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A stunning walk in the Black Forest

Today's walk started in a town called Hinterzarten. As we set out I realised the town was familiar, we had been there before. That time our hike had started with us walking through someone's garden but luckily we didn't have to do that this time. Instead we headed in a slightly different direction, down spoon valley street (Löffeltalweg) for about four or five kilometres. As we were walking down Löffeltal we discovered why the valley was so named. This is because of the craftsmen who used to work there, making spoons and the occasional knife or fork. We came across old sawmills next to the stream with huge tree trunks waiting to be sliced up (tours on Sundays between May and October). Aside from the old industry, we admired the wildflowers growing next to or even in the stream.


Most of the time we were walking next to the stream or at the side of the forest. We could see the main road running through the valley and in the distance the Ravenna Viaduct with buildings beneath it. Shops and restaurants I presumed. After about five kilometres we crossed underneath the road and started to climb up the valley back towards the Ravenna Gorge. We reached the buildings seen from the other side of the road and discovered why they were there. It turned out that it was the site of an original customs house and stables, so back in the day this was was a trading route. People could travel through the narrow gorge with some help but only if they paid their dues.


The building named Goethehaus had hosted the German poet and it turned out that Marie-Antoinette had also stayed here on her way, at the tender age of 14, to Paris to meet her future husband. Until now I hadn’t realised she was Austrian.


We continued our walk up the Ravenna Gorge which was absolutely stunning. We climbed wooden steps, crossed bridges, strolled along the wooden walkways above the river and admired the waterfalls. All of the time enjoying the gorgeous scenery and tranquility. We saw very few other people on the walk, perhaps because of the forecast rain, which didn’t arrive until later.


The final leg of the journey took us from the Ravenna Gorge back to Hinterzarten. Nothing too exciting on this part of the walk. By this point I was tired and wanted to be back at the car. At least the rain held off though.


In total the walk was about 13km. It’s also possible to do shorter walks going directly to the gorge from Hinterzarten or starting at the Ravenna Viaduct.


Language Tip


This time it’s about capital letters. Read the post again to check whether I’ve written the word gorge or Gorge.


You should notice that sometimes it’s capitalised and sometimes not. Why is this?


The basic rule is that nouns in English, unlike German, are not capitalised. However we do use capital letters for names, such as Goethe, Manchester and Tuesday. Hence, the name of the gorge I visited is Ravenna Gorge.