Although our summer break was cut short because of the opportunity of a sudden assignment that we didn't want to miss (more about that later, i promise!), we still had two long weeks to unwind and relax.
Our last-minute planning brought us to the Schwarzwald (Black Forest) in Germany, a mere 5,5 hour drive from the headquarters.
We packed up the car to the max, bought the boys headphones for the ride and left on an afternoon in sweltering heat.
When we left, The Netherlands was still enjoying/suffering temperatures of up to 40°C (104°F) which is extremely hot for our nearly scandinavian country, and we were happy to stay away from the southern European heat and go for a more lush environment to enjoy our time off. Also, we were happy we didn't have to drive too far in a non-airconditioned car.
We landed on a wonderful campground right next to a stream and a little waterfall. and together with the boys spent hours on well-made playgrounds and adventure trails such as the Black Forest Treetop walk (with a large slide going down) and a Barefoot path where we got to got to walk over pieces of broken glass (still pretty sharp). We clambered accross Germanies' largest waterfall and walked a 60 meters high suspension bridge that slightly swayed in the wind.
Of course we had to play a round of adventure golf (guess who struck a hole-in-one) and we somehow visited two places where people were extremely serious about model-trains as well as to a museum of clocks, vintage cars and vintage vending machines (because what else in Germany on a rainy day).
We spotted squirrels in the wild, fed ducks, almost caught a trout, looked for salamanders, learned to recognize nutcracker birds and were knocked over by over-excited goats. We skipped the Bratwurst, but did enjoy the Brezels and other bread-related goodness, went out for flammkuchen and drank beers that came in glasses the size of my head (often, we just shared).
The big days of Black Forest tourism might have been a while ago, with the current trend of summers becoming hotter and more people looking for car-friendly destinations nearby i wouldn't be surprised if the Schwarzwald will make a revival the coming years. I hope it does!