What happens if two doctoral students who lives in a foreign country having a small chat on one evening? A plan for fun adventure. I and my friend decided to celebrate birthdays together with trying something new, which rarely comes to mind both of us: skiing! We also agreed to learn to ski in the area Schwarzwald, Germany, the original city of Schwarzwälder a.k.a blackforest torte cake.
We chose Schwarzwald because it is strategically located, including in regions close to the German border with two other countries, namely Switzerland and France. We promise to meet in Freiburg, the nearest big city of Schwarzwald. There we rented a Ferienwohnung or vacation home. We were greeted kindly by Alvie Vömye, the owner of the house. Lodging in the form of a sort of tiny studio apartment is quite large, with a dining room, kitchen, bathroom, and a comfortable bedroom.
Birthday celebration began with a triple-decker eating chocolate cake layered black cherry cream with sprinkles in each layer, and doused with kirschwasser (cherry water, alcoholic beverages of cherry, typical of southern Germany and the province of Alsace, France). That blackforest first cake that we eat directly in the home town of the cake. Delicacy very impressive!
We took a private ski courses in the area Todtnauberg, Hochschwarzwald. The consideration, in order to more freely than join the large group. Ski lessons that day started at around 14:00 pm. The morning we left, because they still have to take the train from the train station Hinterzarten, in the direction of Freiburg, followed by a bus ride away from Kirchzarten to the village of Todtnauberg. Looks several other passengers also have the same intention. However, they are complete bring their winter sports equipment.
Learning to Ski
We went to a ski equipment rental shop in the highland village of Todtnauberg. After changing costumes, we were given ski boots, one number above the usual number of shoes we wear. For rental of this equipment, we pay 10 euros per person. This is much cheaper than we had expected. Because, when checking on their pages, the price of a set of ski equipment that is 19 euro. Later, after checking again, the price of 10 euro turned out for a set of ski equipment children’s sizes! Also delicious are petite like this, we can both save up to 9 euros.
We had hobbled running shoes weighing may reach a quarter of our weight. To lift the leg was difficult. Ski boards too heavy. In fact, all of the equipment has been adapted to our height and weight.
The location is learning to ski is Muggenbrunn, which is slightly higher than Todtnauberg. Daniel, our instructor, was a friendly old man. We were taught to put boots skis. After that, the real lesson begins. Lifting the foot already shod only heavy, especially coupled with the board that it is firmly in the shoe. First of all, we must be able to stand properly. Then, to be able to maintain body balance. Ski sticks really help sustain us in order to remain standing.
Furthermore, learning to walk. Way street that first taught is the way the V-shaped, like a penguin style. The new opens, already slipping. Foot and hand we have to be really strong support the body. However, when rolled, it turned out fun. Only, if you can not put the brakes on, might crash. The next lesson is up the hill. Of course this is even more difficult. Snow already meet skis, while we still can go up as well. Daniel was already waiting for us at the top.
Another technique is the road sideways. Daniel calls side walking, one leg at a riding like climbing stairs. For us, this method is relatively easier than penguin style. Arriving at the top, we then slid again. This time of fun and amusing. Several times we fall, mostly because they can not put the brakes on the pace of the slide. Do not be mistaken, so falling in the snow we can immediately get up by itself. Difficult! Foot feels like embedded. We only can wake up, once drawn by Daniel.
The following modules are sliding and braking force called Daniel as a ‘slice’. To do this style, both ends of the skis held together at the front, so as to form a triangle position. Gliding with legs opened selebarnya, then to stop the slides, both feet opened even wider. Lola had some success doing this slide, although eventually fall as well as to curb special skill.
Imperceptibly, an hour passed. And, because we are ‘good girls and fun’, so said Daniel, he also adds hours of our courses without us having to pay more. Another bonus, we still can play its own outside of class hours. Fun …. Unfortunately, the body was not strong anymore. Hands and legs are sore. Fortunately we ‘only’ bruises. Because, said some people, when learning to ski, we must be prepared to risk body ache, bruises, or broken bones.
Across the Border to Colmar
We chose to visit Colmar, because this city is the old town became the center of a wine in the province of Alsace, France. Round-trip bus ticket-Colmar Breisach relatively low, only 7,70 euro per person and takes about 30 minutes. During the trip, we passed through small villages and expanse of prairie. The scenery is different. When outside the borders of Germany, seen houses were more colorful than in Germany. Traffic signs are installed is also not as much as in Germany.
Arriving in Colmar, many other passengers who get off at the stop Theater. We decided to go to the final station in La Gare de Colmar. We miscalculated, it turns out the distance from the station to the city center is quite far away. Understandably, we expect Colmar would like most cities in Germany alone, so out station directly find downtown.
We walked through the park Place du Champs de Mars beautiful, with a fountain in the middle. Colmar is also the place of origin of Frédéric-Auguste Bartholdi, maker of the Statue of Liberty in New York. Entering the old city center of Colmar, we were immediately amazed at the small streets of stone and old multi-storey buildings, with a triangular roof and painted colorful. We also briefly popped into Rue Unterlinden, Musee Unterlinden seputaran, one of the famous museum that contains a collection of art, artifacts of local and international, ranging from pre-history to contemporary.
We then look for La Petite Venise, a mini Venice in Colmar region. Passing through Cathedral St. Martin, knew we had reached the Place de L’Ecole, which according to the map, there is a house that once occupied the famous philosopher, Voltaire. But exactly where, to no avail we found.
Actually, this place does not look much like Venice. Only, there is a small canal there, with some of the gondola tethered. In addition to the canal, the area is also marked by the presence of small cobbled alleys that either side there are houses, cafes, and shops with classical architecture
Café in Rue des Merchands
We did a wine tour with a visit a small wine shops are mostly found in Colmar. Strada Vino in the store, we sampled both types of wine mainstay of Colmar, which is kind of Riesling and Gewürztraminer. Both come from grape varieties that grow in the region Alsace, France. Riesling white wine smelled fragrant floral, while the reddish pink Gewürztraminer has an aroma similar to lychee fruit. Lola decided to buy a bottle of wine Gewürztraminer as a gift for his friend, who happened to be a fan of white wine flavored fruit.
Afterward, we stopped into a cafe in the Rue des Merchands, which is displayed in front of the old stuff, such as teapots, plates and cups antique. The cafe is not too large. Surprisingly, we were served by grandma! Cashier clerks were already elderly. Of course they only speak French. Forced, we use hand language and facial expressions. Fortunately, this friendly grandmother can understand we are only able to point to the menu while trying to pronounce the name of our order. We ordered thé japonais (Japanese tea) and a latte. We also ordered a macaroon, chocolate, and pistachio. Hmm … good!
After the morning we still hear and speak German, in the afternoon we were already in the French-speaking parts of the world. That is a unique and fun venturing into the border area
- Book train tickets should be far in advance, in order to get a cheap price.
- The cost of our lodging for 49 euros per night for the house, plus 2 euro (25,000) for kurtaxe (a kind of compulsory dues citizens in Germany) per person per night. With that price, we will get Schwarzwald Card, a card that can be used to enter the sites for free. With this card, we can also free ride trains and buses in the area Schwarzwald, even can also be used to Freiburg and Breisach, a town on the border with France to get to Colmar.
- 3. The private ski lessons offered at 39 euros per hour for two people. Not including the cost of renting the equipment, such as boards, boots and ski sticks in a ski equipment rental