Wednesday, May 06, 2015

Triberg, Germany

Because, life doesn't stop just because we want it too, I figured I'd continue trying to catch up with our old adventures! What a better way to remember Seamus than to talk about one of our first trips in Europe together! :D
Back in August 2013, over labor day weekend (So I guess it's technically September?) we headed off to Triberg, Germany. According to Google  Maps, Triberg is about 4 hours away. What Google Maps forgot to mention that it was Europe's last weekend of vacation and the roads were JAMMED. It took us 6 hours to get to Triberg! We had planned on stopping off to check out Burg Lichtenstein, but ended up hitting that up on our way back home.
Once we made it to Triberg, we checked into our hotel, we stayed at the Hotel Garni Central, we paid 132 Euros for 2 nights. (Not as cheap as Spain!) It included breakfast, parking, internet and no pet fee, so I think in the long run it evened out. The Hotel was literally in the town of Triberg. It was less than a 5-minute walk to the shops and waterfall! It was a little confusing locating the hotel, I didn't read the fine print where it said it was located above a bank, whoops! But we found it and everything worked out.
The view of Triberg from our room

First experience with the double beds!

Since we arrived to Triberg much later than anticipated, everything was closed for the night! :( So instead we found this great little pizza parlor that had outdoor seating and pet friendly (I really love that about Europe! Everything is so pet-friendly) and had pizza's. This place was so good we ate there both nights we were in town!
The next morning we got up early and decided to check out the Triberg Waterfall, our hotel provided us with free tickets just for staying there!

Some information about the Triberg Wasserfalle:  Triberg Falls is the highest waterfalls in Germany with a descent of 163 m (at between 711 and 872 metres above sea level), and is a landmark in the Black Forest region. Above Triberg, in the midst of Black Forest, the Gutach river plunges over seven major steps from a gently undulated high plain into a rocky V-shaped valley. In Triberg, at the bottom of the falls, the deep valley forms a basin just wide enough for a small town. The steep basin and the waterfalls were initially formed by two faults in the granite and then by glaciers during several glaciations of the Pleistocene. Triberg with its waterfalls is a popular tourist spot, attracting a large number of both domestic and foreign tourists each year. The upper part of the falls is less spectacular. Here the water is used by a small and very old hydroelectric power plant.

--> to the Sanctuary

Triberg Wasserfalle!

Sidles' August 2013 @ Triberg

We spent the day hiking up and around the park with Seamus & Rylie. At the time we didn't know that the park had multiple entrances, so we continued walking/hiking up a mountain thinking that there had to be something worthwhile on top of was a parking lot. -_-
We did get a cool shot of the town through the trees.

After exploring town, we dropped the dogs off at the hotel, we wanted to go cuckoo clock shopping and weren’t sure how the dogs would do in the store (Yes, Germany and most of Europe lets you take your dog EVERYWHERE!) but we probably didn’t need to worry since they were so tired from the hike. When we got back to the hotel they jumped on the bed and didn’t move for the rest of the day. We walked through the town of Triberg, since we were on the main strip with all the shops, we decided to price out clocks. I heard stories about how expensive they are, and of course we saved for a bit saying that we wouldn't go over 200 euros for a medium size clock.

There were a lot of shops on the main strip of town, I knew the 3 I wanted to see were the House of 1000 Clocks, Oil’s (which many people go to because it isn’t “machine” made) and the House of Black Forest Clocks (it’s main store is 10 minutes outside of Triberg, it is where the Largest Cuckoo clock is located) We checked out all 3 stores and marveled at all the clocks. There was a clock at Oil’s that was a carved cuckoo clock version of the Neuschwanstein Castle, (the famous castle that Walt Disney designed his after) it was 1500 euros!! I tried to talk Drew into getting it for me, but he snorted and told me I should’ve found a sugar daddy if I wanted it. HA! It was beautiful though, we compromised and he said if I could save enough before we left we could buy it…(2 years later, I still haven’t saved enough) We ended up getting our clock at the House of the Black Forest Clocks, the shop is smaller than the House of 1000 clocks, and Oil’s. But we liked their selection the most. The store associates helped us look for clocks, pointed us in the right direction for our price range. They explained the difference between the clocks, 8 day (You have to reset it every 8 days), 24 hour (You have to reset it every day), and battery. They told us about the before marriage clocks, the after marriage clocks, explained how if we wanted to we could personalize it and they would even ship it back to the states for us. The other stores, no associate came up to us, at the House of 1000 clocks there were way too many people and their prices were almost double what we wanted to spend. I think the stores are used to American’s coming with their VAT forms, because there were prices on the back that excluded VAT. VAT forms are International Agreements between the U.S. and Germany permit U.S. Forces to procure tax-free goods and services for eligible members. In other words, you may be able to have the sticker price reduced by extracting the 19% or 7% VAT when making qualifying purchases through a U.S. Forces VAT Office. Using a VAT form is a great program, at the time they were $3 a piece when you bought 10, as of Nov 2014 (or maybe before? Nov was the last time in bought some) they became $5 each. Thank god the Euro went down but at the time spending 30€ or more, it was worth it to use a VAT form.
House of the Black Forest Clocks

House of 1000 Clocks

Oil's Clocks

Clocks Everywhere!
I think it's worth 1500 Euros. :D

When we got back to the House of the black Forest clocks we picked out a clock that we both could agree on. It has everything we wanted and it was even under our price range! We got a great deal on it because it was on Clearance, and on top of accepting VAT forms (stores can refuse to take them) the store offered a 10% discount on your total! We couldn't pass it up.
The girl that was helping us in the store told us if we wanted to we could even personalize our clock, they had little figurines that they would add to your clock for you (for a price of course). Since our clock only had one dog on it, we figured we would put a second one on the clock. But they were out of dogs and she suggested we go to their main store which was only 10 minutes away, where the worlds largest cuckoo clock was.
Our Clock before the new additions

The finished version with the second dog on the bench!
The next morning on our way out, we decided to check out the House of the Black Forest's main store. It did not disappoint. When we got there, there were 2 tour buses full of people just waiting out side in the view of our pictures, so we walked the dogs around to get some of their energy out. We found the cutest little creek just a block away from the store!

By the time we got back there was no one in sight! We got pictures in front of the clock, AND I even got a video of the clock going. (It costs 1 euro to make it go, but I think it's money well spent.)

The World's Largest Cuckoo Clock!

Labor Day weekend 2013

It was a great weekend and I'm glad we took this trip early into our time here in Germany. We got a great first experience traveling on our own with the dogs! :D