Road Trip: Furtwangen and Colmar

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Last week, I took a bit of an impromptu mini-road trip from Zurich to Zweibrucken, Germany, and back. Scott was in Germany for work, so I jumped at the opportunity to overnight away from home.

On the way there, I drove through the Black Forest in Germany, visiting the clock museum in Furtwangen. It was a terribly rainy day, so even though the drive was beautiful with tall, dark evergreens bordering winding roads, I was too busy focusing on driving to snap any photos outside of the museum.

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The clock collection itself was quite interesting. My favorite item on display was one of the painted clocks. Apparently, the French went giraffe-mad in the late 1820s. A giraffe named Zarafa was gifted to the French king by the viceroy of Egypt to smooth over some diplomatic tensions. The story is that when Zarafa was shipped across the sea, a hole needed to be cut in the deck to allow her neck to poke through. She eventually made her way to Paris, where people lined up to see her. Giraffe motifs became all the rage in china, textiles, and even hairstyles. The smart Black Forest clock makers gave their market what it wanted in a charming giraffe-themed timekeeper.

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I took a different route on my way back to Zurich, enjoying the return of the sunshine. I drove through quintessential French landscapes, stopping in Colmar for lunch. It was an adorable, albeit touristy, little town. I discovered that it was the birthplace of Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi, the sculptor of the Statue of Liberty. I didn’t have a chance to visit the Bartholdi museum since they were shut down for a proper lunch hour, but I did enjoy a stroll through the streets and some delicious local cheese.

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I was only gone about 36 hours, but I saw so much! And I was overdue for a road trip–the efficient trains I take to get to most places are great, but there is nothing quite like the freedom of driving.

4 comments

    • Thanks! I love taking photos, but never want it to get in the way of simply experiencing a place. So I typically try to dedicate some discrete, focused chunks of time to photography, and otherwise put the camera away (unless I see a “must have” shot)!

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