September 9 – 16, 2018
Amelia’s Comments in Bold Italics!
From Frankfurt we took a train south to Offenburg and then to the little village of Bad Griesbach in the Schwarzwald (Black Forest), the very last stop on the train.
How did we end up in this tiny village? We were looking for a week-long stay in between Frankfurt and Villingen-Schwenningen directly south, where we’d again stay with friends. I searched for an Airbnb with some space, scenery and good reviews somewhere in the Schwalzwald, and luckily we ended up at Haus Schafberg. We quickly found the best playground in town.
The house was up on a GINOURMOUS hill run by a friendly family of tractor-specialists, Christmas tree growers and schnaps-makers. They had adorable goats who mowed the hillside and a sweet Shetland pony named Max. The goats were so amazing, and so so so cute, and we got to feed them dried bread which they ate up like crazy!
We decided not to rent a car for our week in Bad Griesbach given that the Haus flat was peaceful, spacious and had plenty of kitchen space and tools for cooking. That was a very bad idea, because every time we wanted to go down to the town, we would have to hike all the way back up the ginormous hill. We were situated in between multiple trails that could take us up into the forest and down into the town. There was one small grocery store and one Bakerie in the town that I would often head to for an early morning supply-replenishment walk.
We schooled, planned out the next few weeks of stays and travel, and hiked A LOT. UNDERSTATEMENT! As a family together we covered almost 40 kilometers over 6 days (not including adult-only runs and morning Bakerie walks). Told you!
Our first hike was from the Haus up to the Buchkopfturm Oppenau-Maisach tower for the spectacular view.
Before we got to the top, however, we had a few meltdowns and me and Annabelle piggybacked eachother for the last stretch.
On the way back down we had dinner and cake and a great view at the Renchtalhutte. The dinner was nice but we had to move inside after some wasps kept divebombing Mama’s black forest ham.
We made good friends with the hutte’s goats we’d come back to visit over the week. I think my favorite animals are goats now.
Our second hike was from Bad Griesbach to the town of Oppenau, the target being an outdoor swimming pool on the warmest day of the week. It was a hard hike with steep ups and downs (and some bushwacking) UNDERSTATEMENT that took us about 5 hours and was on mostly logging roads. By the time we actually got to the pool, I think my toes were about to fall off.
The reward was worth it to the girls, BARELY, even though, in their words, they were REALLY close to exploding. The pool defused our explodingness.
Perhaps the biggest downer for them was that we took the train back to Bad Griesbach, which took about…15 minutes. Talk about discouraging.
The final big challenge was to hike the Premiumweg Wiesensteig, a ~12 kilometer trail from Haus Schafberg that loops around the Wilden Rench valley. While it started out on wide logging roads, we were pleased that the trail eventually narrowed and followed a stream, crossing it many times over large rock bridges.
This hike was actually fun, cause we got to pretend that we were mountain goats. We also made cairns, which are rock towers.
We stopped about ¾ of the way for a drink at lovely Herbstwasen, and continued along the valley trail through what seemed like people’s backyards.
Eventually, Annabelle and Wayne realized that the little town grocery store would be closing soon, so in order to make it in time for ice cream, they’d have to run ahead. Amelia and I continued along at our own pace. I was glad that we did, cause I got extra gummy bears, and Dadda and Annabelle were POOPED by the time we got home.
There was a beer stop which was basically just a tub full of bottles of beer, and my mom had some extra coins, so she decided to try it. She put the money in, and reached in the tub for a bottle. I guess that she didn’t realize that when a beer bottle has been soaking in water the whole day, the label is going to be a little slippery. So, she grabbed the label, and the beer slid right out of her hands and broke. She also cut her finger. What a bummer. We cleaned up the glass pieces, and left, but I felt bad because she was so excited.
Definitely a bummer – at the end of a long hike a nice cold beer awaits and you drop it and break it all over someone’s lovely backyard/trail beer stand!
Martin and Ulrike from Haus Schafberg were so kind to share homemade schnaps (we bought a couple of bottles to bring to our German friends we’d be seeing next) and cake with us at least 3 different times during the week. So we practiced and learned really well the phrase, “Danke fer den (pflaumen) kuchen. Es hat sehr gut geschmeckt.” Thank you for the plum cake. It was delicious. My favorite one was the kuchen with vanilla pudding! Thank you family Schafberg!