The Südschwarzwald-Radweg

Last night we found a cycle path that does a circuit of the southern Black Forest. It has the catchy title of Sudschwarzwald-Radweg (Southern Black Forest Cycle Route). Does what it says on the tin! We decided we could follow it from our campsite to the village of Kirschzarten, a bit northeast of here. That would give us a good start for getting into the middle of the forest.

We left the campsite and got to the river ok, but after a couple of kilometres we lost the trail. We knew which towns the trail went through, so we just muddled our way through them for the morning hoping to pick it up, but no luck. When we got into Freiberg we were in need of lunch, and we still hadn’t could the trail. We were hunched over the map when a chap pulled up and said in German “do you need help”, then in a strange German / American accent “Where ya’ goin’?” We said we were looking for Kirschgarten. “Perfect, that’s a really great place. There’s an awesome bike shop there. You go this way then that way then…….why don’t I just take you to the path?”. Anna asked if he was going that way and he immediately said yes, which was a total lie because when we set off it was in the opposite direction to the one he’d been heading in before. We had to forgive him though because he showed us to a lovely bike path next to a river that would take us all the way into Kirschzarten. With a cheery wave our benefactor was off, cranking up the gears and disappearing into the distance (still in the opposite direction to the one he’d been going in before). What a nice man!

Tour guide

Tour guide

We stopped by the river for lunch and Anna took the opportunity to wash her feet, then we were off. The path was much better than the ones we’d been following all morning; it was quiet, off the road and just what we wanted.



When we got to the campsite we got a bit of a shock. €32 for a night! We thought we might have wandered back into Switzerland by mistake. The campsite did have a mini disco, bingo and a swimming pool, but since we’re not five, not bingo fans and not in possesion of swimming costumes we weren’t really interested in any of that stuff. It also came with two free passes on public transport within the Black Forest, which is pretty good, but since we have the bikes we weren’t too bothered about that either!

We headed into town; first stop, the cake shop for some black forest gateau (Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte), then all the other, less important food. After that we headed back to cook dinner. I ate my Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte straight away because I was scared for its fate in the hot sun. And because I’m a greedy swine.

BFG (Black Forest Gateaux)

BFG (Black Forest Gateaux / Big, Fat & Greedy)

We found that our €32 hadn’t bought us access to a table to cook on. We tried to annex one from the restaurant, but were soon repelled by two waiters. Anna went to complain to the receptionist (so bold!) and she promised she would sort it out. We went back to our tent and ten minutes later a man turned up and beckoned us to follow him. We went with him to the secret table and bench store where we were furnished with a fine bench and a lovely table. We carried our trophies proudly back to our tent where we sat and prepared dinner in civilised fashion, presumably to the envy of all our neighbours. Except they were all in caravans so probably brought tables with them.

After dinner it was internet time. Anna found out that I drained the Mac battery yesterday and didn’t charge it up. I then discovered that to get to Gutach, our desired destination tomorrow, we either have to go back to Freiberg, or take a massive diversion to the East. I don’t know how I didn’t realise that last night, but anyway it wasn’t welcome news after MacGate. After an argument we decided we would use our free train tickets to get the train to the top of the Gutach valley tomorrow, and then cycle down through it. Sounds like a plan!

– Dave

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