(Recommended by Marge)

Oberer Schwaerzenbachhof
Family Sester
Schwärzenbach 4
Phone - 7803/1203 ~ Fax - 7803/922609
Email -
Three apartments to include balcony or terrace and separate entrance
Washing machine available

...We drove back to Gengenbach, got a few groceries (at a huge supermarket), and directions from the very friendly checkout woman, then went to find the Sesters and our Black Forest apartment. The Sesters live in a traditional, 170-year-old Black Forest farmhouse (the Oberer Schwärzenbachhof) at the end of a tiny road that winds through a neighborhood and past other farmhouses. In a building separate from the farmhouse, with two bedrooms and a living room with murphy beds, we had plenty of room to spread out (all for 45 Euro per night for the three of us). The balcony overlooked the little valley, and from the kitchen window we could see the vegetable garden. They kept cows, geese, goats, chickens, and probably other creatures we couldn’t see. There was even a running brook right next to the road. We loved the place. We left to have dinner while Mrs. Sester and her daughter fixed the bedding and brought towels.

We wandered into a restaurant with a big bar in the middle, and a sky light that covered the courtyard of what looked like balconies for hotel rooms. Very nice place. Rob had their Flamenkuchen (pizza), and Elize and I had pork medallions and Spargel with potatoes. We had some of the local wine to go with it. The waiter was really friendly, and we had a laugh when his much younger brother came over with a pad thinking we spoke German to take our after dinner order for coffee. The poor kid’s mouth shaped an O and his face turned red when he realized we spoke English and not much German. We still managed to communicate, and his brother brought us some great coffee.

We went back to our apartment afterwards, and enjoyed looking at the stars and the moon and the lovely countryside. We stayed up talking for hours.

We got up to another sunny, lovely day, and headed out to see the Open Air museum (the Vogtsbauernhof) near Hausach. After a couple of hours, and a little lunch there, we drove back to Gengenbach and decided to see some of the town. We wandered into a beautiful Romanesque Catholic church,St. Mary's looked at the old towers and enjoyed the old, narrow cobbled streets, then sat in the town square near the Rathaus. Elize and I went to the funky fool’s museum in the Niggel Tower while Rob rested on a bench. The fool is the mascot of the town’s yearly carnival, and the museum has a collection of costumes, masks and photos as well as other items displayed on several floors reachable by a spiral staircase that rises through the middle of each room. Afterward, we picked a restaurant with tables set up on an outdoor patio and had a leisurely dinner –– we’d picked it because Rob had wanted to try the Black Forest cake, which they had on the menu but then didn’t have when we tried to order it. Oh, well. He ended up with a huge slice of apple cake. Elize and I ordered the day’s specialty, a salad and soup.

We headed back to the apartment, very sad to think about our last night in Germany. I wanted to pay the Sesters that night, so as not to disturb them too early in the morning. Mrs. Sester offered us a tour of their home, which we happily accepted. We visited the cows in the barn, saw the old, large porcelain stove in the grandmother’s portion of the house, saw their huge modern kitchen, their still for making liqueurs from local cherries and berries (I got a bottle of that, yum). Really interesting since we’d seen the Open Air museum that same day, with houses just like theirs. Then we sat down on their outdoor patio and shared a bottle of red wine and talked with them and their friend (a pharmacist and hunter) named George, and played with his dog Bella. The saddest moment was saying good night. Great people in a great place...

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