October 18, 2008
Germany: The Rhine River & Black Forest
Here you see we are crossing the Rhine River from France (on the right) to Germany (on the left). As when we passed from Switzerland into France, this border crossing again had no checks or controls whatsoever. We just drove across.
I hadn't previously known much about the Rhine River - I had had the impression it flowed through the middle of Germany, because David had biked along it when he lived in Bonn as a youth. In fact, it also forms part of the border between eastern France and western Germany, and continues to form (along with Lake Konstanz/Bodensee) the border between southern Germany and northern Switzerland. We crossed it as a country border twice in the same day. Actually, four times, because we did the crossing to Germany twice since we didn't really realize it the first time! We just stopped the car, turned around, went back to France, and then back into Germany with full realization this time. Then later in the day we crossed south from Germany into Switzerland, again over the Rhine.
In French: Le Rhin
In German: Der Rhein
In English: The Rhine
Talk about confusing spellings!
After crossing into Germany, we completed our brief study of tri-national road speed limits:
|KPH on Highway||120||130||sometimes no limit|
The cars on the highway kept zooming past us, even though we were going along at a good clip (130kph, or 80mph). Fascinating phenomenon.
Then we got into the Black Forest - entering through a breathtaking gorge filled with the orange, red, yellow and gold of Autumn. It's a beautiful area - and we only drove through a small portion of the southern part of the forest. We passed ski jumps on the right, and golf course on the left just afterwards, and stopped off in the resort lake town of Titisee ("tee-tee-zeh") for lunch (check out the story at that link about why they measure the ice at 4 locations daily in the winter). I found the waitress' German refreshingly easy to understand compared to Swiss-German. I am so pleased that this indicates I have been learning something at least. We had a delicious and peaceful lunch overlooking the lake. It was quiet and relaxing - ah, the benefits of the off-season and mid-week! I enjoyed some "Pfifferlinge" in cream sauce (Chanterelle mushrooms), which in Switzerland I have found on menus as "Eierschwämmli" (I pulled out my trusty pocket dictionary which lives in my purse to discover what a lot of things on the menu were, such as "Ingwer" which is ginger).
Continuing on our way home to Zürich, we passed through the town of "Aha" (good for a laugh for our car's occupants) and along its lake "Schluchsee." I just can't make that word sound elegant...
Having crossed into Switzerland again (into the canton of Aargau, at the town of Koblenz, not to be confused with the German town by the same name), we started listening to Silly Songs with Larry on David's ipod (favorites being "I Love my Lips" and "Bellybutton"), which links in to our Toyota Corolla Verso's stereo system and comes out the speakers (our first experience with this neat technology). Then Enya got us the rest of the way home and we decided we'd had enough driving for the week - a day of errands and two more of lounging around in pajamas sounded perfect.
Thank You for a lovely trip and for letting us live here in the centre of Europe, God of the Universe! Thank You that so many much more amazing things await beyond this life, in Your presence! Can't wait to be with You in a closer way! Thank You for my boys in the other room jamming together on drums and bass with a track for "Famous One" - that's You!
October 18, 2008 | Permalink
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Oh, how lovely to be home, I can echo, after having driven close to 500 miles in the past 32 hours. There in no place like home! Your travels make me yearn for Europe, the food and the company! My family!!!! Thanks for sharing your holiday with so many of us who follow your trail! Oodles of love, from Mom, safely returned (thank you, Lord!) from Winston-Salem, NC. Oh, we saw the Old Salem house William owned and reconstructed, the Cooper's place! Very interesting!
Posted by: Patricia | Oct 20, 2008 1:15:56 AM
Loks like it was a great trip.
And you made a pilgrimage to a place I would have loved to see - the home of Frigor!! That's my favorite chocolate.
Posted by: paul merrill | Oct 20, 2008 11:36:34 PM