Schwarzwald in the Winter
Home of the cuckoo clock, the Schwarzwald (Black Forest) gets its name from its dark, slightly sinister canopy of evergreens: this is where Hansel and Gretel encountered the wicked witch. The vast expanse of hills, valleys, rivers and forests stretch from the swish spa town of Baden-Baden to the Swiss border, and from the Rhine almost to Lake Constance.
I’ve always wanted to visit the Black Forest, ever since learning about it in secondary school where I studied German for 4 years. We are staying in Baden-Baden, which has an air of old-world luxury and curative waters have attracted royals, the rich and celebrities over the years – Barack Obama and Bismarck, Queen Victoria and Victoria Beckham included. This Black Forest town boasts grand colonnaded buildings and whimsically turreted art-nouveau villas spread across the hillsides and framed by forested mountains. It is a lovely place, but I must confess that I much preferred Heidelberg which seemed to have more going on than Baden-Baden. We have explored the Christmas markets and hiked up to try and get among the Black Forest but it seems to be rather difficult to access without a car and at this time of year (between Xmas-New Year). I did, however, manage to eat some incredible Black Forest Cake, visit my Foods of the World section to read about it.