Time to catch up on my blog.
We wanted to take a cruise on the Rhein at some stage, but unfortunately we left it a little late and the cruise season had already ended. However, we took a very beautiful train journey from Koblenz to Mainz. The train travels alongside the river as it winds through deep valleys and underneath precariously positioned castles. I wasn't able to get many photos but here's one at least.
Mid afternoon we arrived in Freiburg, which is right on the western edge of the Black Forest (Schwarzwald) near France and Switzerland.
Trams and pedestrians share the same space. Very little motor traffic.
We thought we'd stay in a hostel to save a few euros. That strategy seemed to work OK but it was pretty noisy.
The next day we set off for a hike into the Black Forest. It was raining a little and very foggy, but still a beautiful way to spend the day. We didn't see a single other human being for almost five hours.
P kept thinking she could see bears. If they were there, I never saw any...
It got pretty foggy above 500 metres.
Here's where an alien crop-circle machine went nuts...
In Germany, local authorities seem willing to spend a little more on their signposts. This means they can afford cylindrical steel poles instead of square wooden posts as in New Zealand. This means they can aim their signs with scientific precision. This was a very welcome feature as some intersections had more than five different paths!
We emerged in a town called, ummm, I forget. It had a lot of vineyards.
The next day we decided to try something different and caught the bus out to Europa Park, about 30km north of Freiburg. This theme park is the second largest in Europe and it definitely feels like it. It's enormous. Each zone is themed like a part of Europe, so that one minute you are walking amongst Swiss chalets, and the next you are amongst the narrow streets of Greece. It is wonderfully themed and wasn't as cheesy as I had expected. They take very good care of this park.
Oh yeah, and they seemed to be geared up for some sort of pagan festival...
So many pumpkins...
The rides at Europa Park are excellent. Well, the numerous rollercoasters are. Their main one is the Silver Star, which is very high and very fast. This one is "EuroMir" which is quite intense and the seats spin around... all good fun though. The less intense rides are better suited for young children and are a bit boring, but all are high quality and well maintained.
After spending the day on high adrenaline rides, the next day we were completely shattered.
If you're ever in the area and want to do something different for a day, I think Europa Park is worth a look. We were going to give it a miss actually but at the last moment decided to go anyway. We are glad we did - it was a lot of fun.