Cuckoo in Schwarzwald

Triberg is the kind of place described as “touristy” in guidebooks. This is true. It is also sort of glorious, if you like cuckoo clocks, about which we learned more than we ever dreamed.

Triburg: The view from a hotel room.
Triberg: The view from a hotel room.


The town is built on a steep grade and is full of cake shops. We decided to wander into a cuckoo-clock shop because no visit to Triberg would be complete without it, and we had the pleasure of conversing with master clock maker Gerald Burger. He walked us around the shop, which is (as you might expect) a goddamn forest of cuckoo clocks, and he told us in no uncertain terms about the differences between shoddy clock-making and quality stuff. Seriously, it was fascinating and eye-opening. We practically bought a cuckoo clock, but that will have to wait for a future trip.

The cuckoo man comes bearing clocks on his back. Yet he is filled with angst.


Cake in the present is rarely a poor choice.


The next morning, after a good frühstück at our Triberg hotel, our plan was to drive along and find a place to pick up the Westweg long distance path.

Hausach provided the entry point: it’s a town the Westweg passes through. If we headed south, we could get a nice little 11 km hike in and out, with the summit at Farrenkopf as our stopping point. As we ascended out of Hausach, we saw the ruins of Husen Castle. Then it was into the Black Forest, with a surprising number of oddities along the way.


Nice view from here.


And a nice place to sit and look at the view.


Now, let’s go back into the woods.


Only to find a hut with handmade musical instruments.


And a notebook in a tree, in which to leave comments.


Then a tribute to the bat, which happens to be Die Fledermaus in German.


And then a – memorial, possibly? Or a tribute to lost shoes? Has Cheryl Strayed been here?


Yes, this was a very entertaining walk. Then some more elevation gain, and we arrived at the Hasemann-Hütte, a mountain hut named for the painter Wilhelm Hasemann. It was built in 1899 and rebuilt in 1912 after a fire. Hasemann liked to paint this part of the Schwarzwald. Good place to eat lunch.


Kudos to the walking clubs who maintain trails and huts like this. Then we headed back down the hill. With a stop to rest at that giant bench.


Where to next? How about a drive to Schiltach, where we enjoyed cake on the terrace at Cafe Konditorei Bachbeck and then had a wee look around the town.


Schiltach is many things (charming and romantic for starters) — and to E’s particular delight, it’s also the corporate home of Hansgrohe. More about that later because right now we’re hot and tired and just want to relax at our evening’s lodging, in the next-door village of Schenkenzell. About which we’ll only say that we are grateful to the professional people at the Hotel Waldblick for rescuing us after a very weird situation somewhere else. You’ve seen The Shining, right?

Next morning we returned to Schiltach, took a brief stroll along the River Kinzig, and couldn’t resist a visit to Hansgrohe for their exhibit on “The Bathroom of the 70s.” The showroom also included a history of the bathroom across the decades. This was all much more interesting than you’re thinking.


Obviously R feels very at home in 1970s rec-room surroundings, too.

Time to bid a fond farewell to Schiltach. A drive up a narrow road to a trailhead north of Oberwolfach led us to another length of the Westweg again, this time the Brandenkopf Variation, which sounds like a piano piece but is actually a walk through dense Black Forest trees, past many mossy rocks.


Something cast large shadows as we neared the top. And that sound…oh, right. A really close encounter with a wind turbine! Cool, actually.


At the top of Brandenkopf, there’s a tower. Climb up for some nifty views.


After returning to the car for more narrow-road driving, a quick stop for a another leg-stretch on the Westweg.


Then through some picturesque towns. Wait, is that a giant bed by the roadside?


Huh. Well, it’s a reminder that we should find a place to sleep. Which leads us to the next stop: the incredibly cute town of Gengenbach. See you there.



One thought on “Cuckoo in Schwarzwald

  1. Gutentag! Your blog is really wonderful! I pop in to read every so often-when I get a case of the wanderlust… Thanks for sharing your fabulous and interesting adventures. I love the photography and learning about the myriad cafes and museums you have written about. Happy hiking!!


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