We are currently in the middle of our month long holiday, but thought I would share our experiences in the Black Forest. We are staying in a quiet little town on the Kinzig River called Biberach - just up river from Offenburg and Gengenbach. We were very tired of driving, so took a chance at finding a room here. We have stayed the last 4 nights at a lovely place called Gasthaus Zum Kruez. The place has all you need - a great restaurant, all our evening meals have been here, WIFI, breakfast included, nice rooms, and very welcoming owners. Website is in german, but it's easy to translate (www.kreuz-biberach.de). The husband is from England, so communication is not an issue. This area is very close to a number of interesting places, so we've driven to a different location every day.
Day 1 - Drove to the Schwarzwalder Freilichtmuseum where we spent several hours. This is the early 17th century open air museum where many farmhouses have been relocated to demonstrate various ways of life - farming, baking, grinding flour, etc. Well worth the visit. If you're lucky you may catch some of the demonstrations - we were fortunate to see the water wheel demo and grinding wheat, and an entertaining demo on crushing apples to make apfelsaft (apple juice) - a couple of young boys were helping with the press. You could purchase a glass (1E) and enjoy the amazing taste of fresh pressed juice. Lovely !!
Day 2 - Decided to visit the interesting town of Haslach. It was market day, so there were many stalls in the old center selling a variety of produce, bread, meat and sausage, etc. The town is quite lovely and easy to stroll through. There are also larger grocery stores here, so we purchased a few items that we wanted. We then decided to see some country-side, so took a road up the Wolfach Valley, then cut west over one of the hills to hook up with a road that took us back down to the Kinzig Valley. Great way to see Black Forest life and scenery. The Wolfach Valley is very pleasant - lots of small places to stay. One of the main BF hiking trails is to the west here - West Weg. It's one of the main long distance trails that bisect the Black Forest.
Day 3 - Today we decided to visit a couple of the small towns nearby. We spent a couple of hours exploring Schiltach. This is a very old town at the confluence of the Kinzig and Schiltach rivers. Very pretty with an amazing old center. We enjoyed two museums here. One is called the Schuttesagemuseum - examines the importance of timber rafting to the region - since the Middle Ages. Very interesting - and free, museum. Information is available in English. The other museum we spent some time in was the Museum Am Markt - talks about the history of the town and this area of Germany - also free. English interpretation is available. Both of these places were very interesting and well worth some time. We then decided to go to Wolfach. This is another of the nice towns along the Kinzig. Very lovely city center at the confluence of the Kinzing and Wolfach rivers. We enjoyed torte and coffee in the lovely sunshine - wonderful afternoon! We ended our afternoon by driving a different way back to our hotel. This time we went a bit south of Gutach and cut up and over the hill towards Elzach. This is a very windy and narrow road, but it was wonderful to see the forest woodlands, farm steads, more hiking trail locations and many more small lovely villages.
We've really enjoyed our stay in the BF. There is lots more to see, but there are only so many days! Many thanks to those RS folks who have provided advice in our planning. We are next to the Bodensee area for a couple of days, then along the Deutche Alp Strasse towards Salzburg.