(Recommended by Larry
(Comments from Trip Report) ...Finally,
around 1:00, I reach my new destination for the next three days. I have landed an accommodation at a large farm
located smack in the middle of Gutach, just a short distance from the Gasthof Zur Linde for those of you familiar
with the area. This is the ďRommelehofĒ, a very typical Black Forest style farm with the big main house, steep
roof, and of course, smoke curling from the chimneys as I pull into the front yard. Looks like home to me.
I had secured an e-mail reservation with the Family Müllerleile
some months back, and they are expecting me. Uh oh, it seems no one speaks English so I had best step lightly with
my Deutsch the next few days.
Normally, on a farm you expect to have a room somewhere in the main house, usually upstairs, with the balcony and
the whole routine. Their confirmation indicated I would be having a DZ for E20 per night. However, on arrival I
am informed that they are fully booked in the main house, as proved to be the case the whole time I was there,
but if I didnít mind staying in the annex next to the house I could have a Fewo for E30. I said letís take a look
and weíll see.
It only took a brief glance to convince me to go for it. I am given a large A-frame style apartment, newly decorated
with fresh smelling pine paneling, with all the trimmings, kitchen, lounge area, huge TV, shower/toilet. And breakfast
is still included in the price. Who could pass on a deal like this. As it turned out, the annex was nothing but
apartments and it was also full the entire time. I have to say that in all my travels that this was definitely
one of the best farm accommodations I have ever had for the price. And the location proved to be ideal. Score one
for the Rommelehof.
The weather in this area is somewhat better than that of the past few days. Although at least itís not raining,
there are low hanging clouds all across the valley. But to me thatís just an extra touch.
After unpacking and taking a Fürstenberg
break in front of the tube for awhile, I map out the plan for the rest of the day.
I cruise over to the outdoor Freilichtmuseum
only to be greeted by a completely full parking lot. This is definitely a popular place rain or shine.
My next stop is a no brainer. Itís time for another computer fix. The only problem is that the nearest place I
know with an internet café is Lahr, about 30 km away. BB and I stumbled into this place a couple of years
ago. Itís a typical young peopleís hangout with lots of video games and about a dozen terminals. But at E1 per
half hour itís a good place to kill some time. Besides, itís starting to rain again so I order up a brew and proceed
to dive into AOL. There are a couple of messages from some of the Stammtisch indicating they have returned home
safely. The weather at home is hot and dry, and suddenly Iím not as inclined to gripe about a little rain. It doesnít
take much to keep me humble. After a pleasant hour of surfing it is time to head back and scope out a place for
dinner. Although it is only 5:00 the dark skies make it seem much later. Also, since it is Sunday Iím not too sure
what the opportunities are for finding open Gasthäuser.
Back in Gutach I check out a couple of possibilities, and finally settle on an old reliable, the Gasthof ďZum EngelĒ.
I stayed here several years ago and remember it as being an inexpensive place that is popular with the locals.
There is only a light crowd when I arrive, and I select a nice quite corner table with a view over the nearby valley.
The Schwarzwaldbahn line is directly behind the house and the occasional shrill whistle of passing trains can be
heard. I end up ordering a nice sized Putenschnitzel with Pommes, accompanied by a self made salad from the nearby
buffet. Normally I can pass on German salads, but this one isnít too bad. The final tab is only E12.
By the time Iím leaving it is around 7:00 and completely dark. There is a light drizzle which convinces me that
the best place for the rest of the evening is back at the farm. A nice hot shower and some German TV sounds like
a good mix to me. I open up the big picture windows and let the cool night air blow in. The pitter patter of rain
is intoxicating (as is the jug of red wine I am about to put away), and I manage to surf the TV channels until
I come across an action packed cop show complete with car chases, shoot Ďem ups, and some rather interesting shower
commercials. What a great way to sell soap.
October 3 - Monday - Day 17
After a very restful night I am up early as usual, to put the finishing touches on the plans for today. However,
the early morning weather on TV doesnít look good. It is already drizzling and the low clouds are scattered all
over the valley.
My first plans were to hit the local bank in Gutach to pick
up some Euro. However, the fates were about to pop the air out of my balloon. Not only is the bank closed, but
so are all the shops, the Spar Markt, and anything else resembling a business. HmmmmmÖ. this bears looking into.
I finally get the bad news at a nearby service station. Today is Reunification Day, and of course a national holiday.
Tainít nuthin open, SurpriseÖ surprise. Oh well, as long as I am here itís time for another gas stop anyway. This
one comes to 41 liters at E1.14, and almost 900 km since the last fill up. Iím sure going to miss this car when
the trip is over.
At 8:00 I stroll over to the main house
for an excellent breakfast of crusty rolls, delicious Black Forest ham and bacon, cheese and wurst. A big pot of
coffee tops it off and Iím a happy camper. Feeling fortified, I am off to play tourist for the day.
Falling back to Plan B, I resign myself to the fact that there wonít be much to write about today. The weather
is lousy and about all I am going to accomplish is to hit a few of my favorite spots around the local area.
Starting with the House of 1000 Clocks near Triberg I make what has to be about my fiftieth visit over the past
few years. I love this place, and even though I am well beyond collecting any of the souvenir junk that abounds
here, I always enjoy some quiet browsing time. Plus, I get to watch the prices change every year for the huge wall
clock that I bought here about 20 years ago.
Next stop is a drive-by of downtown Triberg. The rain is steadily falling and I have no intentions of walking the
streets. Despite the holiday, most of the souvenir shops along the upper part of the main drag are open and thriving.
It just goes to prove you canít keep a good tourist and their credit cards down because of a little rain. I briefly
toyed with the idea of heading over to Urach for a surprise visit to the Zum Sternen, but finally nixed the thought.
With it being a holiday the chances are probably slim I might catch anyone home. Besides, I seem to recall that
Monday was their Ruhetag so I donít feel too bad about not going.
Instead I make my way back along the B33 where I opt for a noontime snack stop at the Freilichtmuseum.
Looks like I will have to take a pass on visiting the place
A couple of Bratwurst, and a cold Fürstenberg,
perched on the dashboard of the car make for a peaceful picnic while watching the incoming tour buses unload their
flocks in the rain.
This would be a great day to hole up in some internet café but Iím not going to drive all the way back to
Lahr for the privilege. Instead I cruise over to Wolfach, a nice little town to visit, and tour some of the nearby
backroads to recon possible new farms. The main street is practically deserted and I only see one restaurant open
for business. I guess these folks take their holiday seriously.
By late afternoon I have had about enough of the weather, I decide to forego playing tourist and call it a day.
Fortunately, I spot a nearby gas station that is open and am able to pick up some munchies, some Bier, and ďvoilaĒ
a bottle of red wine.
With a warm room and some TV awaiting me I yield to the temptation and elect to call it a day. With luck maybe
I can catch another of those soap commercials. :O)