Tuesday, September 06, 2016

Happy Campers in the Black Forest

For Labor Day weekend, we made a last minute decision to go camping in the Black Forest.

We hadn't been camping in about seven years, and had recently upgraded our tent from a 3-4 man tent to this 8 man palace.  (Rob can stand up inside.) So we found a campground with a car free tent area, and headed out.  The campground, Müllerwiese, was pretty high up in the forest, but also just inside of a village.  It gave us the convenience of being able to walk to a bakery for breakfast, and to step onto a trail within five minutes.  Camping in Germany is a different experience, in that it is illegal to have a campfire (or open flame) within a certain distance of wooded areas. I was sad to not be able to use the Dutch oven, or make our favorite campout meals, but we made it work.

A little stream that feeds into the Enz river runs into the campground, and I was glad for the stream noises at night to cover up our neighboring campers' noises.

One of the activities we did this weekend was visit another Barefoot Park.  This one was actually free, and was pretty impressive.

Just walking through the forest barefoot.

It really is a beautiful area.

Slip sliding in the mud.  There were also very cold water pits, and various surfaces to walk on.  I took photos of a few of our "favorites."

The Pit of Despair, I mean pine cones.  Rob made me laugh as he kept saying things like, "Why are we doing this?  This is painful!  I don't understand the German fascination here!"

Pebbles weren't too bad.

Checking the progress on our Hobbit feet.

Broken glass anyone?
 (Rob's comment here, "Is tetanus not a thing in Germany?") 
It was a little torturous, and Charlotte came away with some blisters, but afterwards our feet felt tingly and great.  Also, there was an ice cream stand at the end of the trail.  How can we get that to be a thing at hiking trails in the US?

Another activity we all enjoyed was the Riesen Rutschbahn (or Alpine slide.)  Riding up the mountain backwards... 

And then sliding down to the bottom.

We all rode once, and then Amelie and I waited at the bottom to take some pictures while Rob and the big kids took a second ride.

Of course, we attempted some hiking in the Black Forest as well.  I didn't take many pictures, but we walked around the village, up into the nearest hills, and also along the River Enz.  Rob and I would have liked to do so much more, but the littles have short attention spans for this activity so far.

The last activity that we tried was Adventure Mini-golf.  This min-golf course was ridiculous.  We were given three different balls to use, and each hole told you which ball to use.  One was normal, one was heavier, and one was like rubber.  And the surfaces ranged from normal fake turf, to wood, stone tiles, or pebbles.  And there were sand traps, water traps, and crazy ramps. It was insanity.

Anyway, we plan to go back in the Spring and explore some more of the trails and other activities that we didn't get to try yet.  Even though it rained our second night in camp, we huddled up in the tent and the kids read books and played cards. We really love these opportunities to unplug and spend time together without all of the distractions and to-do lists of everyday life.

No comments: