Thursday, January 15, 2015

Things to Do in the Black Forest

The Black Forest the land of cake and cuckoo clocks. It's touristy and full of traditional German culture. Visiting Gutach and Triberg keeps many travelers busy for a full day or two.

Based on my experience living in Germany, 2:30 or so, is the favorite time for cake. The Black Forest is no exception. The only difference is that Black Forest Cake is the specialty.

Vogstbauernhof is the name of an outdoor living history museum in the Black Forest. There are many old houses and structures visitors can tour. Museum personnel dress in costume and perform traditional duties.

Straw weaving developed in the area as a way for the farmers and foresters to earn income during the winter months.

Clock making also developed in the region. The image on the left shows a popular style of clocks before the 1750's. During the mid 18th century, demand for Black Forest clocks slowed significantly until locals began constructing cuckoo clocks.

Many feature beer drinkers and women hitting men over the head with rolling pins. Others have kissing couples, wood cutters, dancers, kids playing and fishermen.

This life-sized clock is only one of many adorning the front of a building where clocks are sold.

Any guesses as to the significance of this woman's hat?

The one on the right was a wedding crown. The black pom-pom hat of the woman on the left signified she was married. Unmarried women wore similar hats featuring red pom-poms. Today, German brides look just like American brides.

Dirndls and lederhosen are still occasionally worn in Germany. In addition to some tourist shop-keepers and restaurant workers who wear them daily, almost everyone wears them when attending Oktoberfest festivities.

Waterfalls are not a common sight in Germany, but Triberg, the clock-selling city in the Black Forest, has a big one. It's a short but steep walk from the clock stores.

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