Here’s a series of photographs from a trip Vic & I made to the Black Forest in early spring.
The journey down there was harrowing. On the Autobahn the slow lane is too slow, the middle lane is too fast, and the fast lane is ridiculous. It was all I could do to keep our tiny rental on the road as cars blew past us. Vic and I do not drive well together to begin with — she’ll insist I’m driving too fast and I’ll insist on ignoring her — so we were relieved when we’d made it to our destination.
We stayed in Baden Baden to visit the Friedrichsbad, an old roman bath from the 1800s. The experience was “traditionally german,” which of course meant we’d be naked the whole time. After stripping off in the changing rooms, we proceeded to the entrance where, to my horror, we were greeted by staff who still had their clothes on. I looked about frantically for reassurance that we were, in fact, meant to be naked already. None came. The attendant was unfazed and showed us through to the first chamber. I noted the presence of other naked people there with some relief.
We were cooked for 3 hours in a series of baths and saunas — pausing briefly to be massaged in between. I use the term “massage” here with some reservation. It was a vigorous all-over scraping with a coarse brush. “Punishment” might better describe it. It turns out 3 hours of relentless exposure is enough to convert even the most awkward of nudes. I was pretty comfortable with my own bareness by the end of it.
Besides the baths, we made a day trip into the Black Forest which was anything but black in the early spring. I’m a sucker for a good castle and Altes Schloß, an old ruin overlooking Baden Baden, was a classic. We took a long walk through the woods, spotting not much more than a field mouse. There was a decided lack of hooded bandits and swordsmen.
After settling on a strategy for how to weather the drive home without killing each other, we had a pleasant journey back. It’s been hard to escape Berlin during our time here so we were glad we’d made the effort to get out and see more of Germany.