2015-03-16 48 8
Bad Herrenalb, a piece of white Black Forest at slightly above 800m.
This wasn't what I had planned to do.
I had aimed at the Kaiserslautern graticule hash for the day and two other destinations, making a kind of ambitious but possible round trip by train and bus. However, this failed before it had even really started: My bus to Karlsruhe was late for about 1:15 hours after getting stuck in traffic congestion due to two accidents on the motorway. This was too much delay, so I cancelled the trip and wondered what to do instead. I found that the 48,8 hash wasn't too far from Karlsruhe, also probably reachable, in the northern Black Forest. So I decided to try that.
With a stopover at Ettlingen, the tram took me to Bad Herrenalb station. There I found that a bus would go into my direction, sparing me about 5 kilometers and also about 350 elevation metres. I waited for that bus and when it came, got on. It was an unusal ride over very little roads up into the mountains. Since I hadn't planned anything for this area, I had not really an idea which route the bus would take and where the stops are located. So I just got off at some random point that looked like it might be a good point to start the walk further up.
What came unexpected: Snow! It's been quite a while since it has snowed, and temperatures had been in the two-digit centigrade above zero range for at least a week. Still there was lots of leftover ice and snow, and the higher I got, the more there was. So I sneaked upwards through the white.
Hiking trails and forest tracks took me until 40 m from the hash, then I had to climb up into the white forest. Not too easy, not impossible either, so... it's been done ;) However, I decided not to climb on to the peak but go down again.
On some map I had seen that there was a hiking trail back to Bad Herrenalb along the Alb river, so I took that. And on the way back visited the monastery ruins in both Herrenalb and Frauenalb.
Things I learned today:
- In the Black Forest, they built irrigation canals for wet valley meadows which never lack humidity¹.
- Werewolves are created by drinking from a certain spring.
- The two monasteries in the Alb valley Herrenalb ("Gentlemen's Alb") and Frauenalb ("Women's Alb") were indeed a men's and a women's monastery. However, they didn't belong together although being located only a few km from another - rather, they were mortal enemies. Belonging to different orders and different countries, they didn't restrain from burning down the respective other one when there was a chance.
¹ and it makes sense: The meadows were flooded to melt away snow to prolong the growing season.