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    by mkataoka Fodor's Editor | Posted on Nov 28, 16 at 01:31 PM
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Trip Report Black Forest/Alsace-September

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I have been dreading writing this trip report for many reasons, but here goes!
Arrived Frankfurt Labor Day. Difficult to find the Fernbahnhof for longer distance trains. Had to go outside and around (is this usual?)..quite warm and muggy, even at this morning hour.
On to my selected town of Gengenbach im Schwarzwald, where I had rented a vacation apartment for a week--33 Euros per night for a first floor, 3 Bedroom place with balcony overlooking a serene flower and vegetable-filled garden, in a quiet residential area, just 5 minutes walk from the train station!
The landlord even picked us up and drove us through the small town. Beautiful half-timbered houses, a number of centuries-old city towers, an inviting, pedestrian-only town square...I'm already excited about the possibilities!
Gengenbach is a lovely small city-town of 10,000--just the right size for me. Two banks, 2 groceries, 5 bakery-konditoreien, 3 ice cream shops (the main evening pursuit by many) and at least 10-12 restaurant/cafes, many with outdoor seating, and not a bad meal at any time!
The apartment owners were a friendly couple in their late 60's (she) and 70's (he), who lived on the third floor. The second floor also sported a vacation apartment.
Brief nap and out for lunch at S'Chatull, whose motif seemed to be a large wooden witch hex. Lovely sunny weather, so we ate al fresco. A lot of roesti on the menus here-that delicious swiss fried hash brown staple. I got mine with roasted onions, but it also came with ham strips, bacon, cheese or herbs. Oh, and wheat beer! My favorite!
Many kinds, not just the well-known Franziskaner brand---very popular in most of the towns that we visitied. I was in heaven.
Grocery-shopped and strolled after a nap.
Tuesday, September 7- stayed fairly local, visiting the German Freilichtsmuseum in the village of Gutach--open-air collection of German dwellings/farm buildings from 1600 and later. We took the train to Hausach and walked to the edge of town before finding a concrete path. After a pleasant, but sweaty 20 minute walk in the hot sun, along green pastures, we arrived at the collection of buildings, arranged in a rural 2-3 acres or so. The tour books had advised arriving before the "bus loads with hordes of tourists" did...Hah, we hadn't passed a single soul along our walk! We took our time at the entrance, sitting on a shaded bench to enjoy our cold ice teas. Suddenly, a long queue of Germans started filing past us....what the heck? We walked to the far side of the entrance complex and there discovered a huge parking lot, disgorging dozens of those tourists (non-American) that we had been warned about. Clearly, we has arrived by the road less travelled!

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