2010-02-28 48 8
In the black forest, south of Gaistal, a part of Bad Herrenalb
The bus stop Bernbacher Weg is located conveniently close to the hashpoint, about 1 kilometer. The problem is, buses, line 116 there only go every two hours, at 9:28, 11:28, 13:28, 15:28 and 17:28. As I didn't want to risk missing the last one and having to walk back, I decided to take the second to last back at 15:28, meaning to arrive with the one at 13:28, meaning I had to leave my home at about 12:00.
At 12:00, I took the S2 to the Market Square and barely caught the S1 to Bad Herrenalb. At the main station, tons of police cars were parked, as today was the Karlsruhe-Kaiserslautern football game. Also, there were several fans in the S2 and in trams coming in the opposite direction as the S1 I was currently in. The rest of the ride went without any problems, I arrived in Bad Herrenalb by 13:00.
I waited at the Bad Herrenalb station, the terminus of the Albtalbahn, until my bus to Gaistal arrived. From Bad Herrenalb, the bus made several detours through Bad Herrenalb, through villages called "Unteres Gaistal" (Lower Gais Valley) and Zieflensberg, on the way back, it also goes through "Oberes Gaistal" (Upper Gais Valley). That way, the bus runs over 10 kilometers to the stop Bernsbacher Weg, whereas the direct way is only about 6 kilometers. Even though this is the middle of nowhere, the bus was actually nearly half-full.
Eventually, by 13:30 I arrived at the bus stop in the middle of nowhere, aka Bernsbacher Weg.
Now I headed towards the hashpoint, a few hundred meters on forest paths, some still covered with layers of snow, until the GPS pointed 90° into the forest, with 170 meters to go.
So I struggled through the sometimes dense forest, surprised to still find snow about half a meter deep snow, sank in a few times, but managed to find the hashpoint by 14:00.
The hashpoint was almost completely surrounded by dense undergrowth and located next to the roots of a fallen tree, sticking out of the ground, leaving a small pit, covered with snow. After sinking my feet into that pit a few times, I wrote a marker, took photos, built a small snowman and placed it on the fallen tree. High above the hashpoint, the wind was blowing through the trees, making a somewhat loud noise.
I also made a video, saved it to upload it later at home (no cellphone coverage at the hashpoint), I even re-watched it on the train ride home, but while trying to upload it at home, the video was gone. No idea what happened.. Two weeks later, when uploading the video of the next expedition, I found that this video eventually showed up on ustream, and here it is.
I left the hashpoint a few minutes later, as I had snow in my shoes and I wanted to have a chance to dry my socks at the bus stop. At the bus stop I had to wait about 50 minutes, I took off my shoes and socks and tried to rest on a bench. However, with the heavy wind blowing past the stop and occasional rain, it didn't really go well. So I waited.
At 15:28, the bus didn't arrive. Neither did it until 16:00, when I decided to walk to the next stop. At the next stop, Gaistal Talwiese, no bus either. So I kept walking through the heavy wind, by a small ski hill (not in operation, of course, as it was around 10°C) and past the village Overes Gaistal, down to the Unteres Gaistal. In the end, I walked all the way back to Bad Herrenalb, always hoping the bus would still come, which it didn't.
Not far from Bad Herrenalb, I realized there was a train set to go back to Karlsruhe in a few minutes, so I started running. A car stopped and they offered to drive me the last kilometer to the station. I gladly accepted, got off at the station, only to find a crowd of confused and upset people there. The heavy wind had knocked a tree onto a power line, leaving parts of Bad Herrenalb and also the railway without power. As it turned out, the bus supposed to run on the 116 to Gaistal was now used as a rail replacement and as there were no spare buses available, the 15:28 bus didn't go at all.
By 17:20, a replacement bus to Karlsruhe arrived (in fact it was the same one I used to go up to Gaistal before), which was horribly overcrowded. In Marxzell, two train cars were parked, stranded without power. In Etzenrot, I spotted a few maintenance vehicles near the tracks, apparently this is there the power line was damaged. By 17:40, I arrived in Busenbach, where I changed into an S11 back to Karlsruhe, where I arrived at 18:10, caught an S2 back home, arriving by 18:30, 1.5 hours later as planned.