Theater im Kurpark
Unfortunately I didn't manage to watch a performance by now but a friend told me that it is really worth to do. This year they play "DAS KAETHCHEN VON HEILBRONN oder DIE FEUERPROBE"
16-19 July 2004, Beginn 8 pm
22-25 July 2004, Beginn 8 pm
Booking of tickets starts on 4 May 2004 Information and Tickets:
Süßmost - Fresh Apple Juice
September is apple time. What to do with them, especially from those in the orchard meadows? Press them and make Most. Gernsbach has a club of Süßmost makers who take care of the orchards and operate the press. They have a big stall on the Altstadtfest where they show how Süßmost is made. Very easy: wash the apples, put them through a shredder, fill the mash into the press and, well, press. The fresh juice runs through a sieve to catch seeds and bits and can then either be drunk fresh or left to fermentation to make apple wine, named Most (pronounced "Mosht" in Baden and Swabia). On the Altstadtfest they only have the fresh Süßmost. A couple of weeks later the real Most will be available.
The fresh juice can have accelerating effects on the digestive system, so if yours is sensitive, don't drink too much of it.
Süßmost = fresh juice right from the press, non-alcoholic, very sweet
Rauscher = half-fermented, yummy, still sweet but already alcoholic, be careful
Most = apple or pear wine, fully fermented, alcoholic.
Gernsbach in the Murg Valley
Gernsbach is one of the many small towns in the valleys of the Black Forest that have preserved their old flair. In past centuries it was the home of the Counts of Eberstein whose castle is located on a nearby hilltop. One would not cross oceans to see this little place but if you are in the area it is worth a stopover.
I visited on the weekend of Gernsbach's annual event, the Altstadtfest. On one weekend in September the whole old town is turned into a market and open-air pub. The local clubs operate food and drink stalls (for the sake of their club's finances). The town was very busy and lively but not terribly overcrowded - for a festival I found it just perfect.
The Murg valley is one of the largest valleys in the Northern Black Forest. The river has its source near Freudenstadt and then runs down towards the Rhine along a winding valley with a pleasant hilly landscape, wide forests and endless hiking trails. The Murg is easy enough to explore thanks to the S41, the tram line from Karlsruhe via Rastatt and then along the entire valley to Freudenstadt.
In former times those rivers were the veins of economy. The wood from the forests was transported on the waterway to the cities in the Rhine plain, tied to large rafts. A local club has revived the tradition and rebuilt such a raft. On occasions like the Altstadtfest they take visitors on short tours on the river.
My Raft Cruise on the Murg
I could not resist the temptation to go for an adventurous raft ride on the Murg river. Adventurous, LOL - in fact it was not too spectacular. With a glass of Spätburgunder from the nearby Ortenau it was fun, though - and something one simply has to do when there is the chance.
The raft is made from long logs but well covered like a boardwalk. There is a long table in the middle and a counter where you can buy wine and non-alcoholic drinks.
Unlike the rafts in former times this one has a motor and can travel upstream, though slowly slowly. The ride is not very long, maybe 200 metres and back. The river is shallow, the only stretch where it can run at all is the part above the dam to somewhere below the next bridge.
The club of Murg rafters dress up in traditional clothing. The men wear black pants and vests with a white shirt, hat and yellow necktie while the women wear some kind of Dirndl dresses.
Even on a raft the dishes have to be done!
Almost back at the raft landing
The green dinosaur is a balloon a kid brought along.
The landing manoeuvre requires...
... some muscles...
.. and some well-placed hits with the back of an axe to fasten the chain.