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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Touring the Black Forest

                                                  (View from our bedroom window over the mountains)

Our last two weeks of our trip had approached. Although we stay for 6-8 weeks at a time on our trips, my hubby hardly gets any vacation time: 2 weeks. In contrast to European employers- and in particular German ones- corporate America doesn’t allow for 4 weeks paid holidays. The good news is that it doesn’t matter to my better half or his company where he sits with his laptop and phone connection. He just has to adjust to American work times…that is not always easy but often results in even longer work hours. One week of his precious vacation time was basically spent traveling from north to south seeing relatives. Now he was ready to use up his second week for real relaxation!

We enjoyed the surrounding by making trips into the Black Forest. Many names come to mind, Freiburg, Tűbingen, both old University towns with a lot of character and medieval town centers that we both enjoy visiting.

We had picked one town in particular, Bad Herrenalb, because I have a dear friend there whom I once met on a flight to Atlanta. It’s yet another spa town, not of such upscale renown as Baden-Baden; definitely more for seniors, quiet and picturesque. All these towns have exquisite restaurants and a big number of beer gardens if you like that kind of thing.

Since the temperature were well above 30 degrees Celsius, the altitude of Bad Herrenalb made it very pleasant. Hiking up hills in shady green unspoilt forests and even drives thru winding country lanes up and down the hills, taking in a castle or two is what we loved most. 
I was delighted because my friend had kept me a big portion of white asparagus in the freezer. The season was officially over since 21 June. It must not be cut after that date anymore. But she had bought and peeled it for me as a surprise. That’s what friends are for! (I already mentioned the difference to green asparagus in Season 1 and my penchant for the white one). That with Parma ham and maybe a sauce Hollandaise and fresh potatoes and I’m in heaven!

That weekend we were in Bad Herrenalb, they had their traditional summer fest/ town fest. In the southern regions, summer fests and later on in the summer wine fests abound. Any excuse celebrating and drinking their local wines. Wine fests even crown their own Queen of Wine for the Year! Normally a rather quiet town, festivities lasted till well after midnight.

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