Saturday 22nd April
Despite parking in what looked like a bus station, all was very quiet until I woke Lucy up at 9.45am. It looks like we are parked in the coach park and since we are well out of season, there are no coaches. We had a good look around the town of Triburg, one of the centres of Cuckoo clock production, even some of the shops look like clocks.
“Luckily” we were allowed in the Shop of a thousand clocks. Every couple of seconds one of the clocks was going, I really don’t envy the person who has to wind them all up. This clock was a good 6 foot tall, just €9,900 to you (tax free)
This shop is meant to attract you and entice you to buy one of the wonderful Black Forest designs but to be honest, it has cured me from ever needing one, unless it comes with a shotgun and you’re allowed to take potshots. One of the nice things about this shop was that there was an area for the children to play with making the cuckoo sounds.
Onwards and upwards and we find ourselves 80 miles north in a town called Calw. (just imagine how the Germans say the letter W and you’ll know how to say the name, (vot is your name – don’t tell him Pike). This is where Hesse lived for many years and his presence is noted everywhere – we still don’t have a clue who or what he was. The photo above is of a chapel built on a bridge over the river.
Many of the buildings are timber framed, the town is on one of the famous German tourist routes, Das Deutsches Frahmwerk Strasse.
And Hesse walked along this street, but we don’t know why.
Beer of the day and this is the first time (today) my German has let me down. The barmaid must have been foreign, she didn’t understand a word I said so in the end we had a big beer and a little beer. It is from the very famous monastery at Alpirsbach which has wonderfully smooth alpine water and other stuff. Tastes the same as any other Pils to me
Photo for mother – what are these? There were some very bright red ones as well in baskets alongside the multi storey car park.
I may have mentioned our German guidebook before, it’s a Fodor from 1998 (Upminster Library cast off, 25p) and has been almost a complete waste of money. I’m not even sure that the person who wrote the book has ever visited Germany and the descriptions of places it has tempted us to visit have been very vaguely near the actuality.
Take our next destination as an example. Ettlingen, 1200 years old, the centre is a maze of auto-free cobblestone streets. On and on it goes, whilst the street plan may be correct “bombed to buggery in the last war” might be more apt.
It didn’t help that our route from Triberg was slightly more problematic than it should have been. There were at least six diversions which entailed us going up and up, over mountain passes along very narrow roads with huge logging trucks coming towards us and then down steep roads with the brakes smoking and squealing. We were within 300 metes of the stellplatz and there was another diversion with a diversion on top of the diversion!. All the time we were fighting our way around lots of traffic (luckily fairly considerate drivers).
We settle into our place and have lunch and then go for a wander, there is no one about! How on earth do you go from having to fight your way into a town with tons of traffic and within 30 minutes it’s a ghost town?
Saturday, shops all close at 12.30. There were occasional shops open and luckily we found one with trousers for Lucy at my type of price. It turned out that the shop owner was an Indian (from Kensington) and he directed us to two beer drinking places – the first was his mate with the kebab shop up the road, the second was…..
….YOU WILL NOT BELIEVE IT. Germany’s answer to the all invading Wetherspoons. Vogel Brau. One end are the copper vessels for brewing …
Apart from the tree it could be any Wetherspoons in the UK (except for the wet toilets and the sticky carpet and the old boys propping up the bar…).
Todays special is Maibock, unfiltered beer. I wasn’t sure about it so had to have a second (and nearly got a third, but again my German let me down…)
The menu was a bit dodge, (no hint of microwaved curry or Mick’s Gorilla) but all the food we saw looked amazing. Since we had only just eaten it would have been a waste to try any of it so Lucy has made a decision – we’re staying on this free stellplatz for another day and will be checking out the full menu tomorrow. We think that there will be freshly brewed IPA on tomorrow, we’ll see how good my German really is.
(Note to Clive Brooker – you won’t like it here, fresh beer, busty bar maids, threat of snow…).
* Wetter = Weather Loffel = Spoons