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It turns out that the Rhine floodplain is rather flat. This is not a particularly astute observation, after all the clue is in the name, but it is a bit of a shock when you’re used to the hills of Stuttgart. After visiting my future apartment, and finding myself with an hour and a half to spare before my train to Stuttgart, I figured it would be a terrible waste not to go exploring.

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The eastern side of the plain is marked by the edge of the Black Forest. there’s no messing about with things like foothills here, the land goes from a wide flat plain to a wall of sandstone covered in pine forest.

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I aimed for the hills, partly because I’m a geography nerd and the “Black Forest” still seems incredibly exotic, and partly because you can’t really miss them and get lost on the way.

I knew from looking at maps (it’s what Geography nerds do) that the river came out of the Black forest after following a steep valley, so my plan was to ride along it for about thirty minutes, Waldkirch, the first town in the valley, and then come back in time for the train.

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Wood baked breads and colonial items

In practice I got a bit distracted by an interesting side road and ended up in a very small valley full of “typical” local houses, and then got nervous about missing the train and set off back to the station.

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Of course, being me I was convinced that I’d be late so put the hammer down on the return journey, and made it back in fifteen minutes leaving me with a good twenty to wait for the train.

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Fortunately there was an interesting crane like implement to watch doing technical things…