29 May 2006

Act I, Scene VI

The next day we headed for The Black Forest, or, as the Germans know it, Schwarzwald. On the way, we stopped into Rottweil, supposedly the oldest city in Baden-Württemberg. Since it was kind of raining, we decided to stop into the city museum. For a mere Euro per person, we were given a wonderful tour by the curator, where we learned about such things as the still-standing mutual protection treaty between Rottweil and 13 Swiss towns, and the history and meaning of the various Fasnet (the local version of Fasching - something I have mentioned several times already) costumes and traditions. Plus there was a 15th century (or so) 2-meter diameter round map of the area that the wandering judges could roll with them to find their way to the local towns they needed to visit. The tour guide was so excited about everything... It was a great way to see the museum.

Afterwards, we did our tower of the day and climbed the Hochturm (that means "high tower"), and had a decent view of the edge of the Black Forest. I am sure if the weather was nicer, it would have been even better. Along with the key to the tower, the Tourist Office provided the history of this cool tower. We learned that a family lived there during the middle ages, the man's job was threefold:
1) Watch for approaching enemies
2) Watch for fires in the town
3) Take care of any prisoners locked in the tower.
It was a rather unique Tower in that the various living rooms and the jail cell were still intact. It probably was comfy for the standards of centuries past, too. Except for the jail cell. I don't think it was ever comfy. Well, maybe by caveman standards. (note: this may be foreshadowing)

Later we popped into a church that had some wonderful bumpy stained glass windows and twisty blue columns.

Finally, we popped in to a different museum, on the suggestion from the woman at the 1st museum. She told us that we could sneak a peek of the famous Roman Orpheus mosaic without paying admission to the museum. Not only did we do that, but we used their bathrooms as well! Ha ha!
The mosaic reminds me of that one Nick Cave song...

After leaving Rottweil, we asked Betty to take us into the Black Forest, and drove along twisty foresty roads for a while until we reached Freudenstadt, where our hotel for the night was located. Freudenstadt has the largest market square in Germany, and we spent a couple hours hiking around it and checking out the stores along its perimeter.

The next day, we continued our drive into the Black Forest, along the Schwarzwald Tälerstraße, or, for the German impaired, Black Forest Valley Road, which consisted of more beautiful scenery along small roads. Eventually we made our way back to Heilbronn to relax and recharge after a long week of exploring southern Germany.

Because next we are going to see the Romanic Rhein, and after we drop dad & steply ugmother off at the airport, Jeannette and I head to southern France.



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