GERMAN BLACK FOREST: Great, in every way.

Click on images to enlarge them.

Black Forest Germany: Writing this part in the definitely-worth-visiting German Black Forest town of Schiltach [map] reputably the prettiest town in the region. It was not on the touring agenda, is just on a scenic route from UK to the Alps, being at the junction of Germany France & Switzerland. Due to its merits, we ended up staying a few days, wanting to stay longer.

'Schwarzwald' is about 200 km x 60 km, in the very southwest corner of Germany; the area is almost postcard-perfect, it's pure south German charm, reputably the best German cuisine, eat-off-the-streets cleanliness, buildings of superb quality you can see and feel, and surprising to us, reasonable prices – all combine to make it seductive to not just us, as it is evidently among the top holiday destinations for Europeans. Tile roofs are done with art and made to last forever, stone work ace, stucco flawless, buildings have their own character – and the winding roads through old forests, nothing like rugged Canadian forests, rather bucolic splendor, the hills, cuisine, hospitality – everything altogether just works.

It sure helped that we made local biker buddies, visited their homes and perhaps made long-run friends.

First we met Michael Muller who has a local bike garage/dealership we found via the hotel owner (who happens to also be a biker.) Michael squeezed us in for a routine service on short notice. His brother is a classic (he has one 50 years old) Harley restorer and a welding artist, they did a fine job for us, highly recommended. M. K. Muller Motorcycles

When we admired the appliqué art that hangs in the office, we were invited to their home that evening and bought a few charming pieces from Michael’s mother she didn't really seem to want to sell – Hedi (it's true folk art) does fine work.

Michael has a houseful of OMG antiques, the sheer quantity is beyond belief, three jam-packed floors; we toured the tip of iceberg for a couple hours. And what he collects; name a category (bicycles; strangers' huge piles of handwritten letters; crashed airplane bits; Danish cookie containers; Mickey Mice; animal skeletons; large spiders and their shed exoskeletons; farm implements; you get the idea ...) whatever is old and has some meaning, he has it, and knows every piece's story intimately. Tens of thousands of pieces, he was generous showing us in detail. His war memorabilia alone ... we were in OMG OMG disbelief room after room ... What some people do ... If you are into major collecting/swapping, do drop in on Michael, he's serious about it!

Michael, motorbike shop owner on right
Wolfgang fellow Winger and son/passenger Max.
Hedi the mother-artist whose stuff hangs on the shop walls
Wolfgang Troeger, whom we met because he is Michaels’ customer, has a lovely chromed-up, blue ‘05 Wing, is a very friendly and generous guy, kindly took us touring the area in his car due to rain. With sweet son Max saw a huge model railway, miniaturization art, at Modellbahn Hausach [link] in Hausach [map] could not find photo/video – but beautifully done, with humor, the size, the detail; set aside model train skepticism it's truly a wonder. Evidently the one in Hamburg is the world's biggest/best, we didn't get there, but here's a video [link] to give you an idea. And a fine glassblowing factory [link] in Wolfach [map].

Next day went riding the area with Max aboard. The area has superb scenery, with many peg-scraping hairpins – Wolfgang a very skilled rider, who is proud that he replaces parts of his asphalt-scraped foot pegs regularly. Unfortunately I screwed up with my new camera, no videos/stills, damn.

A map of our riding route.
If you are in the area – must-do, great riding!
Thanks Wolfgang, otherwise would never have discovered it.
The whole family was wonderfully hospitable. We stay in touch, would like to ride Scandinavia together and I suspect we will. Wolfgang owns a superb state-of-art nursing home, I’d check in tomorrow if that is what I needed, it is first class medically and in creature comforts.

The lucky-find hotel we loved is Hotel Gasthof zum Weysen Rossle It's 3-4 stars, is new-old flawless, nice views. Ulrich the owner kindly garaged my bike next to his Yamaha, and at €70 with free internet, huge breakfast, it’s a deal.

Get this: The same hotel-house has been in the same family for 500 years [sic], since the 1500’s, as the dining room family tree shows. His son is currently taking over, some twenty-five generations later!

500 years old, like-new, one owner.

Aside from the famed forests, the food, culture, architecture – this area also has factories of world brands plants we all use: Groehe, Bosch, etc., plus very low unemployment. We even saw one sign pointing to an Alcan (that's Canadian) plant.

Here's a good web site on visiting Germany – concise summaries on each city/region including Schiltach [link.]

Sidestepping the way-too-many cuckoo clocks for sale, and the deservedly famed Black Forest cake, the many 'wellness centers,' some of Germany's top chefs, great hiking and scenery and superb motorbiking – for 130 years it has been a top European tourist destination area for good reason.

We stumbled upon it almost by accident, it was not on our list, but we were smitten.


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