Cake & Cuckoos

As part of the relocation packet, we were able to procure a rental car for a week or so to help with Ikea trips and various other exciting activities. But seeing as this was our first chance with a car in Germany, we were highly motivated to finish up the errands during the week so as to attempt a weekend road trip or two. We were semi-successful. But you could certainly accuse us of playing before the work was finished (sorry, Dad). What choice did we have, though with an A4 wagon and a sunny autumn weekend? Thus, off we went.

Saturday morning we popped out of bed semi-early and pointed the questionable GPS toward Triberg, home of the Black Forest cake (Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte) and the cuckoo clock. Most of the guidebooks point you towards Freiburg or Baden-Baden to experience the Black Forest, but having never tried the cake or seen a real cuckoo clock, we decided to give this little town a shot.

Unsurprisingly, Chad was itching to get on the Autobahn, while I wanted to see a bit more of the countryside, so we compromised. I drove the slower back-road route to Triberg, and he’d get to do the Autobahn on the way home. While the weather was a bit dismally gray on the way, we did get to see some of the farmland of southern Germany…

Luckily, traffic was light and the tractors were few and by early afternoon we’d arrived. The town was…small. While the forest was gorgeous, with the trees just starting to turn, the town itself was a bit underwhelming. From what we were able to see (and were willing to walk to) Triberg is mainly comprised of one long winding strip, solidly lined with cuckoo clock shops and bakeries. Mainly, it seemed pretty primed for tour buses to swing by and drop their Euros on kitschy clocks and sweet wines. However, the people were plenty nice and the backdrop gorgeous, so it wasn’t like it was too terrible a time.

However. I did not get to see one stereotypical cuckoo clock. I saw plastic clocks and hand carved clocks and clocks that cost upwards of two thousand Euros. But none of the cliche clocks deigned to “cuckoo” while we were in the shops. We even missed the spectacle at the “World’s Largest Cuckoo,” as we were standing inside the clock at the top of the hour, rather than the outside. Sigh.

And to add to the list of disappointments (I know the pity you’re feeling for us is immense), it turns out I don’t even like Black Forest Cake. The cherry flavor is just a bit too…intense. Like drinking maraschino syrup, perhaps. However the solidly chocolate cake that Chad had ordered (and I conned him out of) more than made up for it, so you can be sure I wasn’t lacking for calories by the time we departed.

Post cake, it was time to check out the autobahn. Chad was mildly excited. No speed limits (for the most part), left lane is for passing, and if you see a car coming up behind you, get the hell over. It was definitely a fun (and fast) ride back and he was more than happy to make it to 200 km/hr along the way. And once he’d finally slowed down a bit, we definitely enjoyed watching the Smart Cars and minivans blow by. Seems as though high speeds are definitely not limited to the fast cars here.

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