Our host suggested we visit a restaurant in Menzenschwand that was beside a nice waterfall. She also mentioned that there was a display of traditional cuckoo (Kuckuck) clocks there, and since Linda was looking for one, we decided that this would be a good choice for brunch (we slept in this morning – best nights sleep for ages, so quiet here…). However when we arrived, we found that it wasn’t open until lunch time. We wandered around the village looking for anything else open, but found nothing except for a takeaway, despite there being lots of restaurants and guest houses. Perhaps the Germans don’t do brunch? Or perhaps it’s off season?
Anyway, we knew that there would be places open in the next town of St Blasien, so we headed there found the local bakery, who fortunately had a waitress who spoke enough English to translate the parts of the menu that I could not (turns out my German is worse that I thought, especially when it comes to food…).
Stomachs full, we explored the Dom, the town’s major (and dominating) attraction. This is the Cathedral of St Blaise, the biggest domed church north of the alps. The dome is 36 metres, slightly smaller than St Peter’s Basilica, the Pantheon and the Florence cathedral. Originally built in 1783 after the original church burnt down in 1768, it too was destroyed by fire in 1874, after the attached monastery was dissolved and the church desecrated. The current building was consecrated in 1913, and has been recreated to be close to the original. It’s plainer inside than the Italian cathedrals, but still beautiful in it’s own way.
After this we went back to the waterfall, which turned out to be a short walk though the forest behind the restaurant. We got lucky with the weather, which had been overcast and threatening to rain, and managed to get some sunshine ( and a few extra degrees of temperature ) as we arrived.
All that walking made us hungry, so we availed ourselves of a lovely schnitzel lunch at the restaurant. Unfortunately, the cuckoo clock display was closed, so we continued our search for a clock by returning to St Blaisen to visit the tourist information centre. Surely every clock maker in the forest would have brochures there.
Alas, they did not, and the gentleman manning the centre did not speak English. Again my poor German became an issue as I was unable to make him understand what we wanted (and probably wouldn’t have been able to understand the answer anyway. All part of the fun of travel.)
A short walk around town revealed that there were no cuckoo clocks to be (easily) found. I was beginning to get disheartened – our time in Italy has spoiled us: if this were Italy, every second shop would be selling clocks, and many would be Chinese knock-offs, but the real ones could be found. ( There would also be selfie stick sellers on every street corner, so that is not all bad. Haven’t seen one since Florence, haven’t missed them at all).
Anyway, we vowed to continue our search tomorrow. Topped of the day with a drive through the country side the long way back to Ibach. Mist and/or low cloud was rolling in, so we didn’t bother with photos, but the drive was lovely despite this, passing though many small villages, all looking like a scene from a postcard. Even with the ordinary weather, this part of the world really is beautiful.