Monday, March 29, 2010

Out and About in the Black Forest (The Frogs and the Prince)

Ahhh the Black Forest.  It conjures such a romantic picture in my head.  Mac and I thought we'd share our Saturday journey with you.  We decided to start small and make a loop trip, no more than an hour and a half from our house.  All week we had the most beautiful sun and then Saturday dawned cold and rainy. I was disappointed because I am afraid you readers will start to think we don't have sun over here.


 The first point of interest for you will be the frog crossing signs.  Yes, you see it correctly, that indeed is a frog on the sign.
In Germany, Great Britain, Northern Italy and Poland many frogs and toads are killed on the roads while migrating to their breeding grounds, in some places special tunnels have been constructed so they can cross under roads. Some local wildlife groups run toad/frog patrols carrying them across busy roads in buckets.  I kid you not!  Our friend Margit and her daughter Melanie (you met them in previous blogs) used to be part of the bucket brigade in Clausen.

These green barriers keep them from migrating across the road and the frog patrols find them easier to catch and carry them across the streets.  I've said before Germany is a "green country" with it's strict recycling laws but it is also passionate about wildlife preservation. Even the little creatures.

Mac had planned a picnic.

He had olives and cheese, pickes, wurst and more wursts. Strawberries and plums too.

But, the best part was the smoked fish.  He chose 4 different varieties and from the store and they were all yummy.

This was our view as we had our picnic.  I must confess, it was a rather BRITISH picnic.  My British friends are a very hearty lot and I have had picnics with them whilst my lips were turning blue.  They are seemingly unaffected by cold weather.  Being from Maine I should be more used to cold weather, but I suppose I will blame my angst for the cold on being born in Texas. We finished our lovely feast and ran to the car where we turned the heat up full blast and put on our seat heaters.  AHHHH, much better and now we were ready to start the next part of the journey.

This view will be even prettier when the leaves come out.

This is the little village of Unterifligen nestled in a valley.

Mac and I decided to stop in the village of Glatt. We heard it had a Wasserschloss.  That's a moated castle.

Glatt Castle
From 1533 to 1547 the castle was owned by Reinhard von Neuneck. It is one of the earliest Renaissance castles in Germany.
It changed ownership various times after that until the Prince of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen came to own it. The castle became the property of the municiple city of Glatt in 1970. It is now a museum. We decided not to go into the actual castle as we wanted to take the kids there when they visited. We know our little grandsons will enjoy the suits of armor inside.

I found an angel in the courtyard.  My twin sister and cousin Ellen love angels so I posed for the picture just for them.

Mac chose to hang out with this unusual creature.

Since it was a cold day we decided to check out the Cafe in the Castle.  Just to get out of the cold you know.

This was one of the most romantic "tearoom/cafe" we had ever seen.  There were tables tucked away in 7 or 8 rooms and I don't know how the waitress could keep track where everyone was sitting.

We had such a lovely picnic but Mac and I weren't opposed to some coffee and cake. I had the strawberry chocolate.

Mac was missing Maine and decided on the Blueberry cake. It boasted a cookie dough bottom and a meringue topping.

Mac gave today a thumbs up.  It would have gotten two thumbs up had it not been so awfully cold.
While we were walking back to the car Mac asked me if I gave him a kiss would he perhaps turn into the Prince of Hohenzollern.  I smiled my special smirk, you know the one I reserve just for him and said, "Darling if I kissed you, you will most likely become one of those little frogs we saw earlier today."
Mac just shook his head and laughed at me.


  1. I want to go on a picnic with you too!! No-fair, your suppose to wait for me!
    Glad your having fun.

  2. Food looks so yummy!Wish I could eat it with you guys!xox