Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Black Forest: Freiburg "Jewel of the Black Forest"

Our first day in Black Forest was at Freiburg where we visited the Old Town and headed to the mountain area of Schauinsland. Freiburg im Breisgau is located near the city of Baden, Germany on the southwest of Germany. The city is situated in the heart of the major Baden wine-growing region and serves as the primary tourist entry point to the scenic beauty of the Black Forest. 

The city has an unusual system of gutters (called Freiburg Bächle) that run throughout its centre. These Bächle, once used to provide water to fight fires and feed livestock, are constantly flowing with water diverted from the Dreisam. During the summer, the running water provides natural cooling of the air, and offers a pleasant gurgling sound.  Very soothing indeed!

We arrived at Freiburg around 1pm and checked in at Etap Hotel near Z.I. Freiburg. Etap Hotel is one of the network of budget hotels in Europe.  It is quite cheap since we just have to fork out 49 Euro per night.  After we had our lunch mostly the leftover hari raya food (rendang, nasi himpit etc.), we headed to Freiburg town.  Luckily some souvenirs shops opened on Sunday! Freiburg is beautiful in a German sort of way, buildings with golden gilded thingy and it is difficult to describe it certainly it is lovely.

The Merchants' Hall

Among the main place that we explored in Freiburg was the Augustinerplatz, one of the central squares in the old city. Formerly the location of an Augustinian monastery that became the Augustiner Museum in 1921, it is now a popular social space for Freiburg's younger residents hanging around a number of restaurants and bars. 

At the centre of the old city is the Münsterplatz, Freiburg's largest square where we visited and the site of Freiburg's Münster, a gothic minster cathedral constructed of red sandstone, built between 1200 and 1530 and noted for its towering spire. Another major attraction here is the Historical Merchants' Hall, a Late Gothic building with its façade decorated with statues and the coat of arms of four Habsburg emperors. However, we were enthralled by Freiburg's natural beauty of the Schlossberg Hill situated at the east of the city centre, providing extensive views over the city and surrounding region. 

Freiburg's Münster, a gothic minster cathedral

After visiting the old Town Freiburg, Shidi wanted to take photos of the highland! In the souvenir shop, he saw a beautiful highland photo during sunset and that he wanted to take that kinda photos.. it's still early so suggested that we go to Schauinsland. To get there, tourists have the option to take the longest cable car run in Germany, at 3.6 kilometres long. However, we were unable to take the cable car ride coz it closed around 5pm so we decided to drive upward to the Schauinsland! A rewarding effort since we were blesssed to  experience a gorgeous view. The scenery was superb! 

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