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Today was another beautiful day here in southern Germany.  Despite that, I gave some serious thought to staying in and being lazy.  Fortunately, Bill decided he wanted to go out and see something new.  It wasn’t too hard to convince me, since the sun was out and the temperatures were so agreeable.  Plus, there was a place I had in mind to see.

Last month, Bill and I visited the Bärenpark, which I had discovered on our February trip to the Dorotheenhütte (glass blowing factory) in Wolfach.  As we were leaving the bear park, I noticed a sign for a place called Glaswaldsee.  My rudimentary German skills told me that Glaswaldsee translates to glass forest lake.  That sounded interesting to me, so I did an Internet search and learned that the Glaswaldsee is a wild lake referred to as the “blue eye” in the central Northern Black Forest.

The Glaswaldsee is a “Karsee“, meaning that it’s a remnant from the last ice age.  These lakes formed when ice water could flow down a mountain side and collect on a flat surface.  The water formed a lake that is fed only by melting snow and rain.  During periods of drought, the lakes can dry up and become overgrown.  After the ice age, there were as many as 35 Karseen in the Northern Black Forest.  Now, there are only a few left, many of which are near Freudenstadt.  As luck would have it, we live relatively close to Freudenstadt.

We put the top down on the Mini and took off for the tiny spa hamlet of Bad Rippoldsau, since that was close to where we’d seen the sign.  Alternatively, we could have reached the lake via another spa town, Bad Peterstal-Griesbach.  On the way there, we stopped at a hotel in a really tiny village called Zwieselberg and had lunch at Hotel Hirsch… one of many Hotel Hirsches in the area.  We stopped there because we saw a sign that read they had non-stop food from noon until 9:00pm.  Just before I got out of the car, the strap on my new purse broke… the one I bought two months ago to replace the last purse I had whose strap broke.  I guess I should stop carrying so much crap with me.

Hotel Hirsch in tiny Zwieselberg welcomes you…

Bill looks relaxed in the empty restaurant…

It was really dead in the restaurant and super quiet, but soon some hikers came in.  The bartender, who seemed to have a rather stoic personality, turned on the TV to music videos.  The menu was limited and simple… it was mostly stuff like schnitzel, goulash, wurst, and salad.  Everything was super cheap, though…

I had red wurst with fries and salad.  Props to the Hotel Hirsch for bringing out a big ramekin of ketchup.  I was surprised they didn’t supply mustard, which also would have been welcome.

Bill had white wurst.


While we were eating, a guy came in and asked to turn the channel to sports.  He asked us in English if we minded.  We didn’t, actually, because the video that had just played was by a woman named Noah Cyrus.  The song was called “We Are Fucked”.  It always amazes me how much freer Germans are with English swear words… not that I mind the f-word, but that particular song was kind of depressing.  It was followed up by a song from Justin Bieber.  So yeah, turn the channel to football, please!

After we paid our twenty euro bill, we headed toward our final destination.  We found the road I had spotted during our last trip to the area.  It was narrow and rather primitive.  There were a couple of times when Bill was sporting white knuckles as he gripped the steering wheel.  We made one wrong turn and ended up at someone’s private abode.  Then we finally spotted a sign for a parking area for the Glaswaldsee.  After several more scary minutes ascending the primitive road, we reached the edge of the nature park where the lake is located.  Bill parked, paid for the 1,50 euro Parkschein (which is good all day), and noted that there’s also a zip line at that location.

I listened to the peaceful creek…

We took a look at the map…


Then it was a one kilometer walk to the lake…  however, that one kilometer hike was entirely uphill.  I got a bit winded, and I’m sure my hips and legs will complain tomorrow morning.  I was still able to walk up the gravelly road without too much trouble.  And when we reached the lake, we were rewarded…

A sandstone wall borders the lake.

It should be mentioned that swimming is not allowed at this lake.  I did see a couple of people wading in the water, including a little girl whose mother was taking pictures.  Personally, I thought the water looked more brown than blue, but it was definitely quiet and serene and I didn’t regret the challenging climb.  Needless to say, it’s not exactly stroller friendly.  I did see people with dogs, though.  There was no one official there to make sure people followed the rules.  Below are some photos I got before we headed back down the mountain.

Ducks live there.

There is a path that surrounds the lake.  It takes about twenty minutes or so to stroll around it.  There are other trails you can take, including one that goes to Bad Peterstal-Griesach.  I was glad we didn’t start from there, since the sign said it was 7.8 kilometers away on hilly terrain.  Those of you who are more fit than I am may find it a good place for a challenging hike.  

A long walk…

The path around the lake is pleasant.

Here’s a little hut and cookout area.  We saw a few people enjoying it today.  I did not notice any public restrooms here, but there are plenty of bushes for ducking behind…

A nice view down…

I snapped a picture of Bill as he was telling me about some guy he met in Iraq on a “vomit comet”.  Apparently, the guy was a jerk and warned Bill not to throw up.  Bill responded by grabbing a barf bag and threatening to use it.  My mild mannered husband is endlessly patient, but he has a snarky side, too.


The journey home was excellent.  Below are a few more photos of the lovely drive…  Yes, this area is a long way from downtown Stuttgart, but we wouldn’t trade living out this way for being closer to Bill’s work.  There’s so much to do in and around the Black Forest.  Lots of bikers, on bicycles and motorcycles, were also enjoying the views and the weather.

I’m really glad I noticed the sign for Glaswaldsee…  I don’t think it’s one of those places tourists usually find.  Glaswaldsee, by the way, is very close to the Bear Park.  You could easily combine the activities.

Really… if you live near the Black Forest, you owe it to yourself to get out and explore it.  The last time we lived here, we didn’t do nearly as many local activities.  We’re making up for that now, but not everyone gets to come back to Germany.  So, I urge you to make the most of your time here, however long or short it might be.  And if you feel up to it, maybe you should visit the Glaswaldsee.

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