After Fribourg, we traveled to the Titisee Lake and the surrounding Forêt Noire (the Black Forest).
My friends and I wanted to venture into the forest, but our tour guide told us that we didn't have enough time. Our solutions was to book it into the forest. (Best choice) We ended up seeing the gorgeous Black Forest on one of the most beautiful days of the year -- not too cold or too hot.
As demonstrated in the above picture, it was awe inspiring.
My friend (pictured above) and I both hail from woodsy Western PA. It's amazing how similar the woods in this forest felt similar to our Western PA backyards. Maybe, in all actuality, it only has trees as its similarity, but it still felt a little bit like my childhood.
I love cities. I love nature. It's a constant conflict. I'm torn between wanting the constant hubbub of the city and my desire for the stillness of the woods. Maybe one day I'll figure out how to combine the two, but until then, I'm just traveling between them.
Also, I am friends with some really good people here. These two are two of my favorite people not only in our program but that I've met in the past year. They're both so kind, straightforward, smart, and accepting. I'm traveling with them to Italy in a week's time, and I'm so thrilled. I traveled with Kasey to Belgium, and it is the greatest compliment in the world to be invited to travel with someone again.
You're not at your best when you travel. You're tired and hungry and confused and frustrated and overwhelmed. To be able to still want to hang out with someone who is also at that level when you're at that level... That's a step above friendship. That's travel companionship. I consider my travel companions to be a very elite group of amazing people. (Love you all)
I will admit that I was a little disappointed that we didn't have more time to just soak in the forest, but I can't really complain when the trip is completely coordinated by my program. It was so overwhelmingly beautiful. I think I could spend the rest of my life in locations too beautiful for photographs.
After a hearty traditional lunch of potatoes and cream cheese, we picked up a couple gifts since everything was so cheap!! Then we traveled to a vineyard in Alsace. We went to Domaine Wohleber in the small town of Andlau.
We were there at golden hour, the most beautiful time of day for photographs. It was so beautifully romantic and interesting. Our tour guide was the owner of the vineyard and his son tagged along. Their family operation produced small batches of wine each year, but they took us through their sections of the hill in addition to telling us about the community. The community is built on wine production, and I got the vibe that they were a helpful and friendly people. In America, there is such a sense of competition, but I've noticed that businesses here help out other businesses without reserve.
It was another journey up a hill, but it was completely worth it. Acres upon acres of the slowly turning leaves of the grapevines... Problems seemed to drip away
Paris is a thriving city and a centre for art, culture, language, etc, but it is always a comfort to me to get out into the beautiful countryside. It's a small slice of heaven that I got to savor for a little moment.
Thanks for sharing, Alsace.