by Ben

This trip was a birthday present to me from my wonderful Frau Dee Dee. I'm not so sure that it would have come about however without a little compromise between us. Dee Dee is an animal lover (as evidenced by the cats and dogs around our home) and as such she found an opportunity to rescue another dog (from owners unable to keep it). So she called me one day and told me she wanted to bring home a new boxer puppy. My reply - "No way kiddo, we won't have another critter in our house until one of the ones we already have dies or runs away. No chance!" Her reply to me - "Well why don't you just run away?" My reply - "Well dear, what did you have in mind?" Her reply - "Why don't you just go to Europe this year with Larry?" My reply - "What are we going to name your new puppy dear?" And so a new adventure to Germany is born - and a new critter joins the household. The Frau is happy - the Mann is happy - good compromise...

I hadn't been planning a trip across the big pond this year so after my little birthday gift - my mission was to find a super low budget solution. Since my old amigo Larry (PStuyvsant) had already planned his trip, had his ticket in hand, and all accommodation reservations completed - I figured the best way for me to save money would be to beg a free ride in his already paid for rental car. I offered my services as expert navigator, camcorder operator and agreed to keep his auto full of petrol during the time I would be with him. Being the nice guy that he is - he naturally accepted the deal. His vacation was scheduled for four weeks in duration but I would only have two weeks - so I decided to meet up with him in the Schwarzwald and tag along for his final two weeks. He would have already seen the Odenwald - Rothenburg - Bavaria - parts of Austria and Switzerland before I met him. Sounds like a plan...

Larry and I met in high school in the early 60's. We were one year apart in grade but lived in the same neighborhood and we had a few things in common. We had a mutual friend who had a car - so many nights we cruised the streets between the high school and the Dairy Queen like so many other teens have done before and since. Now - forty four years later - retired careers behind us - multiple trips to Europe in the books - we are still cruising together - only now it's Germany, Austria and Switzerland and the Romantic Road, the Alpenstrasse, the Schwarzwaldbahn and the roads up and down the Rhine and Mosel rivers.

I contacted the first place he was staying in the Black Forest - a farm in the Titisee area - and secured a reservation for myself. The rest of the trip I would just wait and see what developed. Since there were just three other places we would be staying - Gutach (Black Forest) - the Mosel - and the Rhine Gorge areas - I decided to wait until we got there to see what was available for me. If I couldn't get a room at the places Larry was staying I would just try for a Zimmer Frei in the same neighborhood.

Days 1-3

Flight from Dallas to Frankfurt via American Airlines was nice and uneventful. I had an aisle seat and the seat next to me was unoccupied so it made for a very comfortable economy class flight. I'm a big fan of AA's inflight entertainment system with multiple movies, TV series and music to choose from. We arrive Frankfurt a half hour early so my A plan is still in effect. Immigration and Customs are a breeze and I am buying a ticket at the Airport Bahnhof in short order. This first day I am headed to the Black Forest and the small village of Hinterzarten. Larry was to be in Switzerland this day and the plan was to meet me at the train station in Hinterzarten the next day at noon.

Almost three hours and two train changes later I arrive at Hinterzarten. My plan was to walk to the Tourist Information Office near the train station and call the accommodations I had previously researched on the internet. As I am walking away from the station I hear a voice from behind me call out "Hey First Sergeant". Surprise, surprise - Larry has for some reason abandoned his day in Switzerland and is here to pick me up a day early. So much for my accommodation research. I call the farm in Titisee where we are scheduled to be tomorrow and find out that it is OK to show up today. She has plenty of room but the rooms won't be ready for a few hours. Outstanding! We take our time getting there and when we arrive we are shown to two very nice doublerooms. My room was in the main house and Larry's was located in a separate guesthouse.

Oberhöfenhof - Titisee-Neustadt/Jostal

Familie Zähringer
Jostalstraße 70
Tel - 7651/932087 ~ Fax - 7651/932089
Email -

This farm surrounded by meadows and forests is located in the beautiful, plush green Jos valley (Jostal) about 6 km from Titisee. The guestrooms (3 Doubles - 2 Triples - 1 Apartment) are in the newest part of the main house or the adjacent guesthouse. All rooms are very well maintained and rate three stars from the German Tourism Association. All rooms have toilet/shower, satellite TV, and many equipped with a balcony. Rates (as of Oct 2006) were 16 Euro a day per person for stays of 3 days or longer (slightly more for shorter stays). The apartment for 2-4 persons was 40 Euro a day.

My room had a screened window which is nice in that it allows fresh air to flow and keeps out any little flying critters.

Lots of cows, a horse and several cats on property. From May until mid-October the cows are taken to meadow daily and brought back at night for milking in the stables. There is a nice children's playground and this is an excellent farm for families with Kinder.

Excellent location for daytrips to Titisee-Neustadt, Freiburg, Triberg, Furtwangen, Urach, the Vogtsbauernhof, anywhere in the Central or Southern Schwarzwald area. Remember that most public transportation (buses and trains) in the Black Forest is free with your Guestcard courtesy of your accommodations there.

Photos while in this area -

Part of Jos valley...


Beautiful green Black Forest valley...

An excellent restaurant located an easy 5-10 minute walk from the farm is the -

Jostalstüble - Jostalstrasse 60

Familie Adolf Hog
Jostalstraße 60
Tel - 7651/918160 ~ Fax - 7651/9181640
Email -

Excellent wait staff (very friendly) - Salad bar prima! - highly recommend the Paniertes Schweineschnitzel mit Pommes frites und Salat. We visited the Jostalstüble twice while in the area.

Days 4-6

After three days in the Jos valley we drove 60 km north to the village of Gutach and spent three days in this area as well. Larry had reservations at the Zimmerbauernhof (next door to the Hansenchristenhof) located directly behind the open air farm museum Vogtsbauernhof.

Zimmerbauernhof - Gutach

Hanno Wälde
Wählerhöfe 2
Tel - 7831/6305
3 Doubles - 1 Triple

Frau Wälde was fresh out of rooms so we went to Plan B which was to drive around the area looking at the farms I had researched prior to the trip hoping to find a Zimmer Frei available for me. I had six farms mapped out in the Gutach area just in case we needed to do this. My first choice was a Bauernhof just across B33 from the Vogtsbauernhof museum. It was a winner and I soon had a home for the next three days.

Joklisbauernhof/Jocklisbauernhof - Gutach - Schwarzwald

Sign at entrance to road to farm...

Martin & Elfriede Moser
Ramsbachweg 58
Tel - 7833/7176
Fax - 7833/960148
Email -

History of farm stead - beginning in 1491

Framework for present Bauernhof...

Map to Joklisbauernhof...

I took this photo from the train window as we rode by...

This is without a doubt one of my all time favorite farms. What a wonderful hidden gem just north of the rail line and the heart of Gutach. I had a nice Doppelzimmer with private toilet and shower, a nice Aufenthaltsraum (lounge with TV) with balcony one door down -

Doubleroom for the price of a Single (12 Euro)

Colorful closet and furnishings...


Aufenthaltesraum (lounge with TV, microwave, icebox, full kitchen...

Breakfast room...

along with a large farm breakfast complete with cheeses, meats, several different breads, jams, jellies, honey, egg, juices and good strong German coffee. All for the price of twelve (12) Euro ($15) a night. What a bargain!!!

Nice big farm breakfast included in price of room...

The Moser family is a traditional Black Forest farm family with a long and rich history. Elfriede and Martin Moser stay busy during the day taking care of their guests' and family's needs but always seem to have time for a short chat. Herr Moser (whose English is good) seems to be always on the go working with his cows and taking care of routine farm chores. They also make and sell their own Kirschwasser, Schnaps, Wurst and ham and I was lucky enough to be there for bread day when they make wood-oven baked Brot. So were a lot of the local townspeople who were ready to buy their share.

Wood fired oven bread...

Shovel it in - wait an hour...

Shovel it out - warm and yummy...

Herr Moser fills up a large oven with two long planks full of dough that Frau Moser has been working all morning on - places each loaf well back in the oven with a long pizza type shovel - lets it bake for an hour and - then hot fresh bread for all.

I was also fortunate to be there for Gutach's annual Thanksgiving Day proceedings (Erntedankfest). Many of the locals dress up in their traditional outfits and parade with the local band from main street over the bridge along Kirchstrasse to St. Peter's Church. They then have services and afterwards play music and pose for pictures.

The lady smiling for my camera is Frau Moser...

Erntedankfest 2006

Erntedankfest 2006

Erntedankfest 2006

Erntedankfest 2006

The Bollenhut type costumes worn in these pictures are only worn in three local areas - Gutach, Wolfach and Hornberg. Each area or township in the Black Forest has it's own specific traditional costumes and hats. The Bollenhut has red balls for unmarried and black balls for married ladies. The Schäppel headgear (shiny beads of glass, metal, etc woven together) can be worn from the time of Communion til their wedding day - but only at special ceremonies.

Erntedankfest 2006

Erntedankfest 2006

St. Peters - Gutach

Erntedankfest 2006

Erntedankfest 2006

Gutach is an excellent location for a homebase in the Schwarzwald from which you can daytrip to basically anywhere in the Black Forest, Triberg, Gengenbach, Baden-Baden, Europa Park, the Vogtsbauernhof and parts of France.


Vogtsbauernhof open air museum...

Vogtsbauernhof open air museum...

Vogtsbauernhof open air museum...

While in Gutach - don't miss the local Vogtsbauernhof (open air museum) - where you can see how families lived and worked on the farms over the past four centuries. Wonderful exhibit...

View from balcony of Joklisbauernhof - 2006

This was my view from the balcony of the Joklisbauernhof.

Three very nice restaurants in the Gutach area -

Gasthaus Zum Engel
Werner Schondelmaier
Steingrün 16
Tel - 7833/357
Email -

Varied menu - reasonable prices - outside patio under large shade trees - nice salad buffet - friendly wait staff. Had an excellent Kalbschnitzel, Pommes Frites and Kürbissuppe (pumpkin).

Good service - good food - rustic interior - located central Altstadt of Wolfach

Gasthaus Zur Fortuna
Familie Volk
Hauptstrasse 8
Tel - 7834/4361

Excellent waitress (Corinna) - delicious food - very nice atmosphere. Enjoyed a Knoblauchsteak mit Kräuterbutter dazu Rösti und Salat - very reasonable prices.

Gasthaus Zum Engel
Patrick Herrmann
Hauptstrasse 29
Tel - 7832/2464
Email -

Days 7-9

Driving from Gutach to the Mosel river valley takes most of the morning utilizing the Autobahn as much as possible. Our next three day location is along the tranquil Mosel river near Cochem. As you are traveling north along the Mosel and B49 - the next village and train stop after Cochem is Klotten (5 minutes). Klotten is a nice small quiet village and is full of inexpensive Zimmer Frei and Pensions. Larry had a reservation at the -

Weinhaus Thomas - Klotten

Weinhaus Thomas
Kirchstrasse 2
Tel - 2671/1538 ~ Fax - 2671/7899
Email -

I decided to try my luck finding an inexpensive Haus or Pension away from the river and closer to the middle of the village. I went over my list of possibilities and tried several before I decided on this excellent bargain just two blocks from the river front (and I'm glad I did) -

Pension Marliese Steffens - Hauptstr. 99 - Klotten (Mosel)

Frau Steffens in Frühstück zimmer

Entrance hall...

Pension Marliese Steffens
Hauptstrasse 99
Tel - 2671/4538 ~ Fax - 2671/915776
Klotten (near Cochem)
2 Singles - 3 Doubles
Rooms with Balcony - Sat TV
Central quiet location - Garage - Bikes Available

Breakfast room...

The Pension Steffens turned out to be a very nice inexpensive pleasure. It is located just an easy short walk from the train station or the river front. I had an Einzelzimmer with toilet (shower next door in hallway), balcony, a well stocked refrigerator (take what you like - just add it to your bill) and satellite TV for eighteen (18) Euro a night.


with satellite TV

from balcony...

toilet and sink...

with balcony overlooking rooftops...

Frau Marliese Steffens is a warm and friendly hostess who keeps an immaculate house.





Her breakfasts (included) are excellent - several different breads, Wurst, cheese, spreads, homemade jelly, coffee, juices, an egg and always a sweet treat to go.

Frühstück zimmer...

I found her preparing her rooms one day and asked if I could take a few pictures of her doublerooms. All nice and roomy with TV and refrigerator.


with stocked refrigerator and satellite TV

Frau Steffens

Another doubleroom

always clean and well lit...

Three very nice restaurants in the Cochem/Klotten area -

Gaststätte Noss
Mosel Promenade 4
Tel - 2671/7067

Good food - good service - reasonable prices - upstairs/downstairs/outside - outside good people watching tables - upstairs good view of Mosel from window seats

Excellent outside terrace overlooking Mosel - food/service/prices all good - try the Gulasch!

Gasthof Zur Linde
Moselstrasse 19
Tel - 2671/4376

Raised terrace/balcony overlooking Mosel - food/service/prices all good - excellent Rahmschnitzel and Halb Hähnchen mit Bitburger Bier

Moselstrasse 8
Tel - 2671/3381

A visit to this part of the Mosel valley is not complete without a trip to Burg Eltz. This year I decided to take the walk through the woods from the Moselkern area to the castle and take pictures of the route for other travelers who might want to visit Burg Eltz when traveling by train or KD boat. My picture trail can be found at - Walking to Burg Eltz from Moselkern

Days 10-12

The drive from Klotten (Cochem) to the Rhine is easy and fun as you take the winding roads up over the hills between the two rivers and then down into the Rhine valley. The route we took was from Alken (Mosel) up and over to Boppard (Rhine). Then along the B9 south to Bacharach. For the next three days Larry would be staying at one of our favorite places in Bacharach - the Winzerhaus

Pension Winzerhaus - Bacharach (Rhine)

View towards downtown Bacharach from Winzerhaus balcony

Pension Winzerhaus
Family Petrescu
Blücherstraße 60
Bacharach (Rhine)
Tel - 6743/1294 ~ Fax - 6743/937779
Email -

View towards Steeg from Winzerhaus balcony

Singles - Doubles - with/without bath/shower/toilet
Good location just a short walk from riverfront
Excellent breakfast - Hosts speak English - Very reasonable rates

I have only two days left of my vacation and decide to try a place up the road a few hundred meters that I had found on the Internet.


View from room

Pension-Gasthaus "Zur Alten Mühle"
Familie Klaus Wiese
Blücherstraße 105
Tel - 6743/1443 ~ Fax - 6743/3131
Email -

View back down the road to Bacharach

This excellent little Gasthaus is located on the road (Blücherstraße) leading up the hill from Bacharach Altstadt (total distance from Rhine - about one kilometer). An easy walk back down to town but a little tougher coming up the hill. The Alten Mühle is just on the outskirts of the little village of Steeg. Herr Wiese is a very friendly host who also speaks a little English.

My room for the last two nights in Germany was a roomy Einzelzimmer with toilet/bath/shower en suite, phone and satellite TV for 23 Euro per night. The breakfast is excellent and the little restaurant is known for it's large portions, Bürgerliche Küche and Wildspezialitäten. If you are driving - there is ample parking available and if you are arriving by train just let Herr Wiese know ahead of time and he will pick you up at the Bahnhof.

Shopping in Bacharach is always enjoyable, especially at the Phil Jost shops at Rosenstraße 16 and Blücherstraße 4. And one special shop that I always recommend is Frances Geuss's Woodburn Haus just across from the Hotel-Restaurant "Altkölnischer Hof" and the Altes Haus.

Holzbrandkunst Geuß Woodburn

Holzbrandkunst Geuß Woodburn
Oberstraße 60
Bacharach (Rhine)
Tel & Fax - 6743/1655
Email -

Frances at work...

Two nice restaurants in Bacharach we tried this trip are -

Hotel-Cafè Burg Stahleck
Blücherstraße 6
Tel - 6743/1388
Email - 6743
Just next door to the Phil Jost shop on Blücherstraße
Varied menu with lots of good Pizza possibilities

Hotel Cafe Burg Stahleck

Hotel Restaurant Am Markt

Hotel-Restaurant "Am Markt"
Jürgen Dettmar
Oberstraße 64
Tel - 6743/1715 ~ Fax - 6743/919038
Email - 674
Very near the Woodburn shop on Oberstraße
The Cordon Bleu was very good and they are known for their cakes, desserts and ice cream...

Whether you are traveling by car or train - Bacharach is an excellent location to spend your last night in Germany. By car you can be at the Airport in about an hour and if traveling by train the time is also about one hour. The two times I have used the trains to depart from Bacharach I have caught the 0530 train from Bacharach which is a direct (no train changes) run to the Frankfurt Flughafen. The cost for a ticket to the airport is 9 Euro (purchase at vending machine). I have always arrived at the airport in plenty of time to be one of the first persons in line for my departing flight to the US. This year I was first in line well before the airlines opened up their security line. I was able to sit down and have coffee and a roll at a coffee Kiosk within 25 feet of my bags (which allowed me to watch them the entire wait). So don't rule out staying along the Rhine for those last days of your vacation.

Accommodations for this eleven night trip averaged 16.5 Euro a day ($21). An excellent price - considering the quality of the Zimmer Frei and the amazing free breakfasts that come with the lodging. Not to mention the free public transportation in the Black Forest... I guess I did mention it but it's worth repeating several times. It makes my tight budget much easier to stay within. So much so that I'm thinking about two weeks in the Schwarzwald next year - solo - buses and trains only... Until then -

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