We were again up and off early this morning. No more is the "Elegant Lady" our means of transport. She has become our mobile hotel. We left the ship today in Strasbourg and it sailed to Breisach where we joined it for the night. Tomorrow it sails to Basel, our final destination, while we tour the Alsace and join it at Basel where we spend the following three nights.
This morning we stopped first at a model village in the Black Forest. It comprises one farmhouse which was originally on the site and several other buildings which have been moved from all over the Black Forest area. It was most interesting to see the buildings with their combined living area and animal quarters. The smoky kitchen was quite an eye-opener with the multiple use of smoke. It coated and preserved the wooden structure, killed vermin in the thatch, preserved meat hung in the rafters, and, no doubt, wrought havoc with the lungs of the inhabitants. Goats, geese, ducks, and hens roamed the grounds and the usual farm activity continued around the village as we wandered around.
We left the village and drove through scenic valleys to a palace, Schloss Hornberg, where we had a most satisfying lunch, including the mildest and most tender venison I have ever tasted. After lunch we had a look around the grounds afterwards and admired the view over the village of Hornberg.
We drove a short distance to what is billed as the largest cuckoo clock in the world - something just about every village claims! This one was impressive with all sorts of activity every minute or so. We were lured into the store and, of course, spent some money. The owner is the perfect promoter and knows how to win customers. We were greeted with small cups of a liqueur which they sell and as we were leaving he came onto the bus an distributed postcards of the store while thanking us profusely for having stopped at his store.
We travelled on to a restaurant where we had dessert. A large helping of delicious Black Forest Cake and a cup of coffee. We had time to inspect the cows with their cowbells in a field across the street. We returned to the ship at Breisach while struggling to keep awake after the sumptuous food we had enjoyed.
We hurriedly changed for dinner which we scarcely needed, then adjourned to the lounge to be entertained by Black Forest Dancers who sang as well as danced, and explained some of the significance of the costumes.
This ended what Christine described as the highlight of the trip so far. The relative peace of the countryside was a contrast to the busyness and crowds of the various towns and villages at which we have stopped. It was interesting to see the way of life in the past and compare it to what we have seen of Ukrainian settlers and Hutterite Colonies in Alberta and read of Amish settlements in the States.
So ended another day as we begin to feel our cruise is approaching its end, since we will be at our final destination, Basel, tomorrow night