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Black Forest - where to base? rental car or train?

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We are considering 3 nights / 4 days in the Black Forest area. in mid July. What city or location should we base? Accommodation suggestions based on your city recommendation?

I have read there is a free card for Black Forest transportation unless you stay in Feilburg - then I suppose it is not free? Should we rent a car in Frankfurt and drive to have more flexibility over the train? Would you recommend we take a train from Frankfurt to a city in the Black Forest and then rent a cr there? (is this possible / reasonable) Is a car needed?

I have read that short distances can be deceiving longer dirves than anticipated. We have never been to this area so it all will be new and we realize we will more than likely not be able to see all of it or even everything from our "wish"list. Ideas?

I would like to see the coo-coo clocks being made and the house sized ones if possible. Does anyone have a ballpark range of costs for them? I know it varies widely depending on the size and complexity but I am wondering with the Euro to the dollar if one will even be affordable to take home?

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