The train ride from Karlsruhe to Triberg took 1.5 hours and was one of the most scenic I have been on yet. Autumn is definitely upon us in Germany: jacket + boot weather, leaves changing and falling, and there are more cloudy days than not. Being from Texas, I never really got to experience the whole ‘seasons’ thing, but Germany sure makes up for it – particularly with all the trees in the Black Forest region, where Triberg is located.
Triberg im Schwarzwald is a small town with just over 5,000 inhabitants. We selected this destination after browsing Black Forest destinations and finding out this little town is famous four a couple things: the highest waterfall in Germany and being home to the Cuckoo Clock (turns out it is none of these, see end notes).
We had a slighlty late start to the day after a big Saturday night and did not arrive in the town center until almost 5 p.m. We had our concerns about whether or not things would be open (Germany practically shuts down on Sundays), but we made it to the House of 1000 Clocks just in time. Sure, this is one of the most touristy shops around, but the cuckoo clock selection was truly amazing and the store employees were incredibly kind. The store has tradition back to the 1880s, which actually seems relatively young by European standards. The clocks came in all shapes, sizes, and colors and some were truly exquisite – thus, they cost you pretty penny as well.
Triberg Waterfalls stands at 163 meters and has 7 different tiers that form small pools. Entrance to the area costs 3.50 Euro for adults. At first, I was annoyed of the whole monetizing a natural phenomenon sort-of-thing, but after I saw all the trails and upkeep, I understood. The trails are adorned with platforms for the Kodak moments and there are bridges across a few of the waterfalls tiers. The falls are part of the Gutach River and the rapids can be heard throughout the town.
What is a trip without eating like the locals? Although traditional German food is certainly nothing new, it is rare that I really get to delve into an entire German meal. We found a traditional little German restaurant inside the hotel to complete our day. Afterall, we truly could not leave the Black Forest without Black Forest Cake (Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte in German). I could not resist ordering up some Maultaschen while Maggie had to have the ham and sauerkraut.
Black Forest Cake is a chocolate cake layered with whipped cream and cherries. Traditionally, it is made with Kirschwasser, a cherry liquor. Sometimes rum might be used. However, in Germany to officially be called Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte, Kirschwasser must be included (source). It certainly was in our slice as we spent a few minutes trying to decipher which alcohol we were tasting.
I am feeling slightly gypped. Some post trip research reveals that the Triberg Waterfall is actually second highest waterfall in Germany. Röthbach Waterfall near Lake Constance towers over the Triberg Falls by nearly 350 meters. It’s remote location makes it harder to access and thus less well-known. Equally as annoying, the first known cuckoo clocks was actually first invented in Augsburg in 1629 for Prince Elector August von Sachsen. The Black Forest region merely began popularizing and mass producing the cuckoo clock a few days later. They are still awfully charming though.
Oh tourist let downs. Although, as a PR girl, I must give props to whoever is in charge over there in Triberg because they’re winning in the tourism game. Additionally, I still cannot rule this trip as a let down as the town is precious and the natural surroundings are breathtaking. We could not stop ooing and awing our entire trek around the city and up to the top of the falls.