Day 1 : Getting to the Black Forest
Bart and I had planned to go on a winter hike in the Black Forest in Germany. I already had a bunch of gear from my trip to the Vosges last year. Bart bought all his stuff last minute, including a hat, gloves and gore tex pants. The sleeping bag he bought had a comfort temperature of -5 degrees celsius, the weather predictions mentioned -7 at night.
Monday morning we took the first bus towards Eindhoven in the Netherlands. In Eindhoven we bought tickets to Arnhem. Thus far everything was going well. The train to Freiburg in Germany left at 9 o'clock. We couldn't find our assigned seats so just sat down somewhere. Two Turkish Germans were sitting across from us. They both wore a nice suit, were a bit overweight, and looked like they had just walked of the set of the Godfather. One of them took out his handkerchief and started drilling in his nose. Then he extensively inspected his treasure an put the handkerchief down on the table in front of us. Later they stood up and asked us to keep their seats free. The handkerchief was left behind.
Besides us were some old Dutch people complaining about how everything had gotten so expensive and today's youth didn't have any respect for elderly people. Young people also all wore the same type of dull clothes, not like the colorful ones they wore in their youth. One of them was reading a book titled '12 books that changed the world'. A while later three girls entered. After they left, one of the old ladies said she thought the girls were strange 'with all their strange clothes in so many colors'.
In Freiburg we quickly found the right hiking trail. An hour later we were already deep in the forest. There was no snow yet, but walking was though because we were going steep uphill. We ate our first hard kecks (super dry cookies with a 20 year expiration date) as well as a chestnut that we found.
By the time it was getting dark we had left the forest. The route kept climbing upwards and we start looking for a place to sleep. We were on an open hill where we might be discovered (we weren't sure if camping there was 100% allowed). Nevertheless we rolled out our bivy bags with a great view over Freiburg. Because of our not-so-great camera we didn't manage to take a nice photo. These were the best out of 20 trials.
We were already in bed by 18:30. As soon as the sun went down we couldn't safely continue walking and it became a lot colder. This night it was still relatively warm, just below freezing.
Route dag 1