Black Forest – not just a cake

Or how I learned that the Black Forest Cake actually originated from the Black Forest area (oh and there there’s also a bunch of cool stuff to do there)

So I’ve been a bit busy the last couple of weeks, and just last week, I was in Ukraine for a business trip! I’m quite excited to write about Kiev as it’s a city that surprised me in a lot of ways.

But anyway! For now, time to finish up my post about our Black Forest Easter trip.

So we had 2 whole days to spend around the Black Forest – and let me tell you there’s way too many things to do.

We had only 2 must do’s in our mind: Spa and a hike.

With 9 people, it was the best itinerary we could hope for.

Thankfully, we kind of surpassed this and were actually able to visit/do the following things in 2 days:

  1. Spa in Baden Baden (Caracalla Spa)
  2. Lunch and a tour around Baden Baden
  3. Short hike to a random waterfall (Geroldsauer)
  4. Quick stop over at Mummelsee
  5. Half day hike in Bachheim (Three Gorges)
  6. Lake time in Titisee

caracalla Spa in Baden Baden – RECOMMEND

So Baden Baden and all the surrounding areas of the Black Forest are known for its bathing waters. I mean like I guess it has minerals that heal and all that – but anyway I’m more into just enjoying some good spa time with friends.

We picked Caracalla Spa, which was one of the more affordable ones that we saw. It was pretty great actually. They had around 3 large pools, 2 small ones, a kind of aroma sauna, a salt inhalation room and some UV lights (which frankly I’m not sure what it does). I’m terrible at explaining health benefits and all so I direct you to their site which explains what each pool does.

We took the 3 hours package for the Spa for 19 euros, and did not opt to use the sauna rooms (mostly because we’re not the naked sauna type of people). 3 hours in the spa is just enough I think to enjoy and relax. Any longer for us and it would have been boring. Prices and offers can be found here

You will need to bring your own towel, slipper and toiletries (if you want – there is free soap). Their first time visitor FAQs are actually quite informative so I’m linking you there.

There is no need to reserve, you only need to show up and pay at the counter.

Entrance to the Spa

I don’t have any pictures inside because it seemed taboo to do so… but in any case the site photos are pretty accurate.

As it was our first time, we were all quite a bit confused about how things should go… so anyway a quick explanation.

First you go to the dressing room and change. The dressing room has a door on the other end that leads you to the lockers. Leave your stuff in the lockers and walk on to the spa!

Ok it doesn’t sound complicated, but frankly, we were all kinda jut lost because we didn’t figure out that there was another door on the other side of the dressing room…

To go out, you do the exact opposite of this procedure.

Anyway – all in all, I would highly recommend this for anyone visiting Baden Baden. Whether or not you believe in the restorative power of these baths, it’s still a nice relaxing time to spend on your vacation.

Baden Baden City – Recommend

After our spa experience, we were quite famished. After looking around for some traditional restaurants, we ended up at this beer garden called Lowenbrau.

Lowenbrau is apparently a chain of restaurants owned by the Lowenbrau brewery (which in turn is actually owned by AB InBev), but I mean still, it’s still actual German cuisine. Prices weren’t bad and ratings were good – also we were hungry and they had a place for 9, so we were all set.

So our friend recommended this local dish which honestly, I’m not even gonna try to type to avoid accidentally offending people. It was quite good! The meat and sauce were really nice. The only weird thing was that potato dumpling which honestly tasted like nothing.

I also got myself a radler, which was perfect for the Sunny day. Of course being realistic, I only got the 50cl one, while my other friends struggled to down their 1 liter beers.

1 liter vs 50cl

We’re not in Belgium anymore Toto!

Baden Baden is quite a charming town. It’s German, but not aggressively so. It retains some aspect of pretty which sometimes I feel lacking in Germany. My German friend calls it Little Russia – I don’t 100% agree but ok. Lol. It’s not a big town to explore but what I would 100% recommend (especially in sunny weather), is to stop by the Casino gardens and the Trinkehalle (Pump house), which showcases that belle époque architecture and feeling of all these famous spa towns.

Geroldsauer Watefalls Hike – good stop over

As we didn’t have much time until evening, we decided to just check out all the interesting things along our route back home. One of the things we saw was a sign for Geroldsauer wasserfall! So ok, off we went to explore this completely random waterfall.

20 mins from Baden Baden

This trip to the waterfall involved a small hike by the river, which was our first experience into the actual Black Forest. Gotta say it was quite picturesque.

Overall a nice detour for a starting hike. The trail actually continues more but it was quite late and night would soon fall so we continued on.

Mummelsee – not recommended

Our last stop for the day was Mummelsee. See means lake, so basically it’s Lake Mummel. It’s a lake located on an elevation, thus it was cold.

Lake was not so grand, to walk around the whole lake takes around 20 minutes. Around the lake are weird art pieces and some explanation of folklore surrounding the lake. Gotta say between the folklore in this lake and the Brothers Grimm stories… there seems to be a pattern. Check out their official site to understand the weirdness

Little Mermaid of Mummelsee

Nothing really much to see there. We arrived a bit late so we didn’t get to check out the souvenir shop (which was quite large). Honestly the view right before the parking of Mummelsee was more interesting than the lake itself.

View from the parking lot of Mummelsee

Be sure to check out the views on the other side!

Three Gorges Hike in Bachheim – recommend

So for some insane reason, we decided to drive more than an hour and half south from the apartment we were staying at in Bad Peterstal-Griesbach, to go hike at the Three Gorges in Bachheim. I think we were lured by the name “Three Gorges” (if you can call them gorges!)

Almost near Switzerland

The drive south was extremely nice though. Glimpses of dense forests and pretty villages made the drive more interesting.

As this seems to be a pretty popular and huge hiking area, there is a big parking area dedicated for this area. The parking area is equipped with a toilet and a cafe which we made good use of after the hike.

At first, we couldn’t find out where the entrance of the park was. I insisted to follow the people, but they told me that that is what sheep do. Well anyway, we ended up following the people (after they fruitlessly analyzed a bus map for like 10 minutes) and OF COURSE, they led us to the entrance of the park.

At the entrance of the park are several routes you can follow.

Hiking routes

As we were ambitious, we followed the longest trail (the red one) of around 9km.

There was a bit of a “crowd” as it was a long weekend and the weather was perfect. The trail is well marked (except in some places – but you can quickly understand if you go the wrong way). Anyway, all the routes are circular so you should always end up in the same place.

It’s quite a nice hike passing through forests, walking along the rivers in the “gorge”, crossing on bridges and stones. It was interesting and varied terrain.

Quite a lot of nice places to sit down and have lunch – which we did.

At the mid point of the hike, we reached a couple of houses right smack in the middle of the forest! One of them turned out to be a cafe. We spent some time drinking some beers and of course weird German colas.

So random to see a cafe here

Good thing we decided to take a rest in the cafe because the 2nd half of the hike was kinda insane.

If you have a fear of heights (which one person in our group had!) – this is not a good hike for you.

At the end of it, we were so glad to be over that and the last part of the trail was easy

Enjoyed some snack/cake (no balck forest cake sadly) and amazing iced coffee at the cafe near the parking!

Cafe!!

Titisee – meh

After our hike, we went further south to Titisee to check the lake and have dinner there. Unlike mummelsee, Titisee is huge. There is a whole tourist town on the banks of the lake, wherein black forest cake is served in literally every one of them.

Buildings by the Titisee

For some crazy reason, despite being tired af, we were motivated to do a half hour of pedal boat. Which is the worst thing to do when your legs are jelly. Anyway we had an enjoyable time draining the last bit of our energy and viewing the sunset from the lake.

The row boat and pedal boat

We were famished by the time we finished so we went around to look for a place to eat. We ended up at this restaurant called Bergsee which is not the best place but it’s not the worst place. We had a great view of the lake… plus they served Black Forest Cake!

View from the restaurant

Black Forest Cake – just no

Finally the most anticipated part of the trip, I mean you can’t go to Black Forest and not eat Black Forest Cake!

It was quite huge so we decided to share one slice among 4 and see if we still wanted more…

Well thank god we only bought one because damn, that thing is weird.

Some parts of the cake were literally solidified alcohol. Alcohol in cake form. It was kinda insane lol

So after that sort of disappointing day ender, we headed home via autobahn and proceeded to test the limits of our rented van.

All in all, I quite enjoyed the black forest and interested to see it in a different season and perhaps visit some castles the next time.

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