From there it was the longest drive of our trip, into the mountains to the small town of Todtnau. I'll start with a TopTip: If you visit Tripsdrill and your journey takes you right out of the carpark, beware; just before the first town the 70kph road suddenly drops to 30kph for no apparent reason and then raises to 50 kph after about 100 meters. The 30kph section has a speed camera which duly took my photo as drifted through it trying to work out what was going on, a month later I've had nothing through from the car hire company, so fingers crossed that's going to come to nothing! Sneaky speed cameras aside driving and roads throughout Germany are a delight, everything is so well maintained, clean and tidy, and just works. We had one short delay on the outskirts of Stuttgart but other than that the roads flow at speed and with ease.
Out of the car window
Maybe it's just the route we took, but the whole area is stunningly pretty. Even the industrial areas looked neat, tidy and prosperous unlike the dives we have over here. Once in the mountains some of the roads are a bit precarious, but it's worth the trek once you are up there. We checked into guesthouse Lamm, which is just outside of town and took the short walk to a small selection of bars and restaurants at the base of the mountain for that evenings beer
and a look at what the next day would bring
It's a lovely relaxing place place for a day or two
doesn't look real, does it?
The next morning I was eager to get up that mountain for the main even, the mountain coaster. 9 Euros a pop includes your trip up on the chairlift and slide down the coaster. The views from the top of the town bellow and surrounding mountains are stunning, and for the less adventurous the chairlift can be taken as a round trip. Toptip: Don't forget you are up a mountain and the sun is different here, industrial strength suntan lotion required!
The ride itself was the highlight of the whole holiday for me. It's insane fun. As you are in control of your own braking you can have as wild or sedate ride as you like, so it really is for everyone. I tried to use the brakes as little as possible, my wife though was not pleased with this decision as we were going down together in one cart, and I only really applied them near the bottom to stop us smashing into the person in front. With barely any banking in the corners it really feels like it is trying to fling you from your little cart if you take them at speed, and the standard three point seat belt does little to make you feel secure, which all adds to it for me.
That's me, speeding again
I loved it and went up again, my wife less so and sat out go two. As it got a little later in the day the queue at the top built up to about 30 minutes, so try not to hit peak times if you can. TopTip: Chose your place in the queue wisely; you don't want to be getting on just after someone who is likely to be going down slowly, so get on behind teens and not a young family. If the ride is backing up a bit the op will let you wait at the top for a minute or two so you can get a clearer run.
if you are still speeding at this point you are in trouble
I can't put into words how much I loved this. I would recommend it to everyone. If you have any opportunity to do one of these then take it, it's an absolute must. I could have spent the whole day going up and down here, but we didn't, we went to look at some waterfalls instead.
A short drive out of the other side of town, the waterfalls are stunning and climbable from top to bottom if you are into that sort of pain. We were happy with more sedate wander through parts of it.
And very nice it was too. Then by afternoon it was time to be off, drive out of the mountains, and on to the climax of it all. Europa Park! I'll leave you with what I think may be one of the best photos that has ever been taken. If ever a picture could sum up our differing feelings of an experience, this is it...
I did mention I didn't use the brakes!