In panic mode, negative thoughts swirled around my head. I couldn't believe that this tour of a lifetime that I had put on the back burner for 27 years culminated to this! Despaired at the situation, I was on the brink of tears.
Although I was insured for this trip, I decided against seeing a doctor for two reasons:
1. The hubs and Rodney would have to remain behind in Switzerland with me, while the rest of the group would proceed to Germany without us. As we did not know the extent of my injury or how long it would take to get my foot fixed, it would be terribly unfair to expect the rest of the group to wait indefinitely for us. This was a very compact tour (5 countries in 8 days) and a delay would disrupt the entire schedule and itinerary.
2. We would have to find our own way to rejoin the group in Germany or whichever country they may be by then.
No, I was not going to miss out on any part of this tour that I had dreamed of all of my life. I didn't fly halfway around the world for nothing. Enduring the pain, I assured everyone that I was fine and limped my way to the coach with The Hubs and Rodney as my crutches.
Pain or rain... Germany, here I come!
Isn't it amazing how adrenaline can make one almost invincible!?
Luckily for me, the Rhine Falls was an hour's drive from Zurich so I had time to rest my poor throbbing foot.
As soon as we reached SchlossLaufen, we could hear the thunderous tumbling and rumbling of Europe's largest falls.
Then, as the full expanse of the falls unfurled before us, our jaws dropped....
We were spellbound!
There are some things you just can't capture in a photo. A frozen snapshot couldn't possibly do justice to what we had witnessed.
Here's a video of the falls taken with a drone by Youtuber schrägoben
Every step was worth the pain!
After SchlossLaufen, we crossed the border to Germany and arrived in Titisee, in the southern Black Forest in Baden-Württemberg.
On the way to Titisee we were told that the Black Forest is really dark green and not black! Its dense fir population makes it appear almost black from a distance, hence the name Black Forest.
Our tour in Titisee began in Drubba Shopping, a quaint place where we were given a briefing of how cuckoo clocks are made.
Cuckoo clocks galore!
The mechanism in a cuckoo clock works in tandem with its melody and automata : moving trains, dancing figurines, water wheels, even wives beating up husbands!
My favourite was the Romeo and Juliet cuckoo clock.
The cute little door opens up, the cuckoo bird looks out and cuckoos out the hour. Once the cuckoo has finished, Romeo climbs up the ladder to reach his Juliet, only to fall back down again as Mr. Capulet threatens him with his hay fork. Dancing figures also turn to the sound of music.
This mill house clock is just as adorable. 3 woodsmen work the mill. One chops while the other two saw wood! A water wheel turns and happy couples dance to the music!
There's something magical about the cuckoo clock, don't you think? It's amazing how they have survived the test of time (pun unintended) for hundreds of years and are still around and cherished in many homes today despite the digital age.
While admiring the clocks, I was contemplating getting one as cuckoo clocks are so quintessentially German. Having one ticking in the house would be the perfect memento of our visit to this wonderful country.
"Nah, they're probably made in China.", Rodney remarked.
"Please, they are a 100% German made!!", a guttural voice corrected us in heavily accented English.
We turned our heads to find a man suddenly standing beside us.
Ooops! That remark wasn't meant to be heard!
The man who was staff then proceeded to give us a very long and detailed lecture on where each part of the cuckoo clock was sourced! Clearly, the Germans are very proud of their cuckoo clocks!
Sorry! Our bad!
And yes, we did buy a small one that didn't cost us an arm and a leg. It is now ticking happily in our living room and will be treasured forever. That darn bird can be quite annoying! Contrary to what we were told, the silly bird is never on time — always late by a few minutes.
|Lake Titisee against the Black Forest backdrop|
After a delicious German specialty meal of pork knuckles, we headed for Heidelberg, an hour's ride by coach from Titisee.
Heidelberg, a medieval town in southwestern German is famous for its university. Founded in 1386, Heidelberg University is the oldest university in Germany. Perhaps it was the pain in my foot that was numbing my brain or that I was having a sensory overload but I couldn't recall visiting any old university! I checked with The Hubs and he said that the only thing he could remember about Germany was the pork knuckle meal!!
Our walking tour of Altstadt (meaning old town) began with a photo stop in Kornmarkt.
Heidelberg is broken up into many different market squares. Each has its own personality and served a purpose in Heidelberg's history. Fish, vegetables, and other goods were sold separately in each individual square, hence their names. This square is Kornmarkt or Corn Market.
You can see the ruins of the Heidelberg Castle (German: Heidelberger Schloss) up on the hill
The Madonna statue at Kornmarkt
The Marktplatz, is the city´s main square with the Church of the Holy Spirit at its center
It's really hard to put into words how enchanting Heidelberg was with its Baroque-style Old Town, cobbled streets and fairy-tale castles. It was like something dreamed up by Disney.
The Nekkar River
The day ended with a Chinese dinner at a restaurant nearby and a 2 hour drive to Frankfurt where we checked in to our hotel for the night.