We had one more stop to make in Germany before heading onto a brand-new country.
Almost three years ago to the day, I was in Austria – walking down my first pedestrian cobblestone road, touring my first castle, and popping into as many tourist shops as possible. My only regret? Not bringing home one of those beautiful, hand crafted, and utterly obnoxious, cuckoo clocks.
Now that we were so close to the land of the original cuckoo clock, I was determined not to make the same mistake.
It was only once the hunger really struck, that we made a quick pit stop in a nearby town: Titisee.
Nestled in a valley, hidden by fog, and seated on a lake in southern Baden-Wurttemberg, it’s a big of a tourist haven filled with luxury hotels, boat rides, and shopping.
We snagged a spot indoors, downed a plate of currywurst and then popped back outside to enjoy the sparkling water and sunny views.
Now as much as we were finally in the area of the true cuckoo clock – and the real life homes they mimic – I was dead set on getting the real deal. Handmade – not one of those made in china versions – and without paying those crazy tourist trap prices.
So, we jetted outta there and hopped back on the road with one stop in mind: Triberg.
If you’re looking for handmade clocks, reasonable prices, and a crazy amount of selection, the place to go is the House of 1000 clocks (or as the Germans call it, Haus der 1000 Uhren). I didn’t count them all, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the name rings true.
We popped in and took pictures of our favourites, testing out their tunes and watching the different mechanical movements and stories.
All until Cole posed one earth-shattering question: where was I going to hang it?
Immediately I was filled with sheer panic – that wasn’t something I had thought about just yet. With a lack of a place coming to mind, we resolved to taking the night to think about it, plan it out, and then come back to pick the appropriately sized one.
Plus – Cafe Schaefer was out of black forest cake for the day and we weren’t about to leave the black forest without sampling its world famous recipe.
We rolled into our hotel just after dark, stuffed ourselves with a homemade traditional german meal, and then woke up early to head back to town.
Arriving back in Triberg around 10:30, and knowing that Cafe Schaefer didn’t open until 11, we spent the next little bit hiking to the famous Triberg waterfall and checking it out.
Germany’s highest waterfall, with a descent of 163m, it’s quite the landmark if you’re in the area.
It might not have been as big as Niagara falls, but the way it rolled down from above and pooled just towards the base of Triberg was pretty beautiful. Figuring we should do some pre-emptive calorie burning, we briskly walked to the base and back, finishing just around 11:10 and feeling famished.
We rushed back to Cafe Schaefer, eager to test out this original recipe, and were awarded with a big slab of Schwarzwalder Kirschtorte. Apparently it’s only made fresh in the morning, so if you happen to sleep in and arrive in the afternoon, you’ll be out of luck. By the time we arrived – 15 minutes after opening – the beauty was already half gone!
Knowing it was a little boozy, I grabbed a slice of their Sacher-torte and sat down with a warm cup of tea.
Both cakes were phenomenal – and we hesitantly shared pieces with each other. Definitely worth the trip, each bite somehow faded my disappointment about enduring a morning hike. The black forest cake was moist, surrounded by whipped cream and stuffed with sweet cherry liquor, while the sacher-torte had the perfect amount of cinnamon spice enveloped into a thick chocolate base.
By now, we had also devised a plan for my cuckoo clock, and were ready to find something to suit the location.
Onwards back to The House we went – where we remained for longer than I would like to admit. By the end, I had it narrowed down to three clocks, each unique and hand made originals. The only theme that joined them all? Carvings of dogs.
One was a manual clock with little dude that clinked his beer stein on the hour, another was a chateau style manual clock with two dogs, and the third was a battery powered giant with a forest scene.
In the end, we chose the battery powered beauty, giant and glorious – with a bird that cuckoos and a music box that plays a different tune every hour. Plus – it’s got a switch to turn off the sound, and a sensor that automatically shuts it off when it’s dark.
There were some pretty pricey ones there – and some elaborate wood carvings. We even spotted a monster of one that was 3,500 Euros!
Carefully packaged, my clock made the journey through my carry on luggage and onto the plane, and is now proudly displayed our main room. You’ll just have to come over and take a peek.
With the necessary stops checked and the mandatory tourist purchases made, we were ready to say Tchuss to Deutschland for a bit, and headed onto our swiss journey!