The Spontaneous Traveler : Germany

What Can Happen in Less Than a Week

Day 2 – Part 2 The Black Forest

The area is known for it’s great wood carvers. We stopped for a navigation
check on the side of the road and found this guy staring at us.

By the time we arrived it was late afternoon. I was in search of some Black Forest cake! I had found an authentic Black Forest cake recipe that I used for the dessert course for my Symphony of Whites wine party a few years ago that everyone was impressed with and I was eager to try the real thing in the actual Black Forest town.

We asked the shop keepers where we could get the specialty cake and was directed to Klaus Schäfer Bakery a few blocks down the road, but were warned that there were so many tourist earlier in the day, there may not be any left. As we made our way down the street in search of the bakery – it was clear that shops were close to closing, and when we finally found the bakery it was in fact closed. When I thought all hope was gone of tasting the specialty cake, we decided to stop into a cafe’ that had a large display case for desserts and coffee, but not much was left – but there it was! We spotted two slices of the cake and ordered both for the three of us to share. Clearly for me – it was all about the cake!

The day remained cloudy and gray with an occasional drizzle or light rain, but we pushed through and ducked quickly into various shops. Below is a painted sign from the side of a building and further below an actual photo of a woman wearing a bollenhut as defined by Wikipedia:

Bollenhut[needs IPA] is a formal headdress worn since c.1750 by Protestant women as part of their folk costume or Tracht in the three neighbouring Black Forest villages of GutachKirnbach and Hornberg-Reichenbach. With its woollen pompoms, the picturesque-looking red Bollenhut has become a symbol of the Black Forest as a whole, despite its very local origins. The red pom-poms and white brim of the Bollenhut also is said to have inspired the top layer of the Black Forest Cake.[1]

Photo from Wikipedia estimated from 1900.


In the distance is the Black Forest, that by the time we finished quickly browsing through the shops we drove past. Our friend and guide telling us about a beautiful waterfall that was a bit of a drive away and we were all getting a little tired at this point and decided to head back to the house.

Below: A photographer’s sign that I was so impressed with, very art deco. Our Black Forest Cake -you look very closely, the bottom layer is a very thin pie crust, followed by layers of a delicate cake, chocolate mousse with chunks of cherry, cake and whipped cream. As was our experience with the version I prepared years ago, the cake is light and not particularly sweet. I was very satisfied!

On to the clocks – Top left: My traveling companions making their way uphill in search of shops that were still open. Top right: The Black Forest in the background in a misty fog. Bottom Left: The clock below was on the exterior wall of the a shop of clocks of course. Its size in the photo is deceiving -it was as tall and wide as doorway of the building while the clock on the right side was approximately 12″ by 12″.

My travel friend is a great fan of Rick Steves and consulted his guide books to determine the best advised places we could visit in the areas closest to where we were staying. I saw a video on YouTube where he talks about a tourist trap along a lake in the Black Forest. This little town was not on a lake, and as you can see from the photos, had very few people walking around, at least by the time we arrived there. In truth, the only place where we encountered fairly large crowds of people was in Colmar, France.

The time had come to retire for the day and we headed home as the misty rain continued, but by morning would be clear and sunny. We needed to pack our backpacks with some bare necessities this evening – in the morning we were driving to Switzerland for two days and nights in the Swiss Alps of Mürren!

A modern photo on a calendar in one of the shops of a woman wearing a bollenhut.

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