Travelled : 98 kilometres from Tuttlingen to Gutenbach in the Black Forest.
Visited : Gutenbach, Balzer Herrgott,
Stayed : A small but dedicated motorhome parking platz in Gutenbach, free, but no services. N48.04801 E8.14181 (2 nights)
The drive west from Tuttlingen is a very pleasant mixture of green pasture and forest. The road just winds it’s way through the valleys and hills, but we are slowly climbing. The farms become a little more isolated, the forest extends further up the hills and beyond. Turning north at Neustadt, the GPS diverts us off the E500 through Langenordnach.
Realising the GPS had come up with a secret short-cut we stop and check the map. Whilst where stopped 3-4 car pass, so we summise the road cannot be too bad. It proved to be a very scenic drive and I cannot recommend it highly enough. Back on the E500 again we stop for lunch by the road side and take in the Black Forest views.
Driving the Black Forest. Pam’s in the left hand seat in case you have forgotten.
Soon enough we are back on the road north, then turn down to Gutenbach. Our Lonely Planet describes the Gutenbach-Simonswaldertal track as the best half day walk in Germany, so here we are. The GPS co-ordinates we have prove to be 100 metres from an isolated cow shed on the steepest hill you could imagine. But driving back through the village we see the familiar camper-car parking sign. Within a few minutes we have settled in to our new home.
The parking area has that familiar sign we love to see and it’s free. There is a mini soccer field next door but not much else.
On the other side of the parking area, I see are a bunch of guys huddled in the corner. So I wander over seeking some local knowledge. Every now and then, despite the best of intention, you can fall in with the wrong crowd. Meet the local soccer team, the boys tell me they don’t play much soccer, but that’s where their wives think they are. When I stumble back to the Hymer I report the local beer is Fursternberg and its so cold in Gurenbach you don’t need a fridge in the shed to keep it cold.
The Black Forest is long walks, cuckoo clocks and Black Forest Gateau. Gutenbach only has a cafe, in German cafe means beer and cake. My new team mates from the soccer club suggested the cafe. Opened from 2-6pm daily, it has the best cake in the district and good beer as well.
The next morning it’s cold, very cold. The Hymer heater soon warms the camper but it’s cold outside. The weather has closed in, but it’s still dry as we set off to walk the Gutenbach-Simonswaldertal. Walking past the Fallen Factory, the electronic temperature gauge indicates 5°. It’s a steep climb out of Gutenbach. Half way up the drizzle starts, it doesn’t last long as it soon turns to sleet. 15 minutes later its dry snow.
As we cross the top of the ridge the snow turns into rain. We reach the Christ Tree two kilometres later. We have gortex jackets and boots but everything else is wet by now.
The Christ Tree is a local landmark. A sandstone figure of Christ was tied to a tree about 80 years ago. The tree has gown around the figure and somewhat consumed it.
Its 8km on the Gutenbach through the gorge if we continue along the track, or 6km to walk back the way we came.
The rain has become a steady drizzle again as we head back. There seemed little sense walking on through the gorge when visibility was limited. Gortex gloves and pants will go on the shopping list.
Its an easy walk back as its virtually all downhill. The Hymer’s heater has us toasty soon enough and after catching up with the Australian news and some grandchildren our thoughts turn to Black Forest Gataux and we head back to the cafe. Amazingly it nearly full but we find a table and the afternoon just drifts away…
Continuing our drive north through the Black Forest. We take a coffee break in Hornberg and visit German’s biggest toilet ! Yes you can walk up the stairs and step into the bowl for a good look.
The mountain road over Buckereck to Elzach is a motorcyclist delight. Unfortunately its popular with tourist buses as well. Not a good combination.
We stop for lunch on the Buchereck. A typical Black Forest vista.