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Triberg and Schönwald
|by Satis Shroff|
Triberg, with its hamlets Nussbach and Grammelsbach, is a lovely spa-town and has the highest waterfalls in Germany, surrounded by wild and untamed nature.
The town of Triberg is associated with four other townships: Schonach, Schönwald, Furtwangen and St. Georgen, and this area in the Southern Black Forest has a healthy invigorating climate, unspoiled nature and was also the place where Ernest Hemingway did a bit of angling. Schonach also was a spa and is known for its wellness facilities, and lovers of winter sports will like it here. Schönwald, which means ‘beautiful forest,’ is located on a sunny, high-altitude plateau and has beautiful picture-book Black Forest landscape with languidly grazing brown cows, lush green meadows, alpine character with dark pine trees, which is the trademark of the Schwarzwald.
As you drive along the picturesque Schwarzwald strasse towards Triberg, you go past Furtwangen with its villages Linach, Rohnbach and Schönenbach and the health resort Neukirch, a small bustling town in the headwater region of the blue Danube River, which is surrounded by a natural landscape of breathtaking beauty. Another town is St. Georgen where you can witness tradition and progress existing side by side.
There’s an old German saying: ‘Brigach and Breg get Danube on its way.’ The main headwater rivers of the River Danube, the Brigach (St.Georgen) and the Breg (Furtwangen) have their source in Ferienland alias Holiday Land. From the source of the Breg in the Martin’s Chapel region, near Furtwangen, the blue Danube flows exactly 2,888 km to the mouth of the Danube in the Black Sea.
As you drive along you’re greeted by the roaring and thundering Gutach River 163 metres down the mountain. The seven waterfalls of Triberg can be reached on foot, and you can walk along the paths. Squirrels come by and birds fly from the branches and aren’t afraid of humans. You discern the spider webs between the vegetation, an ancient ritual place and a field of boulders with moss clinging to them. The waterfalls are floodlit at dusk giving the landscape a romantic touch.
The highest point in Ferienland is the Rohrhardsberg-Brend area. From here you can peer to Feldberg, the highest mountain of the Black Forest (1,493 metres), and even see the Swiss Alps. The Rohrhardsberg is a 1,300 hectare nature protection area for flora and fauna, and a well-known hiking and skiing region. The official spa-towns of Triberg and Schönwald offer in-patient and out-patient treatment and rehabilitation for chronic disorders of the respiratory system, cardiovascular disorders, metabolic and oncological diseases.
In Triberg there’s a Black Forest Museum dating back to 1873 and shows the cultural and economic life of the Black Forest people in the past and present. On exhibit are: historical collections, local costumes, wood carvings, straw plaitings, the history of the Black Forest railway and one of Europe’s biggest collection of barrel organs. On Carnival Thursday, Triberg is possessed by devils and demons that move through the brightly lit streets of the town in an eerie torch-light procession which begins at 7pm.
From Triberg you can drive to Villingen-Schwenningen, an ancient town founded by the Dukes of Zäringen, which is only 20 km away. Strasbourg (France) and the Alsace region are 90km and the old university town of Freiburg is 60km to the south. Freiburg has 850 years of history and a youthful charm. Titisee, one of the most beautiful glacial lakes of the Schwarzwald, is only 60km away.
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