Our only drive so far (trains, buses, trams, cograils the rest of the time) was through Der Schwarzwald--the Black Forest. So called because the wooded mountains in this part of Germany are not only lovely and deep, but dark--dense with towering pines. This is the land of cuckoo clocks--the world's largest is here--wooden trinkets of all kinds, women's folk costume hats covered with red, woolen pompoms (Bollenhut, or 'ball hat,' white brim and red balls said to have inspired the Kirsch-filled and cherry-topped Black Forest Cake), Grimm's Fairy Tales, and more. Renting a car from Schaffhausen was exhorbitant, so one gray day we hopped the train to Freiburg, then a tram, and got a slightly less costly one from Sixt, a reputable firm like National we used in 2019 out of Munich, at a location on the outskirts of the town. We were surprised that getting out of Freiburg to the highway was a lot like getting through Lincoln Park to the Kennedy on a Saturday--jammed.

By the time we made it into the heart of the Black Forest, it was drizzling. That, intermittently successful GPS routes, and trying to find WCs were interspersed with dramatic mountain scenery. At least the weather kept other folks off the road. One goal was to find a forest waterfall Jan remembered from a trip with his boys years ago. Knew it when he saw the sign: Triburg Wasserfalls! Parked the car and started clambering down a steep, not always paved and slippery with rain path, others on their way up saying it was maybe only 5 or 15 minutes more, maybe half a mile. Heard the rushing stream, caught glimpses of it, not as big as Rhine Falls, but loud and exciting. Made it all the way down and a kiosk said we had to pay 9 euros each. But we had left our money in the car. So, not only did we miss by a few feet and a few coins access to a bridge that revealed the sight in all its glory, but we still had to hike all the way back up! Several GPS blips later we ended up near a park entrance that looked inviting in the mist. Turns out it was the ground level entrance to the falls! It was the Munot fortress all over again.

We always tried to seek direct routes with the car's GPS. For the most part, they were easy, scenic roadways. However, our last 'direct' route back to Freiburg led us through an incredibly mountainous, hairpin turns part of the Black Forest--the best part of our day, and no one but us crazy enough to drive through it in the pouring rain!

Back in Freiburg, we took a tram to the old center to see the cathedral and get some dinner. Some of you may not know that, like many old European churches, this ancient, Gothic structure is studded with gargoyles. They were used as drainspouts and supposedly kept out evil spirits. Freiburg's cathedral is known for one such sculpture, perhaps the only one in Christendom, that is the representation of a naked man with his rear end sticking out. The story goes that the mason or sculptor responsible for all or most of the church's outside decorations either did not get paid for his work from the church fathers or was not paid in a timely fashion. So, he made this fellow to show his anger, and the cathedral has kept it all these centuries. Oh, and it was still raining, so it was easy to see where the water drained from his backside!

There are several restaurants on the square surrounding the cathedral. Our meal of sauerbraten and schnitzel was just average, but dessert more than made up for it--a wonderfully large and delish piece of, yes, Black Forest Cake.

It was an easy walk back to the Freiburg Bahnhof (train station), but the train schedules were off. The later one we thought we would take back to Schaffhausen was cancelled, so we took an earler train. However, there was sturm und drang among the conductors, the trains were all messed up, and our train was more like a milk run, making all sorts of stops, and getting us into Schaffhausen after 10 pm. Lots of adventures, but an exhausting day!