Today start our little adventure down to the Black Forest region of Germany for a few days.

The Black Forest is located in the very southwest corner of the country and only takes a couple of hours by train to get there from where we were in Heidelberg.

Of course, we weren’t going directly there.

Nope, we had a plan for the day…

Morning in Heidelberg

Before we left town there was the little matter of a breakfast buffet that we had to attend again.

It was so amazing yesterday that there just was no way we were heading out before swinging by there again for breakfast.

Again, there were eggs, bacon, beans, fruits, veggies and a bunch of things my poor little celiac stomach couldn’t handle.

And again, I was able to get some nice oven warmed gluten free buns.

Ah, the perfect way to close out our time in Heidelberg.

We returned to the hostel at 10am for checkout and it was already 17C outside.

Definitely a far cry from the cold, windy days I had been experiencing the entire the trip.

In fact, I was even crazy enough to wear shorts today!

I know!   Insane!

But as the day went on, it proved to be a very wise decision…

Ticket adventures (again)

We headed to the train station to catch out train just before 11am.

We had to book two train journeys today.   One was from Heidelberg to Baden Baden in the morning and the other was a late afternoon train from Baden Baden to Triberg.

Now, this area of Germany offers you a Baden Württemberg ticket which is good for 24 hours traveling on the slower regional trains and it also includes local transport on the buses.

It’s €26.50 per person or you can pay an additional €8 to include a second person.   So, for €34.50 ($52), both of us could travel all day.


Now, if you remember, my only other time booking a 24 hour transit pass on this trip happened a few days ago and it did not end well.

I’ll admit, the other ticket was pretty confusing but this one was pretty straight forward.

Last night before bed, I purchased the tickets online and as I pressed the purchase button, I suddenly realized that I didn’t select a day for the ticket which should have been today (30th).

Sure enough, when the purchase went through, I discovered to my horror that it just defaulted to the current date which at 10pm was still the 29th.


I had a 24 hour pass good until 3am that I wouldn’t be using.

And there was no way to rectify it.

Basically I threw away $50 and I was fuming at my stupid, unforced error.

Sigh, well, it wouldn’t be one of my trips if I wasn’t throwing away money needlessly at some point I guess.

So, as we went to the train station, my plan today was very simple.

Ideally, no ticket inspector would be on board any of our trains today and my little ticket fiasco would all be good.

In the event that someone did come by to check our tickets, I’d show them the QR code for the tickets I mistakenly bought for yesterday.

Obviously they would tell me they were invalid and the plan was to feign innocence and shock that I had bought tickets for yesterday by mistake.

Hopefully they would understand my plight and just wave us on through.

Worst case scenario they’d just make me buy new tickets which, like I said, would cost me about 50 bucks.

Well, I’m happy to say we made it through the whole day without anyone checking our tickets so, in the end, my little mistake didn’t cost me any money.

A pit stop in Baden Baden

Anyway, where was I?

Oh yes, we were boarding our train this morning to Baden Baden.

Baden Baden is at the edge of the Black Forest in the northern part and is a small town known primarily for Schloss Hohenbaden, the ruins of a castle perched on a mountain overlooking the town.

I know, another day, another castle, right?

This one was a little different in two ways.

One, it was quite a bit of a way to get up and down from the castle and, two, it was just ruins and a rock formation so there were no audio tours or royal artifacts to look at inside.

We arrive in Baden Baden at 12:30 and the plan was to store our bags at the station, hike up to see the castle, grab some lunch back in town and catch an afternoon train to our stop for the next few days, Triberg.

We took a bus from the train station through the town to the other side and up probably about 3/4 of the mountain side.

It’s from here our little wandering adventure would begin.

Wandering through the woods

When you look up the hike on Google Maps it doesn’t seem so, so bad.

Yes, there’s a half hour walk up one side of the mountain and another half hour walk down the other side, but when I figured it all out, it gave us more than enough time to enjoy lunch in town.

Yeah, that didn’t happen.

Yes, it did indeed take us a half hour to hike up to the top of the mountain.

Before trekking to the castle, there is an area called Battertfelsen about 10 minutes away before you reach it.

I wasn’t sure what it was but it was on the map so I figured “hey, it’s on the way to the castle, why not?”

So, we followed the little arrow on the map and started to climb up some rock steps further into the forest.

The technology when it comes to mapping is crazy.   The fact that you can see the little paths carved out on a mountain on your map app is crazy.

The problem, though, is you become super dependant and trusting on the route mapped out for you and, sometimes, it just leads you in the wrong direction.

That was the case today.

We hiked and hiked and what should have been a quick little 10 minute detour ended up taking over an hour.

And in the end, the Battertfelsen was just a undescript rock formation that was nothing that special.

By now, despite wearing shorts and a t-shirt, I was sweating pretty hard and my water was running low.

And there was still a 20 minute walk to the castle and then a 30 minute walk back down the mountain.

It was also at this point I was pretty sure that we wouldn’t be grabbing any lunch this afternoon as all the extra time we had allocated for it had just used up wandering around in the woods.

Castle ruins

Finally after seeing the rocky ruins we set our sights on getting to the castle.

What was supposed to be a simple 10 minute walk on a fairly flat path was now 20 minutes from where we were on a not so smooth path down “stairs” carved out in the woods.

But, you know what?

We finally made it!

It was 3pm and the castle had only a smattering of visitors.

A climb up to the very top (yup, more stairs) was definitely the highlight of the afternoon as the views of the castle ruins and the town below from above were spectacular.

A race to the train station

After climbing down and waiting for Shawn to finish exploring, I checked my reservation for our upcoming hostel.

The reception was only open until 7pm.   It was now 3:30 and the trains only ran once an hour down to Triberg.

Some quick maths discovered we had to catch the train leaving at 4:30 and no later.

Ah, an hour til the next train.   No problem, you say…

Well, there was still the matter of a 30 minute walk down the mountain and then another 15 minute bus ride from downtown to the train station.

Yeah, we had to get our little booties in order and get the heck off this mountain!

Thankfully the climb down was on a nice smooth path.

The path was a long a windy path which I guess was good because it wasn’t so steep but, man, it took forever to get back into town.

We turned the corner to where the bus stop was and, unbelievably, one of the buses heading towards the train station was just loading passengers.

It was rush hour and the bus trudged through the city streets.

9 stops til the train station…

By the way, by this point, the temperature had climbed to 26C and we were in a crammed bus after hiking down a mountain for thirty minutes.

Yeah, we were sweaty.

With 10 minutes to spare, we arrived at the train station, picked up our bags, and were soon on our way.

An hour later we had arrived deep into the Black Forest to the little town of Triberg im Schwarzwald.

Hello Triberg!

If Baden Baden was a town, then I guess Triberg would be a village.

It’s a very small town with basically one main road.

We walked down the road, over a couple a blocks, and into our new home for the next 2 nights.

The daHeim hostel, if it can be called that, is one of the most unique “hostels” I’ve ever booked.

It basically a giant warehouse with around a dozen little campervans scattered throughout it inside.

We booked a private 2 bed campervan but you could also book at 4 bed dormitory style van.

Each van had it’s own theme from western to Route 66 and we were assigned the Hippie van.

After a longer than we wanted checkin, we were finally setup, and ready to head out to dinner.

Since neither of us had had lunch, we were pretty damn hungry by this point.

As for gluten free food, well, it’s a small town.

There’s already not alot of restaurants in general here and the only one that was marked as gluten free was closed on Tuesdays and Wednesdays which happen to be the exact two nights we’re here in town.

The next one marked on my map is 6km away and we ain’t taking a 50 minute bus ride out for dinner, I’ll tell you that.

So, we decided to just walk up the main road in town and check out what restaurants were open and what they had on their menus.

The first couple of restaurants we looked at were also closed tonight and tomorrow.

Very strange that Tuesday and Wednesday are their days that they’re closed.

The menu of the next place we looked at was dominated with pizzas and pastas but there was one solitary page with   a choice of chicken, pork chops, or meat with fries and a salad.

Sign me up for some pork chops!

After dinner, we stopped into a little ice cream shop around the corner and I got a couple scoops of coconut and caramel ice cream.

The perfect way to end the day.

Ice cream in a little town in the middle of the Black Forest!

Germany Trip 2024, Trip Journal, Heidelberg, Triberg, Black Forest, Germany
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