One of the best ways to get a genuine feel for a country is to take a little road trip. With an idea of a final destination in mind, take the long route, stop often, chat with locals, and don’t worry about getting lost. Better yet, forget the final destination and make it your mission to get lost – just drive and figure it out as you go.
Mike and I went with this travel philosophy when we took our first trip to Scotland back in 2010 and that still remains one of our most memorable trips. We loved it so much that we went back and got married there 3 years later! Although we did have a set of planned stops for most of our time in Germany, we knew that we needed to get out and see the countryside (with a healthy dose of Autobahn mixed in of course). Our first extended road trip in Germany was a 5 hour drive from Bavaria to the Black Forest, starting on a sunny Saturday morning after our stop at the Zugspitze…
From the moment we set out I knew it was going to be a beautiful drive. The clear blue skies above made the bright green countryside below pop and it seemed like there was a photo opportunity around every corner.
About halfway into our trip we drove through the bustling city of Friedrichshafen alongside Lake Constance (Bodensee). Lake Constance is the third largest lake in Central Europe and is situated in Austria and Switzerland as well as Germany. I had no idea what a busy area this was – one of the many reasons why I love road trips, you never know what you’ll find.
As we continued on we were met with more blue skies dotted with fluffy white clouds that looked as though they had been photoshopped into the scene. I was feeling incredibly thankful that we had ended up with such a beautiful day.
By late afternoon we had made it to our final destination of Schönwald im Schwarzwald, a small village in the Black Forest where the first cuckoo clocks were made. Before settling in at our B&B we stopped in Triberg at the popular Triberg Waterfall to get our first taste of the Black Forest. We ended up parking above the waterfall and having to walk down quite a ways, only then realizing that there was an admission fee for the waterfall and Mike and I had both left our wallets in the car. Traveler fail. Although we didn’t see the “main attraction”, we were more than happy with our walk through the forest.
We were only in the Black Forest region for less than 24 hours (more on our delicious dinner that evening to come), but from what I saw we could’ve easily spent several days there. Not only is the Black Forest a beautiful area for nature lovers (find one of the many hiking trails in the area) and those looking to relax (spend some time in the spas of Baden-Baden), it’s THE place to go if you’re serious about food – the Black Forest region boasts highest concentration of Michelin stars in Germany. Bottom line: the Black Forest is a great spot where you’re sure to find a little something for everybody.