The idea was to spend some time in Germany, which we had never visited before. And we had a few weeks to spare. I figured some out of the way places, and Barbara was keen seeing the Black Forest region. Freiburg and Konstanz seemed likely places to park for about one week each. Train access was essential.
With over 200,000 people, this is not a small country burg, but there is charm to be found. Get past the glitzy department stores in the city center, and there is much to see. Here is some.
This place is close to the French and Swiss borders, and the terrain gets mountainous in parts of town. This stream seems to run through the old town, and some nice touristy businesses have set up to capture the opportunity.
Barbara pretends to be shopping for some of the tourist items.
These vines spring individually from the ground, with spirally gnarled trunks going up the sides of the buildings. Branches spread from there to invigorate the residences upstairs.
Lots of nice dining here.
Saturday, and nothing else to do but stroll about and pose for photos.
Bunch of bicycles all over the place. Half the town’s transportation seems to be by bike.
But the place we found to eat is this Italian place back in the more modern section. Huge salad, which we shared. Back later for some actual Italian dining and German beer.
The city abounds with architecture that appears left over from days of the monarchy.
It’s a curious thing I see all over, Belgium, Holland, Germany so far. A mixture of languages. The sign in English advertises “Sale Coupons” and continues in German “for card customers,” using the English word for card.
History of World War II has been an interest of mine, and as we rode the train from Amsterdam down through Arnhem, then to Cologne I recounted the battles that took place. On south along the Rhine we passed through Bonn, and I knew Remagen was next, where Allied forces first breached the river barrier, then through Koblenz, where an initial crossing had been planned. Colmar, across the border in France was where the final battles were fought in 1944. Patton’s army swung eastward from this region, driving into Austria before hostilities ceased. Places like Freiburg would have been passed through quickly without suffering the destruction of places like Cologne.
Additional review reveals Freiburg did not escape damage in the war. When the Wehrmacht set out to invade France in 1940 they mistakenly bombed their own city. Later the Brits sent over a flight of 400 bombers to demolish the city center.