My first impressions of Freiburg were fantastic. It has many restaurants, mountains nearby, beautiful Christmas markets, and there are more bicycles than cars. It is a very compact city, and within the first day I had seen many of the attractions. I went for a wander through the city in search of the Freiburg Münster (Cathedral) and stumbled upon the most beautiful morning markets. They had everything from fresh flowers, fish, fruit and vegetables and even a vegan German sausage stand. It was perfection, and very busy considering it is on every day of the week. The cathedral itself is beautiful, however very scary looking, kind of like the church in “Dracula” (which I have since found out is based on a church near Frankfurt). I went in to the church, and couldn’t open the door to get out! I was stuck! I tried the door a few times but the lock just didn’t make sense. Luckily I tried another door and a man was coming in so I snuck out when he opened the door. I can understand the fear that roman Catholics felt going in to a church like that every Sunday!
The rest of the city is just like out of a fairy-tale, it is beautiful. Colourful buildings and water are a key feature in the town with water running through the city, in the bächle (water rills) which are special to Freiburg. Once I explored the city I needed to climb a hill, I just had that feeling. So I headed up the nearby mountain, Schlossberg, which is an extension of the Black Mountains. The view was amazing and I was alone bar the few locals going for a run.
Day Trip to the Black Forest
The Black Forest is very easy to get to, which is good because I am still gaining the assertive confidence to find where things are, that abounds many solo travellers. The tram 2 to Güntersal from near the gate to the old town heads to Dorfstrasse station, where I caught bus 21 to the base of Schauinsland. The cable car was out of order, which meant a 6km hike up the mountain. I love hiking so this didn’t bother me, except I missed a turn and ended up walking 8km instead. I felt so excited when I found that there was snow, and slowly got more and more excited as the amount of snow increased. Finally, I was at the top and there was snow everywhere, the first snow I have ever seen.
The descent was not so fun, with me worrying about running out of light. I also learned how slippery snow is and practically slipped down some areas, with the soles of my running shoes getting thinner and thinner. I didn’t expect so much snow, so wearing running shoes seemed normal for me to go trekking in: terrible idea! I am constantly surprised by the lack of wildlife in Europe, and asked someone when I got back to the city if they get any dangerous animals. The answer was “no, foxes are the most dangerous thing here”. Foxes? They are like teddy bears in Australia. Nevertheless, I was happy to be able to forget about snakes and spiders while enjoying the walk.
Prices (all in Euro and current at time of posting)
Accommodation at the Black Forest Hostel – 27/night in 3 bed room; Dinner at markets – 3.50; Breaky at markets – 3.50; Dinner at nice german restaurant, with a beer – 15; Tram/bus to and from Schaunsland – 2.20 each way; break from organic store (quiche and slice of pizza) – 3; Best kebab ever (from Euphrat – 5.10; Hot chocolate – 3; Bus from Freiburg to Munich – 19