This morning was like Christmas morning! OK, so when we were spending hours and hours watching Rick Steves videos while planning our trip, he introduced us to the sommerrodelbahn. We have been looking forward to this experience ever since! The best part is, they're scattered all throughout this region, so we can continue to enjoy them as we migrate.
The sommerrodelbahn is a single person roller coaster built into the side of the mountain. You strap into your little individual car, get hauled to the top of the mountain on some sort of lift device, and let gravity do the rest. It is exactly as amazing as it sounds. We aren't supposed to take videos while riding, and we don't have a GoPro, so check out this video to get an idea. This is actually the coaster we rode!
So we arrive at this place and see that not only is there a roller coaster with minimal safeguards built into the hillside, but the complex also houses a trampoline park. We henceforth referred to the complex as the "Tort Park." Ugh, what lawyer approved this idea? But this is also why Europe is so great!
Those of you who know me (Sarah) well, know that I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie. I adore roller coasters, have jumped out of an airplane, and am looking forward to the day I can bungee jump and swim with sharks. Back when I was in law school, our old family dog, Lucy, lived with me. When Lucy turned 15, her body was falling apart and the poor old girl became pretty depressed. To cheer her up, I got her her very own kitten, Chloe. The day I brought Chloe home, Lucy was so excited that her entire body was shaking uncontrollably. I am not exaggerating when I say my entire body was trembling with excitement as I waited in line to get on this silly sommerrodelbahn, and I couldn't help but think of my beloved Lucy.
Here we are putting on our flimsy little seatbelts and hoping for the best.
And here we go!
We loved it so much, we did it twice! The experience was extra exciting for a few reasons: you're held in only by g-forces and a normal seatbelt that no one really checks, there appears to be no external braking system so it's entirely up to the rider to stop at the end of the track by using the hand brakes, they allow 8-year olds to ride alone and use their 8-year old judgment when braking, and these cars go fast.
We left the Tort Park for the attraction next door, the Black Forest Open Air Museum. Built around a farmhouse dating back to 1612, this museum focuses on the traditions and lifestyle in the not-so-good ol' days. This museum was not unlike the folk museum we visited back in Norway. The main highlights, though, were some of the workers wandering the grounds. Here are two teenage girls dressed in traditional Black Forest garb.
And our beyond precious tour guide whom we both loved. She was so sweet and proper and lovely, we mistook her for British at first. But she told us she grew up here in the Black Forest and she and her daughters used to wear the above outfits to church. Several other members of our tour wanted pictures with her, as well. She really was that charming. We wanted to pack her in our luggage and bring her home.
After about 3 hours at this museum, we headed through increasingly more beautiful parts of the Black Forest.
We went to a clock museum that we thought was going to focus almost exclusively on cuckoo clocks, but that was not the case. It was somewhat interesting for geeky people like us, but it's not a can't miss kind of thing like the sommerrodelbahn!
Then we headed to our destination for the next couple of days - Eguisheim, France!
We ended the day with a very nice Alsatian dinner at a subterranean restaurant in the village.