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Schwarzwald to the Mosel

After our most enjoyable sojourn in Baden Baden, we needed to get some miles covered in order to reach Dunkirk by Saturday night. There was time for a short detour south to explore some more of the Black Forest and we decided to stay in Germany to avoid French motorway tolls, heading for the banks of the River Mosel. Leaving Baden Baden at 0900 we took the scenic route suggested by the most helpful lady in the Baden Baden Tourist Office, passing several deserted ski areas without any sign of snow at over 1,000m. The famously scenic route wound up through the forest to a plateau and we enjoyed lunch with some good pastries from a local bäckerei at Freudenstadt.

Heading back north we drove down into the steep sided valley of the River Murg, stopping briefly at Forbach. The river has been canalised and used for hydro-electric power for over a century with the Rudolf-Fettweis Plant in Forbach expanding into a modern, high-performance pumped storage power plant. Four individual power plants were built between 1914 and 1926 along the river near Forbach. The Schwarzenbach reservoir, built between 1922 and 1926 with a volume of 14 million cubic metres and 400m. gravity dam, is fed by several natural tributaries. Today, the reservoir has been developed as a tourist hotspot, so we decided to give it a miss as we really needed to head up north. The water from the reservoir links with turbines, generators and the equalising reservoir in Forbach. Perhaps the more picturesque sight in Forbach is the 38m. wooden, roofed cantilever bridge. Still used for lightweight traffic, it was built in 1778.

Enough of sightseeing and we head for the motorway round Karlsruhe to cross the Rhine  and drive up to the Mosel where Bev had found an excellent motorhome parking area at Zeltingen-Rachtig opposite the former Cistercian convent Brauhaus Kloster Machern which proved to be an excellent choice for an evening drink and supper. After finding the last spot on the bank of the Mosel, we got the bikes out and rode across the bridge to the brewery.

We’ve driven 259 miles today, leaving about 300 to get to Dunkirk for tomorrow night. The ferry is booked for 1000 Sunday morning.