Founded in 1900, the Westweg is one of the oldest hiking trails in Europe. Taking in the northern, middle and southern Black Forest, it offers an ever-changing landscape of forests, moors, pastures, lakes, valleys, and mountains.
When: 24th August – 5th September 2010
(image from here)
Distance covered: approx. 250 km
Itinery: Neuenbürg – Dobel – Forbach – Mummelsee – Alexanderschanze – Hausach – Wilhelmshöhe – Neueck – Titisee – Notschrei – Haldenhof – Spielweg (Münstertal) (not on the map here – it’s north of Belchen and before Freiburg). The Westweg goes all the way from Pforzheim to Basel but we cut it short at either end, taking a train from Staufen to Neuenbürg, walking for 10 days, and then ending with a 2 night stay in Spielweg. We took the western route of the Westweg which took us over the Feldberg and the Belchen mountains. Many people, we learnt, cut some of the legs in half, or do just a few of them at a time. So it turns out we’re pretty hardcore!
Here are some selected sights –
The Northern Black Forest
The Middle Black Forest
The southern Black Forest
We saw the Alps from the Feldberg, which was rare, unexpected and spectacular, but there was an even better view to come the next day…
Accommodation: we stayed in a mixture of hotels, pensions and guesthouses. We booked it all ourselves before leaving. We had most evening meals in the place we were staying, and generally (with a few dodgy exceptions*) it was delicious – lots of hearty Badisch cuisine – meat and spätzle / schnitzel / pfifferlinge galore. Many of the best places were also the cheapest (with the exception of Spielweg, of course, where we enjoyed a scrumptious 4 course and a 6 course menu, and breakfast in bed). The rooms went from
Spielweg aside our favourite place was the guesthouse at Wilhelmshöhe. The staff are very friendly, the food is basic but delicious, the rooms are quaint, and the whole place is a bit of a Black Forest museum…
Verdict: An amazing honeymoon, and pleased we did something a bit different. Despite the pain and tears I would do it all again, if only I can find my walking boots.
* Mummelsee and Notschrei – expensive places (almost as expensive as Spielweg) which tried to serve posh food but failed miserably. They are, unfortunately, the only places to stay on those parts of the route.