"" Writer's Wanderings: 18 Days Through Europe in an Audi - Black Forest, Germany

Monday, October 18, 2010

18 Days Through Europe in an Audi - Black Forest, Germany

[Summer, 2004]

After enjoying soft boiled eggs, cheese, bread and coffee at the Hotel Post in Balzers, we cherished the last views of the little country of Liechtenstein and pointed the Audi in the direction of Germany. If we had known the beauty of the area in Switzerland that we were passing through, we would have tacked on another overnight stay. The mountains above and valleys below were picturesque but the vistas of the clear aqua lakes were breathtaking.

Heading in the direction of Schaffhausen, we took A4 to Neuhausen and the Rhine Falls. Once you are close enough, there are very clear signs to follow (unlike Italian road signs). Polly and Dick had been here before but had seen the falls from Neuhausen side. This time we opted to see it from the Schloss Laufen (castle). It was a good choice.

The castle is a very romantic setting and has lots of different viewing levels from which you can experience the power and force of the water as it surges over the precipice. The falls are not as high as Niagara's but to me they seemed to be more powerful. Perhaps it was because we could get so close to the surge of water. It was a long climb back up from the lowest level but stopping to take in the views, made the climb easier.

Back in the car, driving through the tall pines of the Black Forest region you could understand how it earned its name. Some of the sections are so dense all you can see are dark tree trunks. It is an area alive with all sorts of lore and famous for its cuckoo clocks. We stopped at Titisee, a resort town near Neustadt, named for the lake it borders. Lots of restaurants and shops and hotels kept our interest as we enjoyed the fresh cool air that mixed with the warmth of the sun. We had lunch by the lake--Wiener schnitzel again--and stopped for a piece of Black Forest Cake just before leaving. The cake was a little different from our Americanized version but it was quite good.

As the Audi climbed out of the back woods and onto the autobahn again Bob called out from the back seat, "Hey, Dick! Are we standing still?"

Cars were zooming past us on our left.

"I'm doin' 180," Dick said in his defense.

The kilometers converted to about 112 mph but cars continued to speed past us. Some areas of the autobahn have no speed limit. There are strict rules however. You must stay in the right lane unless you are passing and then you better be passing quickly because suddenly a Mercedes will materialize instantly in your rearview mirror. Dick dropped his speed a bit to ease Polly's nerves. From the front passenger seat, she was getting the full view of the pavement disappearing in a blur beneath the car.

When it was my turn to sit in front as Bob drove, I just closed my eyes. I figured at that speed, death would be instantaneous but I didn't want to see it coming.

No comments:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...