We woke the next morning in Breisach, Germany – the entrance to the Black Forest. The ship was docked alongside this quaint park were people were walking and running. There were swans swimming alongside the ship. Up on the hill we could see St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Breisach’s landmark. This beautiful cathedral has two towers that dominate the skyline – one showcasing the architectural style of the Gothic period while the other shows elements that are distinctly Romanesque. This small German town is known for its wine and sparkling wine.
After breakfast we boarded the motor coach for our excursion to the Black Forest. When the ancient Romans arrived in Germany they came upon this thickly wooded forest. The trees became thicker as they walked further into the forest until the density and height of the trees blocked out all of the sunlight. They called these woods Silva Nigra, or Black Forest. This beautiful forest is where the settings for legends and fairy tales were created.
Our ride to the Black Forest was breathtaking with the rolling hills and many red and white grape vines along the way. We were lucky to have a sunny day with temperatures in the 50’s. Our guide told us that the next day; the Black Forest would be getting snow. The scenery reminded me of the many forest fairy tales I have read over the years with the thick forest and the meandering streams.
Our first stop was the Cuckoo Clock factory. At the shop there was every size, shape of cuckoo clock. They were so beautiful from the simple clocks that chimed with just the cuckoo and the other clocks that had music along with the cuckoo. Here you find the world’s largest cuckoo clock. There was a little café where you could sample Black Forest cake.
As we made our way up the mountains through the Black Forest you could see far into the distance into France were we would visit later in the day. The highest elevation we went to was about 3000 ft. Our next stop was to the small village of St. Peter in the Black Forest where we toured the beautiful baroque church of the Abbey of St. Peter. From the outside it looked just like an average parish and if you did not enter, you would miss out on a 1000 year old masterpiece. In the parish church I was amazed at the beauty and how well all of the paintings were maintained. It was truly breathtaking to be inside such an amazing church.
As we headed back to the Rhine River we traveled through several small German villages and noticed some houses had a stork displays. The storks are widely used in this area to announce that a baby has just been born to the family living in the home.
In the afternoon we are onto the Alsace town in Colmar, France.
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