We have joined our bicycling group with Vermont Bicycle Tours, and are now in Badenweiler in the Black Forest region of Germany. More on VBT later, including a review of the company at the conclusion of this trip.
The Black Forest is so named because the density of the trees looked so dark that the conquering Romans called it black. Badenweiler has been a spa town since Roman days, with an archeological site of the Roman baths preserved under a high-tech metal and glass roof.
Out on the bike paths and back roads, the vineyards cover the hillsides and one might happen upon a field of sunflowers.
Of the many charming towns on today’s route, Stauffen is perhaps the most interesting, with many artful store displays and sidewalk cafes.
The town is the site of the Goethe novel Dr. Faustus, based on the traditional folk tale of the man who sold his soul to the devil. The apartment where the sale supposedly took place has a mural on the wall commemorating the literary connection.
Next we travel to the Alsace region of France for more cycling and perhaps even a little wine tasting.