By Ignacio “Iggy” Rubalcava
U.S. Army Garrison Baumholder Public Affairs office
Deep in Germany’s Black Forest region only about a four-hour ride from Baumholder is the popular Titisee lake resort.The area is an excellent option for a four-day weekend adventure. Hotels are available along the shore but accommodations may be difficult to obtain. Lodging is more readily available in the nearby town of Neustadt and the surrounding communities.The blue and white paddle boats with plastic windshields and wooden row boats maneuvering on the water are like a flashback to the 1950s. It costs €12 to rent a paddle boat for a half hour and an hour costs €20. Renting a row boat costs slightly less in Euro, but more in energy. Electric boats are also available or visitors can enjoy a ferry boat ride around the lake. Renting a bicycle is another way to explore the town and the lake. The many languages heard as vacationers make their way along the souvenir and gift shops that line the promenade hints that this location is well known throughout Europe. The shops offer popular Black Forest mementos such as smoked ham, local cheeses, traditional pear, cherry and apple schnaps, “lederhosen,” cuckoo clocks, Black Forest dolls and more. There’s also no shortage of restaurants offering everything from regional favorites to Asian dishes.
A white Ferris Wheel, visible from almost any point around the Titisee, draws families to the small amusement park along the east shore of the lake. The walking path surrounding the lake is about eight kilometers long and offers a comfortable two hour stroll. For those who enjoy taking in the great outdoors from the comfort of a lounge chair or mobile home, the lake offers two camp grounds along its shore.
About a 10 minute ride from Titisee is Schluchsee, a lake about three times larger than Titisee. There are numerous spots along the shore to enjoy a family picnic or just sunbathe. A great way to see the entire lake is to take a ferry ride that makes four stops around the lake. People may board or disembark at any of the four stops. The cruise lasts just over an hour and costs about €7. If you follow your GPS to Titisee Neustadt you’ll probably spend about two hours or more in traffic because Autobahn A5 from Karlsruhe to Offenburg is littered with construction sites. It’s best to plan an alternate route via Strassbourg, France. Take the A6 to Mannheim and just before Mannheim turn onto A65 south. Follow A65 into France and Strassbourg. From Strassbourg take B28 back into Germany and then head south on A5 toward Freiburg im Breisgau. You will run into two construction sites, but they are very minor compared to the five or six others that you avoided. Take the Freiburg exit and go though the city, following the directions toward Titisee Neustadt. Once out of the city continue on B31 until you reach Titisee Neustadt. Follow the same route back and you will avoid most of the traffic.