Our next stop was a medieval city of Breisach,Germany, which many consider the most beautiful in Germany. We boarded a bus to go to the Black Forrest there and see the CooCoo factory up in the forrest.

There as we climbed the mountains we were able to see the first and only snow and also saw the running streams from the melting snow that was going down to the Rhine. I heard they had about 6 feet of snow a few weeks before, but the temperature was in the 60’s so it was all melting during our trip.

We drove thru the town of Frieburg, and many other cool little cities, and arrived ad the CooCoo store. There we saw how they made the clocks. They were all hand made ranging in price from several hundred dollars up to $3-4,000 dollars. The higher priced models were light activated and very unique.

Downstairs they had a German bakery with real black forrest cake, which of course we had to try. It was delicious.

When ancient Romans arrived in Germany, they came upon this thickly wooded stretch of pine and fir forest. The setting was no doubt alluring as the rays of sun shown thru the thicket and dotted forrest floor. But the deeper they walked, the thicker the forest became until the height and density of the conifers blocked out all the sunlight. They called these woods Silva Nigra, or Black Forest. Since then it has inspired German creative imagination and served as the backdrop for popular fairy tales, including Hansel and Gretel.

After touring the little village, we were taking back to ship. There was another tour to a war zone, but we opted instead to walk into Breisach and look around. It was Christmas day but there was one little restaurant and tourist type shop opened so we purchased some more gifts for the kids.

We noticed most German downs all had cobblestone roads and skinny sidewalks. While the German food is quite fattening, with lots of breads, pastries and breads, because they also walked and rode bikes, we did not see any heavy Germans. This ways an eye opener to me, as in the USA, we tend to get little or no exercise and eat huge super sized portions.

I saw many germans in bakeries eating and also drinking the german beers in Taverns. Yet despite all the food and drink, none were heavy.

Sadly this was our last stop on our river cruise. We sailed about 7 PM for Basel Switzerland. Because it was the Christmas holiday, we had not opted to stay over in Switzerland, which proved to be a good thing.


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