Tag Archives: Offenburg

Offenburg to Freiburg 

8/14 – Closed on Sunday.  Everything.  We thought we were being smart by not ordering the buffet breakfast at our Offenburg hotel when we checked in yesterday.  We’d had enough cheese and cold cuts, and we passed a very classy looking McDonalds (the first we’ve seen) on the walk from the train station.  Surely we could get breakfast there on Sunday?  Nope. When they say everything’s closed on Sunday, they aren’t kidding. Even the McDonalds.

So we checked out a little early and made our way back to the train station.  Train to Freiburg: canceled.  This may turn out not to be our day!  Luckily, there was another train due in a half hour, and we just had a little wait.

Freiburg is a much bigger city, with plenty of places open on Sunday.  Thank goodness!  We dropped our bags at the Pension Paradeis, and went out to explore.  We heard there was a big cathedral here.

A ten minute walk brought us to the center of the Altstadt. 

A man blew bubbles for the children

Young girls sang Christmas carols in harmony, accompanied by a recorder

 The Freiburger Münster Cathedral was started about 1200, in the Gothic style.  It escaped the bombing of 1944, although all the buildings to one side of it were destroyed.  

The stained glass windows, donated by the workers guilds, were removed before the bombing and preserved.

We asked the information docent if there was a statue of St. James in the cathedral.  Are you pilgrims? Follow me.  She brought us back into the oldest part of the church, not open to the public without paying for a special ticket. There in the dark is a relief carving of St. Jakob blessing a pilgrim. See the shell on the pilgrim’s bag?

James is also represented in a life size statue on an interior pillar – see his wide-brimmed hat, walking stick and the shell?

The main entrance has carved, painted wooden figures in high relief all around the dome.  Beautiful.

There were many other ornate and stately buildings in the Altstadt. This is the house of Erasmus, 15th century theologian:

The ornate Historische Kaufhaus, or Historical Merchants Hall, now used as a conference center:

Happy to say, we also found souvenirs!  I think my friend Dave B. will like this Harley Davidson cuckoo clock – only $2000! Shall I get one for you?

Gengenbach to Offenburg

8/13 – Well, today is the last day of our pre-booked hike.  The summer has returned, and the weather forecast is for sun and temps in the mid-eighties.  Our goal today is Offenburg, and when we were planning, we left this as an open day.  We could walk to Offenburg along the river carrying our big packs – it is only seven miles or so – or we could bag it and use our free Schwarzwald pass to take the train and get there in 15 minutes.  Guess what we chose?

You are correct!  After a week on our feet, we opted for a “zero mile” day, slept in, used the excellent free wifi at Hotel Blume to catch up on the news and my blog (sorry for releasing so many posts on the same day), then took the train to Offenburg.  We arrived at the Hotel Union by noon, in time to experience a little bit of their famous Saturday outdoor market.  We asked our host what we could expect to find at the market.  Traditional food, was his reply.  How about souvenirs?  Yes, he said, souvenir food also.   Germans are all about food.

Drinking coffee and eating cake

Buying wursts and more wursts- it’s all about the meat!

Listening to buskers in the town square

A violin, bass and accordion playing Mozart – a uniquely German sound!

Now that we were thinking about souvenirs – I must get a plate for my wall – we realized that our entire week has been devoid of anyone trying to sell us anything.  We walked around looking in all the shops; this is a tourist town in tourist season, after all, but there are no souvenirs to be found.  Sorry, my grand-girls, looks like it’s airport candy for you!

Once again, the shops closed at 6 and the streets were quiet.  We found a Turkish kebab restaurant open and had a wonderful green salad with shaved doner meat (lamb) and white sauce, a tall Pilsner, sitting out under an umbrella in the cool breeze of the evening. So fine!