Back in the land of schnitzel and strudel! We are working our way back north after six glorious weeks in Italy, this time via the Black Forest region in Germany as we return to Frankfurt.
Our arrival at the station in Freiburg was so easy. I was still looking around for the way out off the platform and realised we were on the street, with taxies right in front of us- unpacking in our hotel no time. It turned out that almost everything in Freiburg was easy. The exception was the language as we only have a few words of German; in retrospect, we had enough Italian to get ourselves around and miss it already.
Every place we stay has its pros and cons, so I try to focus on the good things. The Fourside Hotel in Freiburg is a new chain hotel, further out of town, very clean and shiny, comfy bed, very quiet (we sleep in late here), and has a fantastic large shower, complete with a huge picture of a lady (a local legend) in it! Although a bit of a way from the action centre, it is opposite a massive supermarket and has a tram stop out front. All things to like.
What a beautiful, green city is Freiburg! Trees and gardens everywhere, flourishing flower boxes on the streets and balconies, and forested hills on all sides of town. Tidy, well signed and no rubbish anywhere. Neat blocks of apartments in our area, painted in various combinations of colours. Lots of bikes and dedicated paths (have to look both ways twice to avoid being run down) and a fantastic sustainable and reliable public transport system.
Having seen the weather forecast, we were up and out the first morning to make the most of the last predicted sunny day. Always drawn to heights and cable cars, we pored over the transport map for a way to get to Shauinslandbahn – the world’s longest circular cable car to the top of the mountain. It looked doable – Tram 2 and Bus 21 here we come!
It took five kind Germans to help us find the stop, the tram and buy tickets. It is a bit frustrating not to be able to read information. A friendly young woman at the stop assisted us first, and it turned out that she was going to Brisbane the very next week to do her PhD in chemistry!
Even after we were heading the right way, a gentleman saw us looking at the tram map and asked if we needed help. One lady even grabbed a high school student and told him to help us as she didn’t speak English. So kind! In fact, whenever we look at our map, someone asks us if we need assistance.(more…)