Now that we had unloaded and unpacked our four heavy suitcases (over 50 pounds a piece) plus hubby's computer bag and several hand luggage items, we were ready to explore our new abode, a 5 bedroom family home with a wonderful garden in a little town of 6,000 people, Ottersweier.
A town where everybody knows each other and seems to recognize that we are in so-and-so's house, greeting or waving at us. Our exchange partners have done many swaps before, so people are used to seeing strangers around. (They also had ca. 120 refugees put up here, strangely enough I only saw five of them during our stay.)
The town is based a mere 15 km from the world famous spa of Baden-Baden. I used to laugh at older folks who liked to vacation there and take the waters or visit thermal baths. Now we are enjoying the beautiful countryside, the peace and quiet and proximity of many interesting archaeological sites, Roman ruins and castles, ruined or of stately splendor.In fact, within a radius of less than an hour's drive along scenic, windy country roads - not motorways- we discovered several true gems which I'm going to report about later.
In German we differentiate between castle ruins or fortifications still intact which are called "Burg" and resplendent castles of kings often appointed with so much glamour that leaves you in awe about how the selected few lived in those days. Jut think of Sanssoucis in Potsdam, an example of a little Schloss, I introduced here before. Here is one of our latest finds, Burg Windeck.
Many of these added restaurants and hotels to cater to all the visitors. Burg Windeck has been mentioned in the Guide Michelin and is fighting for its first * (star) in this prestigious French restaurant and hotel guide.
You can drive up to most of theseenchanting places, definitely when they have a restaurant.