Freiburg im Breisgau is in the very southwest corner of Germany on the edge of the Black Forest. We took a day trip to this historical university city while the weather was still warm.
After a filling lunch of spaetzle with a Pfifferlinge (chanterelle) mushroom sauce, we toured the Old Town. Two things about this city stuck out to me, and for both, I had to look down.
The first is something visitors must look down for: Freiburg’s extensive gutter system, known as Bächle.
These gutters date back to at least the 13th century and provided the city with water to fight fires and drinking water for the people and livestock. They never have contained sewage, and as a result of their cleanliness, you may see visitors or locals soaking their feet or dogs exploring inside of them. The legend is that if you step in one, you will be destined to marry a Freiburger.
The second thing visitors will want to look down for is Freiburg’s very interesting stone work. Some of it is for city information. For instance, Freiburg’s sister cities are noted on the ground instead of on a sign.
Others are for historical business information. Outside shops, there are different stone designs for businesses, such as a pair of scissors outside a storefront that must have been a barber shop at one time. My favorite was the pretzel signaling a bakery!
We also visited the city’s Münster and accidentally walked into a wedding being conducted in French. Tourists were making their way around the church, quietly taking in the rare opportunity to see such a pretty service in a beautiful setting. The guests ignored them as they sat listening intently while wearing fancy hats.
Our last stop in the afternoon was taking the Schauinsland cable car up into the Black Forest. The ride took about 20 minutes, and the views continued to get better as we ascended the 3.6 kilometers.
It turned out to be much colder on the top of the mountain, and a storm was about to start. Luckily, we were able to see some breathtaking views before the weather got too unbearable.
We made our way back down to Freiburg for shelter and some much desired Black Forest Torte before our day trip ended.
I was right.