In November 2018, I interviewed Tracy about her family holiday to the Black Forest. I was really interested to hear about her experience of travelling to Germany with her husband and two daughters, who were 7 and 9 at the time.
In love with Germany
When I asked Tracy what had made her decide on Germany, she explained that her love of Germany goes back to the nineties when she did a school work experience programme. She spent two weeks working for Sparkasse Bank in the picturesque city of Bamberg in Bavaria. She explained that, “Even as a 17-year-old girl, I appreciated the beauty of the place.”
Positive exchanges seeded the love
Bamberg has been twinned with Bedford for more than 40 years with many exchanges and friendships being made over the years. The friendly German family Tracy stayed with had a really positive impact and left her with fond memories of Germany and its culture. So much so, that she always wanted to revisit the country one day.
Family holiday in the Black Forest
In the summer of 2017, Tracy was able to persuade her family to spend a week in the Black Forest region for their summer holiday. They found some really good accommodation on the www.homeaway.co.uk website in the peaceful village of Berghaupten. Their 6-hour journey via the Eurotunnel (paid for with Tesco vouchers) was easy and hassle-free. Taking their own car meant that they were free to explore whatever took their fancy along the way. Tracy describes the accommodation as, “ruhig”, meaning peaceful. Their self-catering apartment was located amidst beautiful meadows – perfect for a walk through the Black Forest.
Get on your bike – Andrew!
During the week, Tracy’s family did lots of things in the surrounding area. Being a keen cyclist, her husband, Andrew, particularly enjoyed exploring the area on two wheels – especially the challenging hills! The highlight for him was finding out that the four-day Tour de Germany (Deutschlandtour) was due to finish in Stuttgart at the end of August. So they took the train from Offenburg to Stuttgart, which turned out to be a wise decision as the traffic into Stuttgart was horrendous! To Andrew’s delight, the Tour de France winner and Team Sky cyclist, Geraint Thomas, was participating in this four stage race. The last day of the race involved a gruelling 207km from Lorsch to Stuttgart. Tracy explained that the atmosphere was amazing and it was great to see so many keen cyclists in one place.
Maybe something for your diary?
The next Tour de Germany event takes place between 29th August to 1st September 2019. You can find more information here: https://www.deutschland-tour.com/de/jedermanntour.html.
Car enthusiasts get to visit the Porsche museum
While the family were in Stuttgart, they decided to visit the Porsche Museum. Tracy said that it was really fascinating to see the history of the Porsche, despite not being that into cars herself.
Day trip to Freiburg
Another trip they did was to visit the city of Freiburg. They decided to go there by tram as the children always love a little trip on public transport. While they were there, the children were even invited to join in with some kid’s holiday activities that were taking place on the streets of Freiburg.
Triberg – home to the cuckoo clock
Next on their list was a trip to Triberg, a small city where the world-famous cuckoo clock originates from. Triberg is full of shops offering handmade products made from wood as well as traditional delicatessens and cafés selling Black Forest ham, kirsch and the famous Black Forest gateau.
Don’t forget to visit the world’s largest cuckoo clock, which is located between Triberg and Hornberg. The clockwork mechanism of this giant clock measures a whopping 4.5m by 4.5m, and can be observed when visiting the famous cuckoo clock house.
The Triberg Waterfall
Triberg is also home to Germany’s highest waterfall with its impressive 163m drop. The entrance is located in the city centre, making it easy to get to on foot. It’s open all year round and is illuminated until 10pm – so it’s well worth a visit during the hours of darkness.
Germany’s largest toilet!
Tracy told me all about the Duravit Bathroom Design Centre in Hornberg, a town close to Triberg. Visitors are literally greeted by a gigantic toilet sticking out of the company’s building. It might even tempt you to take a look inside and browse through their inspirational showrooms.
Walking mindfully – Tracy tried out the Barefoot Trail
Another attraction close to Triberg and Hornberg is the Barefoot Trail ‘Park mit allen Sinnen’ (literally translated as a ‘park with all senses’) in Gutach. Tracy’s family had a great time doing the 2km trail, which is situated in a protected nature conservation area. On the trail, you can experience various sensations by walking barefoot on the different materials, noticing the various scents and touching the different objects. If you’d rather wear your shoes on the trail, it wouldn’t be a problem.
Toboggan fun close to Triberg
Near to the Barefoot Trail, families can also enjoy the 1,150m summer toboggan run ‘Schwarzwaldbob’, which winds its way through tunnels and even includes jumps. There’s also a playground with trampolines for even more fun for the children.
I love the Black Forest too – get ready for my itineraries
I think these are some lovely ideas if you’re thinking of visiting the Black Forest. I went to the Glottertal Valley in 2017. You can read all about my own experience to the Black Forest here. At the moment, I’m creating a summer itinerary for a Black Forest holiday with children – which I’m happy to share for free. If you’d like one, send me a message via Facebook or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More about the Black Forest