The following morning we decided to make up for lost time by getting up bright and early to properly explore Baden-Baden.
It’s such a really gorgeous city – perhaps even more so under that soft morning sunshine glow.
We ambled slowly through the city, making our way over to one of the most important spots in the city – the casino.
Now, a casino might seem like a weird place to visit in the morning, especially in a pretty spa city like this but this casino is an important part of the city’s history. It isn’t your average casino and over its years has played host to celebrities and even royal families.
It is also incredibly opulent inside and to make the most of that, you can arrange for a tour to visit properly.
Alas, we hadn’t arranged for a full tour to visit on this trip so that’s gonna be one we’re saving for next time we’re in Baden-Baden.
Even without a tour booked though, you can still pop in to check bit of it out so just pop in anyway, even if just for a few minutes.
Leaving the casino we popped over to another beautiful part of the Kurhaus complex (which is I probably should have mentioned, is the square that casino is part of) called the Trinkhalle.
The Trinkhalle or ‘Pump House’ is another deceptively named spot in Baden-Baden. On the face of it, it sounds like it’s an old, mundane working building but in reality, it’s an incredible outdoor gallery with fresco-lined walls. It is absolutely gorgeous!
The casino is lovely but if you’re short on time while visiting Baden-Baden, and can only see one place – make it this one!
Even though we were short on time and still had so many more places, we wanted to visit this morning, we very easily found ourselves getting lost in the beauty of this amazing part of Baden-Baden.
Suffice to say, we fell very quickly behind our schedule and it took a quick glance at the clocks to remind us that we had to leave Baden-Baden pretty much straight away.
But, Baden-Baden won’t let you off that easily – there was still one more spot we had to check out before leaving.
To go to that spot you have to take the funicular up into the Merkur mountain where you’ll find one of the most beautiful views of the city and indeed, the surrounding Black Forest area. There’s also a restaurant and bar/cafe up there so it’s the perfect spot to kick back, grab a drink or a bite to eat and soak up that view. Especially on a sunny day like this.
But like, I said earlier, we didn’t have much time to spend here so couldn’t while away the morning, toasty beverage in hand. When you do get to visit though, be sure to make some time to at least have a drink while you’re taking that view.
Leaving Baden-Baden we headed off in search of the Schnapps Distillery Trail.
Just before we hit the trail we decided to stop over at Geroldsauer Waterfall. (*I told you there were so many beautiful distractions in The Black Forest. Actually, I don’t know if I did tell you already. If I haven’t I’m telling you now, be prepared to make lots of impromptu stops so leave yourself enough buffer time).
To get to Geroldsauer Waterfall you have to park the car on the road (there’s a little corner with enough parking space for a handful of cars) and walk down a short but steep path, where you’ll have the sound of running water guiding you to the waterfall.
It’s a pretty little spot in the Black Forest and is absolutely worth visiting.
Right – so back to the Schnapps Distillery Trail. So, this part of Germany has lots of little houses that make their own Schnapps and the idea with the trail is to go on a hike through the forest, stopping off at these Schnapps houses for a taste of the local liquor. Suffice to say, it’s one of the ‘merriest’ ways to explore the area.
Alas we couldn’t indulge in the Schnapps because we were driving. Speaking of which, we still had a long drive ahead of us so after a traversing a fair bit of the Schnapps Distillery Trail, we circled back to the car and went off in search of another beautiful site in the Black Forest.
Our next stop was Mummelsee Lake (though I’m pretty sure I’m saying Mummel Lake Lake as ‘See” is Lake in German). Mummelsee is a gorgeous lake up in the mountains with amazing reflections of the surrounding forest.
Within minutes of arriving though, we were quickly distracted by cuckoo clocks, of which I’d been obsessed with getting one since we were in Stuttgart last time for the Christmas Market. This Cuckoo Clock is famously from this part of Germany so if ever there was a place to get one, the Black Forest certainly is it. They’re also pricey so it’s definitely not an impulse purchase and come with so many varying details so you do need to take some time to pick the right one for you.
For the rest of the afternoon, we had vague plans. Like, we had spots we wanted to visit if we could but otherwise, it was fairly loosey-goosey so we just spent our time slowly exploring the Black Forest.
Along the way, we stopped off at beautiful monasteries, pretty little waterfalls, amazing abbey ruins and impressive viewpoints over the Black Forest.
Eventually, we made our way over to our hotel, the aptly named Liberty Design Hotel.
Now, get this – The Liberty Design Hotel actually used to be a prison back in the day and you can still find lots of remnants from when used to be a fully functioning prison. Knackered, and generally enjoying the vibe at the hotel we decided to just stay in the hotel for dinner.
But before that, let me very quickly show you around the hotel.
Dinner time! So for dinner, I went for lobster bisque to start and Lloyd went for the beef broth and dumplings. I definitely think I won when it came to the starters. That lobster bisque was so delicious! 😋 😋 😋
For the main meal, Lloyd went for the flame-grilled tuna and I went for a rack of lamb. (We both did good on this front!)
For dessert, we both went for the same thing – the creme brûlée! 😋 😋 😋
Unsurprisingly, especially considering our early start today to explore Baden-Baden, we were thoroughly exhausted after dinner and just went straight to bed.
The following day would have a rather exciting, adrenaline-filled start to the day and we had to be nice and rested for it.
But I’ll tell you all about that in the next blog post!