Triberg: 3-4 June 2012

See previous part of trip: Frankfurt

Triberg was a place we wanted to visit because Triberg Waterfall is Germany's highest waterfall. Also, it's one of the towns in the "black forest" where Black Forest Cake originates. This region was named black forest supposedly because of the dense growth which makes the forest very dark from the lack of light.

Triberg is the home of cookoo clocks - a town in which people loved tracking each hour as time goes by. So I wasn't surprised to hear the bell go off every hour. I was wondering how I would get any sleep at night. But Germans aren't stupid people. The clock tower goes silent after 8pm. It goes off again at 7am though. No chance of rising late like a lazy bum!

3 June

We took a train from Frankfurt to Triberg. Frankfurt(M) Flughafen Fernbf to Triberg, with one change of train at Offenburg. (2.44 hrs) Eur134 for 5 ppl (Eur 27 per person). Although we had breakfast at the airport before taking the train, we packed some food for the journey. My friend whipped out her NTUC plastic bag and asked whether any of us needed to put food into her plastic bag.

There's this tourist joke that Japanese tourists are usually seen with a camera in one hand and an umbrella in the other. Australian tourists are seen with beer in one hand and a partner in the other. Chinese tourists are seen with a camera in one hand and plastic bag of food in another.

My friend pointed out that it wasn't just any plastic bag she was holding but an NTUC Finest plastic bag.

When we arrived at Triberg train station, we had to figure out which was way out. It was rather deserted and we had to figure it out ourselves. It was cumbersome carrying our baggage down and up to get across. I noticed a conveyor belt beside the staircase and tried to work it. There's a sensor at each end of the belt. If you put your luggage on it, the belt will go up or down depending on which end the belt was triggered. Pardon me for being so amazed with it: I'd not seen such a machine before!
Luggage conveyor belt

Because it was a Sunday, there was no ticketing staff at the Triberg train station. According to the bus timetable displayed at the station, there was no bus service during the 3-hour bus driver's lunch break. Even the toilet at the train station was closed.

Faced with the choice of waiting 2 hours for the next bus or walking, we chose to walk to the hotel. On the map, it looked like a 15-min walk.

Triberg Map

I asked for directions from one of the few people the deserted train station but they pointed us in the wrong direction. We managed to figure out how to get to the hotel. It wasn't that difficult: we went uphill because the hotel was near the waterfall, so logically we would have to go uphill. Although the weather was nice and cool with a slight drizzle, we were perspiring from dragging and pushing our baggage uphill.

As we approached the hotel, we noticed a bus pass us. Looks like the driver took a short lunch!

Hotel Garni Central
Hotel Garni Central

Hotel Garni Central looked nice from the outside. The lift was very old. We were hoping it wouldn't break down. We would have used the stairs if there were any. A lady in charge of housekeeping checked us in (€ 64 per night, including 1 visit to the waterfall and 1-day free bus ride). There weren't any kettles in the rooms but we managed to borrow them. The hotel wasn't posh but it felt homely. Each room had a balcony. It was drizzling so I didn't go outside to enjoy the view (of the town).

There were restaurants near the hotel so we just picked one. We had ham and sausages for lunch. We were surprised to meet a Malaysian couple in the restaurant. They were working in London and were visiting Triberg for a self-drive holiday.

One of the first few questions they asked was: how did we all manage to take 2 weeks of time off work? It was pretty amazing, come to think of it, that 5 of us somehow managed to take time off work and off family responsibilities to go on a 2-week vacation! The last time we all were on a trip together was before we graduated. Then, on a tight budget, we selected the cheapest accommodation in Bintan: Mana Mana resort.

The couple shared with us what they had seen in Triberg so far. One of the attractions they visited was the cookoo clock factory with a gigantic cookoo clock - but it was hard to reach by public transport (they drove). The other attraction was the Triberg waterfall. They commented that there were nicer ones in Malaysia. They shared that they read about a cafe with very good black forest cake down the road. We were too stuffed from lunch to join them for dessert.

We intended to visit the waterfall but the rain was so heavy that we didn't want to be outdoors. Instead, we went to the cafe the couple recommended. My friend's NTUC plastic bag saved the day again. We used it to store our wet umbrellas.

The black forest cake was huge. 5 of us shared a slice. It was truly delicious! I wish a cake shop in Singapore would make it the same way! Somehow, I do not have a picture of the cake. It must have been because I was enjoying my tea with pott! Some alcohol was great for keeping us warm on a cold and rainy day.
Tea with pott

We played Dai Ti, a card game with a name that literally translates to "Big 2", in the cafe because there really wasn't anything else to do. It was my first time playing. I didn't win any round but I only lost once or twice. We played till the cafe closed at 5pm. It was still raining and there was really nothing to do so we went back to the hotel to rest till dinner time.

We still felt stuffed at dinner time. We shared a pizza and a plate of pasta. All the food and drinks we had throughout the day was inexpensive - cheaper than Singapore restaurant and cafe prices. I suppose salt was cheap too because the food tasted very salty!

4 June

My friend said she didn't sleep well because the room was too bright from the lack of black-out curtains. Actually, there were blinds on the outside of the room that could be activated with a switch. Poor girl!

The breakfast area was lovely and homely. There was a view of the mountain. The view was something like that in the background:
Triberg scenery
We took our time eating because it was still raining outside. When the rain slowed to a drizzle, we headed for the waterfall.

To Triberg waterfall

Fortunately, we didn't pay any money to the waterfall (because of the free ticket from the hotel). The waterfall was indeed disappointing. The waterfall was the cascading type rather than the plunge type.
Triberg Waterfall

So it wasn't national pride that made the Malaysian couple comment that waterfalls in Malaysia were better. We spotted a squirrel running across the stream but that was the only interesting event.

We bought alcohol and souvenirs, and visited a cookoo clock shop.

The cookoo clocks ranged from simple ones to elaborate ones costing thousands of dollars. Some clocks take a week to assemble. But of course they do usually do not assemble one clock at a time but would, say, carve a number of pieces for different clocks at one go, then assemble them at one go later.

My friend and I were overheard by the sales assistant saying that we wouldn't want the clock ringing every 15 mins and hour all day and night, so the sales assistant told us that some of the clocks have a light sensor. If there is no light, the clock will not sound. Yup, the Germans have thought of everything!

If you couldn't afford to buy or carry one back, you could buy a cookoo clock magnet. I bought neither because it's cheaper and more convenient to take a picture.

It was time for us to leave Triberg. We bought some food for the journey and took a bus (for free using the bus ticket provided by the hotel) to the Triberg train station to catch a train to Stuttgart.
Bus timetable


laliloo said...

Haven't seen such a good post for quite some time ^_^. I'm loving this experience you're writing.

Yu-Kym said...

Glad you like it! I'd been very busy working!

Anonymous said...

The Cookoo pix r really exciting! Look
Forward to more of your post on Europe
Red kitty