Thursday, December 24, 2015

Black Forest

On Friday of our Rhine cruise, we got away from the river via motor coach to spend some time in Germany's legendary Black Forest. Our destination: the tiny resort of Hofgut Sternen.

St. Oswald's Chapel, Hofgut Sternen
Driving from the valley we quickly rose above the clouds into bright blue skies and fresh snow on the ground.  The vistas were gorgeous, but I couldn't shoot any of them because there was nowhere on the narrow, winding road to safely stop the bus!

Fortunately, things were still beautiful after we'd descended into the Ravenna gorge.  Zak and I ditched our fellow cruise passengers to walk a short ways to see St. Oswald's Chapel, which was dedicated in 1148 as the first local parish church by the Bishop of Constance.

Hofgut Sternen
Fresh snow on tree branches always makes for a pretty picture.

St. Oswald's Chapel, Hofgut Sternen
The chapel was heavily damaged by aerial bombing toward the end of World War II.  A complete restoration was done in 1950.

Höllentalbahn Railway, Hofgut Sternen
The Ravennaschlucht Viadukt is an impressive structure.  According to Wikipedia, "the bridge was exploded by German forces near the end of World War II and then re-built under the direction of French occupying forces and with the use of German prisoners of war."

Hofgut Sternen
A creek ran through the property, cutting a dark path through the white terrain.

Hofgut Sternen
A small pond provided a picturesque reflective foreground.

Hofgut Sternen
Last shot before hopping back on the bus -- a snow-covered fence that seems to serve as the gateway to an enchanted forest.  Like if you hopped over it and started walking, you'd find yourself running into Hansel & Gretel, Little Red Riding Hood, or Elsa & Anna.

Yet another place on our trip that I'd love to have spent more time in.  But still delighted to have experienced it at least briefly!

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