Touring by bike in the Black Forest (2/2)

During the second week of our cycling holidays we entered into the woods of the Black Forest. The days were filled with a mix of cycling on mountain routes, some city tripping and a good bit of relaxing and reading.

It was our first time climbing 1000 metres with a fully packed bike. It felt really rewarding to suffer for a bit, before having an impressive view. A long downhill only adds to this positive experience.

Karlsruhe

Spread over a full week we took the following route:

  • Karlsruhe
  • Baden-Baden
  • Freudenstadt (camping Langenwald)
  • Wolfach (Camping Zur Muhle)
  • Freiburg (2-day city trip)
Museums in Karlsruhe – Make sure to check out the ZKM Centre for Art and Media

To spread the trip and keep time for some hikes, we took the cycling very slow. Sometimes we only cycled for an hour or two in a day, e.g. the trip from Karlsruhe to Baden-Baden.

The Trinkhalle of Baden-Baden

Baden-Baden used to be a fancy bathing city where travellers from all over Europe would go relax in the Roman baths. So we checked-in at Hotel Beek and went to the local baths just next door.

Baden-Baden

The city has plenty of old architecture, with some old hotels, springs, baths, a casino, etc. so we did take plenty of time to discover and stroll around by daytime, at night and again the next morning.

After climbing up 500m, going down another 500m and slowly climbing 500m again by bike, we arrived at camping Langenwald. It’s a lovely natural camping with the best bathrooms we have ever seen in a campground. The place is great to hike in the woods and mountains, with routes leaving straight from the back exit.

Happy face, sunburnt legs

After spending two nights in camping Langenwald we continued to our next stop, before heading to Freiburg. On the road we stopped to visit a bear sanctuary, which was nice, since they try to give mistreated bears a better life… but, even on a big plot of land, it’s still sad to see captured bears. Therefor I’m not going to promote it here.

On our way to Freiburg we had to do quite some climbing again. But just like all the other times, the views are extra rewarding after suffering a bit. Luckily we took more then 2 litres of water per person with us, since under the bright sun we were sweating a lot.

In general we only stayed one night in most of the places, so it was nice to stay multiple days in Freiburg. The city has lots of both new and historical highlights. The Vauban quarter is a sustainability hotspot with plenty of innovative ways of building, living and circulating. The historical centre and the hill-side view are another must see.

Bikepacking through the Black Forest in Germany. Cycling from north to south.

If the weather invites you to cool down: buy some beers and swim at the wasserterrassen in der Dreisam.

Wasserterrassen in der Dreisam

And since we like to spend more money on food then on hotels, we were happy to discover that Freiburg had quite some nice restaurants as well: Wolfshohle as a fine dining restaurant with a star, The SKAJO rooftop bar, breakfast at Manna, … plenty of nice places to discover.

Our original plan was to cycle back to Belgium through the Vosges region, but COVID numbers made us change our plans, and stay longer in Germany. One week before heading back home, we went to the railway station for some information on how to get back to Aachen, with our bikes on the train… And we discovered every realistic train connection was completely booked weeks before. We decided to go for the adventure of taking 7 trains in a row to get back to Brussels. And surprisingly, there were no delays what so ever. Transfers went smooth and there was plenty of space for the bikes. Sometimes we had to take off the bags to make some space for fellow travellers, but overall it was a positive experience. On top, the views from the trainride along the Rhine were impressive.

We were not alone traveling with our bikes on the train
Views from the train driving along the Rhine for most of the route

This was our first real cycling holiday of more then a weekend, so we didn’t really know how we would feel about it. No need to say more than quoting Tine on the way back: “Hey why don’t we do the same along the Donau, or the Thames”. I’m sure this kind of trip will be repeated.

Very shortly about our gear:

Tine’s bike had two big waterproof Ortlieb bags at the back, I had a bit more space with 5 Ortlieb bags dressed all over my bike. We took all our camping gear, clothing, lots of food and water.

For the Eurovelo 15 you certainly don’t need special bicycles at all, since it’s mostly flat and you just decide what camping gear you want to take along. My Surly did well, and our Schwalbe tires even better: not a single flat tire during the full two weeks.

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