Malterdingen, Black Forest Country

On arriving in the small village we were to stay in for a week it was hard to believe we had booked this apartment as we couldn’t find anything else in the area. The photos on the website did the place no favours so its everyday beauty was entirely unexpected. The village is aesthetically pleasing in a way that eludes us at home, I think it is an artefact of time. There is simplicity in design borne out of centuries of refinement, no unnecessary things unless they are things of beauty.


Malterdingen, along with all the surrounding villages, is jam packed with cobble stone streets lined with baskets full of brightly blooming flowers reminiscent of the boulevard in Disneyland, timber braced homes with intricately painted facades overgrown with luscious vines, windows bordered with delicate shutters and filigree signs hung from shop fronts.


Langhof, the little lane to our apartment, ends with a communal cobblestone courtyard full of potted herbs and flowers (the courtyard is called a hof so the name of the lane is long courtyard). From the loft we have views across the mountains, from the kitchen window we can admire a couple traditional, half-timbered houses and the front deck looks over the main street were the children have been serenading the locals with their cuckoo whistles.


Daily drives in the Black Forest reinforce the magnificent beauty of the region. More difficult to tolerate then the vista is the road system. I’m hoping this is simply an artefact of being in the middle of a mountainous heavily forested region. The narrow winding roads that join villages are tedious. It takes us about an hour to travel 20km as the crow flies, but no crow in its right mind would take such convoluted routes. I have developed a great appreciation for the autobahn when wanting to actually get somewhere. The tedium of country roads is quickly compensated for by stunning scenery and surprises around every corner. Yesterday we headed off to a near by town in search of rain jacket for one of the kids, no luck with the jacket but instead we found a 14th century castle surrounded by forest to explore, unexpected delights are a regular occurrence.


Not so delightful, the level of fascination that the bidet holds for the 7 year old boy is frightful.


1. Walking in the Black Forest

2. Kids playing with their Bächle boat in the canals (Bächle) in Freiburg

3. Painted facades in Freiburg.

4. Birth entry for our ancestor Fridoloin who immigrated to Australia in 1856

5. Aiperscloster - oldest building in Nordweil, built in 1576.

6. A flour mill at the open air museum in Gutach
7. View over the forest from Castle ruins

8. A game of mouse roulette at the Kenzingen Medieval Festival. You place a gem/coin on the roof of the house you want the mouse to enter. If the mouse goes into your chosen house you keep your gem/coin and get a prize, if not, your gem/coin goes to the dealer. Sarah won, her prize.... a mouse.

9. Crossbow action at the Medieval festival, Kenzingen

10. Handcranked merrygo round at the Medieval Festival

11. Half timbered house in Kenzingen

12. Garden reminiscent of Beatrix Potter at the open air museum, Gutach.

13. Making cuckoo whistles