I have been searching for a black forest focal point to tour the area for 2 days. I find that Friesenheim offers a good point in terms of location for Freiburg im Breisgau, Triberg, Donnauschingen and gengenbach. Has anyone stayed in Friesenheim??? any info at all??? Currently have reservations at the Hotel Ochsen. Also, It appears that there are two train stations there. I would appreciate any info out there. Thanks
I am not familiar with Friesenheim but I stayed in Gengenbach and loved it. It was very beautiful and very well-located. In fact, when I compared Gengenbach with Friesenheim in terms of convenience to the places you list, Gengenbach is more convenient by train. The only destination that would be a bit longer would be to Frieberg.
Friesenheim is foreign to me as well. It's located a good distance from anything like a forest near the main Rhine Valley Railway not too far south of Offenburg. There appears to be only one rail station, a commuter station located in what looks like an industrial zone that is walkable from your hotel (roughly 3 football fields away.) Friesenheim is served only by the milk-run RB train for trips to Freiburg (about 45 minutes away.) Donaueschingen will be about 1.5 hours from this point. Rail service is basically hourly, with trains leaving at :13 after the hour for Freiburg and :43 after the hour for Offenburg (where you would change for Gengenbach, Trier and Donaueschingen, all on the Black Forest Railway. Note also that the excellent Vogtsbauernhof open-air museum in Gutach lies on the BF Railway as well (near Hausach) and might be a good destination for you as well.
So what you propose looks doable to me.
That said, with 3-4 destinations on the Black Forest Railway and only one (Freiburg) on the main Rhine Valley Railway, you will probably spend more time on the train from Friesenheim than you would from a base like Gengenbach, Haslach, or smaller towns with rail stations near there (like Gutach Freilichtmusem, or Steinach, or Haslach.) I also think it's likely that you'll find a more "Black Foresty" natural environment and atmosphere on a Black Forest Railway town than in the lower-elevation towns of the Rhine Valley Railway. The BF Railway towns also have some cool local inns like the Rotbauernhof and others where you'll probably feel more like you're in the Black Forest.
Also, unlike many other towns, Friesenheim does not offer the KONUS card to its guests. In many other towns you'll get free transportation to all your destinations thanks to this program:
That's a new one on me too.
Inconvenient for the trains into the Black Forest because it is on the Karlsruhe - Basel line rather than the Black Forest line, so changes have to made in Offenburg. That's a shame.
I only see one station there (maybe you saw a bus stop?) called Friesenheim (Baden) to distinguish that it is the one in the state of Baden-Württemberg.
Russ makes a good point about the KONUS card. I received the card since I was staying in Gengenbach (which offers it to hotel guests) and used it extensively throughout the Black Forest. Free public transport can be very handy.
HI and thanks to all who responded. I too, was focused on the konus card, however the 9E train card for August would cover all local transport. Also, for our group of 3, the Gengenbach area hotels are unavailable. I too stayed in Gengenbach last time there and enjoyed it. Will keep your thoughts in mind and continue to plan.
Update.....due to your responses, I looked further and think I found a gem in Wolfach. thanks for the thoughts.
You know that the train line to Wolfach is closed right now, right? There is construction work on the line, and you will have to take SEV (train replacement) buses to Hausach to meet further trains (article in German about this). It says that this work is ongoing until the early autumn. This will make the travel times rather longer.
Have you looked at the Waeldebauernhof, the Hansenchristenhof or the Rotbauernhof, all in Gutach? All are in close proximity to the Black Forest Open-air Museum, the summer bobsled (Sommerrodelbahn) and the Gutach Freilichtmuseum rail station (which should be operational during your stay and will allow local train access to Haslach, Hausach, Hornberg, Gengenbach, and Offenburg for the trip to Freiburg. Beyond Hornberg you'd be using the SEV bus or other buses to reach Triberg and Donaueschingen.
While it is not superior to a more authentic BF stay, I will mention that the large luxury resort in Hinterzarten served my short-stay needs, including KONUS to Freiburg. I had a perverse desire to see Titisee, and then walked back to Hinterzarten, for example.