Saturday, May 30, 2015

Day 7 - Black Forest, May 15


Of course, my morning view.

 
And a picture of our morning visitor.
 The rest of his friends were waiting for him on the other bank.
 
After breakfast we headed out for our trip to the Black Forest.  It was named that because of the type of trees that grew in the area that showed as very very dark.  These trees are now less than 20% of the trees grown so the colour no longer applies.  It was very interesting to hear the history and the changes in the area.  Farms were built beside available water and the lower floor is for the animals in the winter and the family lives upstairs year-round.
 Because of the difficulty of travel and the hours spent working the farm, people in the area would often worship in their own homes.  The Church did not like this and would build small chapels and expect people to use them instead and this is one of them.  Their plan didn't work.
 As you can see, this is the only rainy day that we had.  Had several brief showers on other days but this was definitely a rainy day all day.

We drove through Breisbach and up through the mountains to a tourist centre that had several buildings including an inn.  This building held the store for glass items and held a demonstration of glass blowing.  Must admit to several purchases here but mainly for gifts.

This building had the cuckoo clock factory upstairs with several very modern and beautiful clocks also on display.  Know that at least one couple bought a cuckoo clock.  Each part of the clock is carved by a different carver in the authentic clocks but the workings are all modern, industrial produced.  They also had an area for miniatures and small gifts. 

 Downstairs was the bake shop - cafeteria where they held a demonstration of making a Black Forest Cake and provided samples.  I avoided the area to make the temptation easier to bear.  Was never that fond of the cake anyway so wasn't difficult to do without.

At this point of the trip we had Viking buses at each stop.  They are very nice and extremely comfortable.

 Since it was our last night, there was a special 5 course dinner.  This was one of my dishes.
 And what is a special dinner with out some speeches - Nick, our outstanding Program Director, is at the far left, then the Captain and the Hotel Director on the right.  The area behind them is where the buffet would normally be.
 There should be at least one picture of the two of us.  I at least have my eyes open.  Just joking.  The shirt Andrea is wearing is her gift to herself from Strasburg.  Proof that she got to wear it and that it started out as hers as her daughter has an outfit planned to wear it with.  Surprising how that works with clothes as I had one top I took that I was extremely lucky to say did come home with me.
Know that several people closed the bar but it wasn't me!  Very sorry not to be seeing some of these people again.  Certainly enjoyed our time on the ships.

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