Wednesday, August 19, 2009

The Black Forest Region of Germany

The Black Forest region is a hilly region in Southwest Germany bordering France. It is covered in thick forests and is considered the "backwoods" area of Germany. In many ways it is Germany's equivalent to the Ozarks. It was generally cut off from the main stream of Germany until the last century, so the locals became quite colloquial with many of their own traditions. The area is famous for its hiking opportunities, cuckoo clocks, and cherry cakes.

The two main cities of the Black Forest are Baden Baden and Freiburg. Baden Baden has been a major spa and casino town for centuries. It is a more hedonistic version of Bath, England, or maybe Hot Springs, Arkansas. The nude spas and gambling are two of the main attractions of Baden Baden. Freiburg is a large university town. It is very pedestrian and has small streams running down the center of many of the streets.

The whole Black Forest region doesn't have many historic sights - it's main charm is in the actual beauty of the countryside. It's best seen from a car traveling down a local by-way. The famous Gutach River waterfall (below) can be viewed, as well as the Black Forest Open Air museum or the Black Forest Museum in Triberg.

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