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 Munster's (Cathedral) ancient stained glass windows

Freiburg Münster’s (Cathedral) ancient stained glass windows

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.

Interior of the Münster

Interior of the Münster

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.

The main town market with a row of sausage stands

The main town market with a row of sausage stands lined up against the cathedral base.

A peek at some really tasty sausages

A peek at some really tasty sausages, including the Freiberger Lange Rote, the long red one.

Huge radishes, kohlrabis, leaks and cabbages

Huge radishes, kohlrabis, leaks and cauliflower

This is the peak of the white asparagus season.

This is the peak of the white asparagus season.

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.

New buildings, but with old traditional water channel

New buildings, but with old traditional water channel

Kids buy small boats and pull them along in the channels.

Kids buy small boats and pull them along in the channels.

Ols style street signs with Gothic font

Old style street signs with Gothic font

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.

Modern streetcar

Modern lightrail

Bikes parked at Martin Tor, old city gate.

Bikes parked at Martin Tor, old city gate.

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.

Martin brewery and restaurant

Martin brewery and restaurant

Indoor view of the kettles

Indoor view of the kettles

We enjoyed local fare, a Spätzle dish with mushrooms, outdoors at Martin Bräu.

We enjoyed local fare, a Spätzle dish with mushrooms, outdoors at Martin Bräu.

Scruffy street musicians came by and entertained us for a while.

Scruffy street musicians came by and entertained us for a while.

Apple reseller store personnel helped us with a technical problem.

Apple reseller store personnel helped us with a technical problem.

You can say that again. We fight wifi issues almost daily and are so happy when all is going well.

You can say that again. We fight wifi issues almost daily and are so happy when all is going well.

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.

A very hopping beer garden.

A very hopping beer garden.

Let’s walk around now for a bit and take a look at some of the details we ran across.

The Dreisam River flows right by the old town, clear and cold.

The Dreisam River flows right by the old town, clear and cold.

The upscale wine merchant, $20 and up.

The upscale wine merchant, $20 and up.

Window grill

Window grill

Smoking is definitely on the decline, about the same as the US average.

Smoking is definitely on the decline, about the same as the US average.

Sidewalk decoration

Sidewalk decoration

These appear all along on the sidewalks.

These appear all along on the sidewalks.

The ancient Convicts Street

The ancient Convicts Street

Superb ironwork

Superb ironwork

Marvelous doorway

Marvelous doorway

Detail of door's metal work

Detail of door’s metal work

Outdoor bronze sculpture

Outdoor bronze sculpture

Very talented brass ensemble

Very talented brass ensemble from eastern Europe

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.

Organic grocery store

Organic grocery store

Inside we found a wine with an eye-catching label.

Inside we found a wine with an eye-catching label.

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.

Regine and Eva

Regine and Eva

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!

Traditional asparagus dinner with white asparagus, ham and boiled potatoes

Traditional asparagus dinner with white asparagus, ham and boiled potatoes

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Heavenly dessert followed.

White asparagus with Hollandaise sauce, Black Forest ham, boiled potatoes, and Spaetzle.

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.

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