Freiburg, Germany – Gateway to the Black Forest
Posted on June 19, 2016
Freiburg, warmest city in Germany and next door to France and Switzerland, and located right at the base of the Black Forest mountains. What could be a finer location for a five week vacation than that? And, in fact, we have thoroughly enjoyed our stay here and nearby. Even Eva, who pines for the beauty and coasts of northern Germany where she spent her childhood, admits that Freiburg just might be the very best place to settle in for a long spell. I agree.
Freiburg’s roots go back in time to nearly 900 years ago, and the beginnings of the cathedral go back nearly as far. Toward the end of WWII Freiburg was almost entirely destroyed by Allied bombing, but the cathedral was spared and remained quite intact.
The Münster and adjacent market square are the center of town. On a sunny Saturday morning this is seemingly where you will find all the townspeople and all the tourists, too, so it’s a crowded place to be.
Since the town was devastated by war, what we see as we wander the streets of the old town are remnants of old structures and many buildings rebuilt in their former style. There are also modern buildings here and there that mostly fit into the visual landscape quite well.
Cars are mostly kept out of the old town, with parking garages on the periphery. Streets are dominated by pedestrians and tons of bicycles, along with streetcars and buses along the thoroughfare.
In keeping with our instinct to track down and enjoy places with our family names, we had lunch and cold ones at Martin Bräu, one of the city’s two microbreweries.
Freiburg isn’t as loaded with beer gardens as is Munich and many other German cities but they can be found. The shade of spreading trees is welcome on warm days.
Let’s walk around now for a bit and take a look at some of the details we ran across.
We came across a clean and spacious organic grocery store and decided to check it out. Organic, as well as recycling, is very popular here.
A year or so ago Eva discovered that one of her first cousins on her mother’s side lives in Freiburg, a lovely lady indeed. In the long-standing German tradition, one afternoon she invited us for Kaffee and Kuchen at her apartment.
Also a year or so ago we found out that we have other connections with Freiburg via friends in Santa Rosa. We have visited already several time over the past couple of years and consider them almost like family. This year we were invited to a traditional asparagus fest of a dinner. Was it ever a feast![/caption]
Now we must leave Freiburg and spend three weeks way up in the Black Forest at 2300 feet elevation in the small village of Sankt Peter. See you again soon.