.

Familiar faces and Hotel was very welcome, we arrived about Four in the afternoon and as the heat was rising and with it the humidity sat out on the balcony of our room overlooking the Garden with a Cup of Tea for a while before flopping on the bed to read with the balcony door open .

This is Anna’s Garden at the Karsten with the sun shades pulled down for the Conservatory that forms part of the Breakfast room.

 

Last day in the Black Forest.

Black Forest or lost.

Saturday 4th June 2016

Drove to the Supermarket at the Eastern edge of the Village, got some more Milk for Tea in our room and crossed the road for Diesel for the car. Returned to the Hotel and parked up then walked into the Village centre and visited the Apothecary Museum at last! ( https://www.schiltach.de/en/Tourism/Places-of-interest ) I found this one to be better than the one that is part of the operating theatre Museum in St Thomas’ Hospital in London, Very interesting though all the labels are in German, it is self evident what most things are. Everything from Pestles and Mortars and Pill Rolling racks to their own small printing machine for bottle labels! Very worth going.

When we came out it would have been rude to pass the Coffee Bean Cafe as they are also in the market square, so we had to have one last BFG!

That’s enough activity today as I am starting the drive home tomorrow so again back to the Hotel to pack.

After packing. Flopped out for the rest of the afternoon before our last evening meal on site, Ulrich really is a good Chef, and His presentation is amazing.

Only one glass of Wine each tonight, (normally share a bottle) as I’m driving all day tomorrow.

Decided on a quieter day today.

Black Forest or lost.

Friday 3rd June 2016

Just spent time local to the Village today, went to the Dorotheen Huette in Wolfach  www.dorotheenhuette.info/index.html?&L=1

Nice shop and Cafe though the prices in the Christmas shop especially were on the steep side, the cheapest Glass baubles that I saw were  €9.99 . by the time we’d been through the shop and seen little that stated it was actually made here, we’d gone of the idea of a factory tour so had a drink in the Cafe and went back to Schiltach.

Wandered through the Village and found the Post Office, got stamps for postcards and I got some more cash out for the journey home and as a starter for the next time we venture abroad. Found another cafe in the village, this time on the other side of the second river (The Schiltach River) the Konditorie Cafe Bachbeck on Bachstrasse. BFG was a Sponge and Torte confection, and the ‘milk’ was creamer again. The young Lady that served us went off duty and was replaced for payment by a nice chap from Croydon!

After our now customary lunch we retired once more to read and snooze.

Lots of old houses and even more Kids

Thursday 2nd June 2016

Went to the Open Air Museum today, http://en.vogtsbauernhof.de/ very reminiscent of the Weald and Downland Museum on the Hampshire Sussex Surrey borders. It is just off the main road with a lovely car park but of course Three different nationalities of Coaches parked there.

Some toe-rags had burgled the ticket machine and left it out of commission so we had to pay the exorbitant fee of €2 for a full days parking when buying the tickets at the main entrance. These tickets are the book mark shape size and feel out of thin card, what a good idea!

Had a look round the first half, then with lunchtime approaching and a school party threatening to fill the next exhibit, we had to try out the Tea and Cake! Best cake so far by my reckoning, equal amounts of cake and cream and a layer of ‘proper’ cherries at the bottom, not jam or jelly.

DSC00110

That’s a 10” plate and a full size Dinner fork! No mucking about here then, and all for €3.00.

After suitable refreshment we continued our tour, ending at a snack and Ice cream kiosk near the picnic area. How do these Primary school staff find the patience?

Fantastic site with examples of houses and mills, workshops etc. from all over the Black Forest and well worth the €20 including the €2 car parking that we paid to get in. Even got their own railway station!

On the way back to Schiltach, we stopped at a roadside Gasthaus/Cafe http://www.loewen-gutach.de/ for a drink and something light to eat, both chosing from the ‘light bites’ part of the menu I had a turkey strips salad.

Returned to Schiltach, noting the signs for ‘The DorotheenHutte’ as we went past Wolfach. Interest peaked, looked it up.. It’s a Glassworks with a shop and visitor centre.

Wasser Wasser everywhere.

Black Forest or lost.

Wednesday 1st June 2016

After coming back through Triberg Yesterday, we realised that that was where reputably the highest Waterfalls in Germany are, though we weren’t in a fit state to look at them by then anyway so off we went today to go and have a look for ourselves.

After reading various reviews on line and finding scant information about distance from and cost of parking etc. we went up through Triberg to the top of the first cascades on the B500 and found free parking and access to the path that runs right down alongside the river into the town. There is a toilet available at a little kiosk shop/drinks outlet adjacent to the small carpark but of course both were closed!

Gosh this path is steep! Only managed about 200M down it and we were both struggling to stand, let alone walk so turned round and shuffled back to the car to try lower down.

DSC00088Took this last one looking back up the path, the two tree trunks on the Left of the path are vertical!

Had read that the mid level has the best access, being almost level and suitable for wheelchair access so we set off there,

Pay and display parking, 75C for the first hour so after paying 90C (pay and display, no change) went to go and have a look.

The path takes you down to a little wooden toll kiosk where you pay for access to the waterfalls, we knew they weren’t really free so coughed up to the Fenella look-alike (Chorlton and the wheelies, Oh never mind) and walked on down the gentle slope.

There are two bridges over the falls, this path takes you to the upper one and the next one is about30M below it, they are situated at the place of the prettiest cascades, so we were in the right place then.

These are two pictures of the falls above the upper bridge…

And these Four are looking from there down to the Lower Bridge.

As the water floods over the rocks, at this time it was about 400mm deep which is quite a significant volume of water as it was travelling fast, I mean Really Fast as it has already come down about 70M of cascades by then. Lovely bridges, Wooden superstructure and solid handrails so a pleasure to lean on. Would have liked to linger longer but being decrepit the call of nature was calling. We drove on down into the town and parked in the central 3 level car park, had read it was a long way from the Falls and expensive but 50 Metres and €3 for the hours we were there didn’t seem bad to me!

It’s amazing whose poster you see on village noticeboards…

Public toilets next to the car park and a little kiosk with tables and chairs from a Pizzeria over the road provided relief and cups of tea. An Ice cream on departure was very well received as was the performance of the clock built into the first floor facade of the shop opposite.

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This is close on the epicentre of Cuckoo Clock building and certainly retailing so of course there was a Cuckoo clock complete with Teddy type bears on a carousel , one hitting things (Building clocks of course!) and one being on a swing, all set in motion every ¼ hour. This in addition to the one dressed as a mountain climber who constantly climbed to the top of the building before abseiling down. All these bears were about 2M high so quite a show from the other side of the road where we sat sipping Tea while others stood in the middle of the main road peering up!

Bought postcards and looked through a few tourist shops, then went into the ‘House of a Thousand clocks http://www.hausder1000uhren.de/index.php?language=en that has the external automatons and had a good mooch round on the lower levels. Saw a few clocks that I liked but every time you spent more than 30s looking at one, this annoying little man would come and set it off for you whether you wanted or not! Such an array of such differing types of clock that I left totally confused as to what I wanted.

Luckily they have another outlet on the way back to our hotel with free parking at Gremmelsbach, we parked at this end of the building and went into the quiet shop.. only us

House of 1000 clocks gremmelsbach_gross

and a totally non pushy American lady who explained every thing carefully and gave me time to chose and buy the clock I wanted at my own pace.

Left there with a lighter wallet, having been charged in Sterling and with a very well packed clock (packed as for posting but sitting in the boot of the car) and returned to our hotel, passing the Open air museum on the way, our possible target for tomorrow.

Lost again , got flashed and the cable car.

Black Forest or lost.

Tuesday 31st May 2016

Set off this morning for the Cable Car up the Schauinsland mountain south of Freiburg. (Why does this spellcheck come up with Beefburger for Freiburg?)

Used Mrs Satnav again, this was ok until we were coming into the outskirts of Freiburg and took the wrong turn off a slip road and ended up coming down the Autobahn instead of the B road we were on!

No harm done, Mrs Satnav sorted us out and we continued through the city as the mountain is on the southern side via the suburbs.

When going through the city through the usual bewildering array of sign posts, Umwelt (low emission) Zones and differing speed limits I got flashed by a roadside street-light mounted thingy. Didn’t look like a speed camera though, so hopefully was taking a picture of our Umwelt sticker.

(We have a Green one for this car so can go right into City centres, the last car had a Yellow one which meant outskirts only.) If I get a Speeding ticket then so be it, Satnav said it was a 50kph area but could have been changed and by this time I was confused as heck, some 50, some 30kph but this was on an urban dual carriageway in a cutting through the city centre so I’d have thought 50 (30mph).

The route out of the City centre took us along a tram line so have to give way to trams, Not a real problem but I’m always a bit cautious of them. They’re big heavy and hard and it’s a long walk home.

Part of this road goes through a small Three arched gateway (presumably an old section of City wall), the centre arch that you drive through is only wide enough for one car and bang in the middle of the road so going out you have to give way to cars coming the other way. Not a problem in a left hand drive car as you can see what’s coming but all I could see was a stone wall!

Found the lower terminal of the Schauinsland cable car www.schauinslandbahn.de/en/, and parked up in an almost deserted car park.

Paid for our return fare, didn’t fancy the Scooter ride or Mountain Bike hire option for getting down, and we went and sat in a waiting cable car on our own. No-one else came so the doors closed and off we went, 750 Metres up over 3.6kM length Nice views, despite a little drizzle.

Got to the top station and exited the car to find there was a coach load of Kids there, luckily waiting to go back down, and we went to the Restaurant for a BFG and Tea. Yes, I know, we’re predictable but I don’t care and you don’t have to read this.

After the cobbles of Schiltach yesterday I was wearing my knee splint again so we decided not to go the further leg onwards and upwards to climb the viewing tower as Julie doesn’t like heights, and I wouldn’t have made it to the top!

Tried to get some descriptive photos from the Cafe Balcony, not very good, the white sky isn’t sky as such, it’s the bottom of the cloud layer that was only another few hundred feet above us!

Blackforest mountains from schaunislandbahn

Freiburg from the Cafe on the Mountain

That’s the City of Freiburg below us and the nearest southern hills of the Forest beyond looking North West towards The Rhine and Strasbourg.

A pretty stream on the way down, and that Pylon is viewed looking down from the Cable Car, can’t have been easy installing that one!

Went down the way we came up and sat and studied the map, didn’t want to go back into the City and risk getting flashed again, and wanted to come back a different route anyway so followed the road we were on over said mountain, past the upper station and down the other side!

Down to Todtnau, left through Feldberg to Titisee (via a diversion East past Neustadt (No it’s not the WRONG way, it’s just a habit I’m developing) then hung a Right up the B500 to come back via Triberg and Gutach.

Back in plenty of time for our meal but it felt like a very long day indeed.. Good though.

Not a lot of cake but half a cow of cream, and the Town Museum.

Black Forest or lost.

Monday 30th May 2016.

Rest Day.

After two days in the car driving down, we had a ‘local’ day.

Walked into the centre of the village up and down some alarming angles of the cobbled streets, had to chose the lower route as the higher route with a view of, and along ,the valley defeated us both.

Too steep a hill at both ends.

We looked at the Apothecary Museum but it is closed Mondays so went into the Town Museum instead. www.schiltach.de

Very interesting, but spread over 4 floors so we left the top floor, as to get to the lower one we had climbed nearly a storey from the road level and ALL the steps and stairs were very steep.

The town (Village) had a fire in the 1500’s when almost all the houses were lost so a serving girl from out of the local area got the blame and there are paintings and engravings of Her pouring hot coals on the roofs of the town being egged on by the Devil. Of course it must have been Her fault so she was executed 5 days later. What I want to know is why were she and the Devil portrayed in the pictures as being naked?

There are also a log rafting and sawmill museum and even a Bathroom museum in the village as well. The bathroom museum is in the factory of Hansgrohe, who make fixtures and fittings for bathrooms and toilets etc. You can go there and try out their showers etc. free if you wish, those that know me will know why we didn’t.

We just had to try the Coffee Bean coffee shop and Cafe in the Market Square http://www.kaffeebohne-schiltach.de , Tea came in a tall glass with an uht coffee cream peel-top pot, a recurring theme in Germany, they have Milk available but generally don’t give you it! And of course it would have been rude not to have tried their version of a Black Forest Gateau.

Very nice, but not a lot of cake but half a cow of cream, fresh Black Cherry on the top of each slice and the cherry layer near the bottom was in the form of a Jelly?! Not at all what we were expecting but as I say Very Nice each to their own.

Went back to the Hotel after this lunch of cake and slobbed out reading until evening.

The restaurant at our hotel is not open Mondays so on the Hotel owners recommendation we went to the Gasthaus Sonne http://www.sonneschiltach.de/ for our evening meal as they also have a public restaurant. Very enjoyable meal and wine so back to base and zonked out.

Take me to your Gateaux


Black Forest or lost.

Sunday 29th May 2016

Cologne to Schiltach.

Woke up before Julie (thank goodness) and retrieved the Gift bag, card and poem card from my Laptop case and the Jewellery case from my Wash bag and assembled them together with the two little teddies I had hidden in my Holdall as it’s our 40th Wedding Anniversary today!

All this being done VERY quietly whilst the kettle was boiling for a cup of Tea, First things First, I know how to survive!

A pair of Ruby Stud earrings, Dark solitaire Rubies. Julie doesn’t wear much jewellery so my choice is limited, No brooches, not enough fingers for more rings, Watch on one wrist and Medic-alert bracelet on the other and currently not wearing Necklaces!

What’s a Guy to do? I’ve had these Earrings for a couple of Years now, so imagine my dis-comfort when I asked Her about 2 months ago what she wanted for Her Birthday (10 days ago)? Guess what, Earrings! Had a brain wave then went white then did what all husbands should do and went out and complied, managed to still surprise her though, as it is a significant Birthday so Diamonds it was then.

After a good breakfast and loading our bits into the car, we made our way down to the Black Forest without getting lost today.

On arrival at Tea time we unloaded out bags and cases (the hotel has its small car park alongside it and there is a bigger one just 30M away) and whilst Julie was putting our exchanged cards and the Teddies on the Desk in the room and about to open the cards we brought with us from family, I assembled and gave Her a second gift bag almost identical to the first. Can I help it being Romantic?

Two Hotels on our Anniversary? Got to be Two cards, Two poem cards and Two sets of Ruby earrings doesn’t it? These are studs again, but not Dark solitaires but Rose Ruby Tudor Roses with a Diamond centres. The Tudor Rose is the symbol of Hampshire, and Julie is My Hampshire Rose so there you go. My Yorkshire relatives will be excommunicating me at this rate! (I was born in Leeds, and the Yorkshire Rose is a White one.)

We had eaten Lunch on the way at a Services so had a quiet evening reading and dosing. Well we are in our Sixties now! (OK only Just in our 60s but we are on Holiday.)

This is a view of the village,

And this is our Hotel  http://www.weysses-roessle.de/en/

 Hotel-Rössle-2012

A day off?

 

Black Forest or lost.

Friday 27th May 2016

Rest Day!

We took the Eldest Daughter Shopping @ Sainsburys, and to get some Straw for Her menagerie on the way back,followed by Tea and cream cake consumption (Just to get in practice, honest governor) and then hid back at Julie’s flat while she packed her Case and overnight bag.

I then loaded the car up with both our Large cases and heavy jackets so in the Morning we’d just have our Overnight holdalls, my Laptop (for planning days out) and our light jackets and cardies to load.

Programmed the Satnav with our 2 Day journey, Waypoint @ Cologne then onto Schiltach.

Checked and double checked we’d got everything, as there’s always something we leave behind.

Saturday 28th May 2016

Basingstoke to Cologne.

Woke up Mrs Lady in the Satnav and Set off at around 6:15 – 20, a couple of minutes later than planned but what the Heck, we’m O’Noliday! Drove up the M3 then M25 Anticlockwise, M20 to Maidstone Services (Nowhere near Maidstone) for Breakfast and a break then down to J11a Channel Tunnel Terminal.

The automatic machine was out of use at the lane I chose so we spoke to a young Lady who gave us an earlier Train but with enough time for using the services etc. Which we did.

On to the train and off again ok, straight onto the Autoroute, Easy, can’t go wrong, can you?

After driving for quite a while, we looked at each other and both said that we didn’t recognise where we are, but Mrs Lady in the Satnav was adamant we was going the right way.

Pulled off into a layby and checked the Maps, Guess what? Yup, you’ve guessed it, silly Mrs Satnav forgot the Waypoint and was sending us straight to the Black Forest via Strasbourg!

Good job my Julie can read a map and change plans en-route then! We only had my Europe map in the car, didn’t think I’d need the France one…. Julie got us across to Brussels via Lens and the R0 ok so we stopped for a Tea at the services just before the Mad Ring-road began.

Uneventful remainder of the journey to the Karsten, our Hotel of choice near Cologne http://hotelkarsten.de/?lang=en, we like it here and have used them as a journey break and a weeks stay (Christmas markets, P+R station 1 Mile away) before so know the staff to talk to and their Booking.com rating is always above 8.5, and we’ve never had a bad night or breakfast.

Looking forward to seeing my Wife

 

Black Forest or lost.

Thursday 26th May 2016

Travel up country.

Given a lift to Camborne Railway station by my friend and Neighbour Chris and Sue, his Wife after I had told him my plans a few days before and he asked how I was getting to the Station and he was shocked I’d even considered a Taxi.

Caught the 10:23 GWR train to Reading, First class as booked with a reserved seat and table.

Plenty of passes by the beverage and snacks trolley, hot drinks or water are free as are the biscuits, (Cornish grown Tea and Cornish shortbread of course) but sandwiches are of course charged or ransomed more like (a round of Beef and Horseradish for £4:80, I can get a GOOD pasty for £2:40).

I do like the new Leather seats, and the two usb sockets as well as the 13A socket above the single table I had, (rear facing as requested Well, you can’t be too sure on this route) I had my Laptop on most of the way on this leg, playing patience and when the WiFi allowed following the route on Google Maps. OK I know I’m an Anorak, that’s me and you can put up with it!

Getting off at Reading, should have had 17 Minutes to find the correct platform, change levels twice and get on the Train to Basingstoke. Should, but we had got held at Thatcham, and were 5 Minutes late arriving… Made it ok though and got a seat ok.

Arrived at Basingstoke on time, having sent Julie a text when we passed through Bramley (Hampshire, not Sussex or Surrey) and there was my car with Chauffeur waiting for me outside the station. ( I thought a Female Chauffeur was a Chauffess but not according to 3 dictionaries, it’s the same name for He or She!)

We waited at Eldest Daughter’s house for Her to come home with Grandson Jake from School then we escaped up to Julie’s little flat where I stay when I’m ‘Up country’.