Posted August 8th, 2017, 12:23 PM
I am not sure what it is with the Black Forest but more than twenty years back now in England I was asked by locals if the place I live in is in the Black Forest. It is not, I live more than 100 miles away. It appears that in the English-speaking world of all the places in Germany the Black Forest seems the one that people can easiest relate to. I for myself find the Black Forest not that spectacular, for me the Bavarian region "Bayerischer Wald" (bordering on the Czech Republic) has more appeal. One can get Black Forest Gateau wrong, it is not the easiest of cakes to bake and baking for tourists...hmm, not sure if the love and patience for baking is not lost a bit. For the Black Forest tour I would DIY instead, go to Freiburg, where one can also buy cuckoo clocks and eat the cake in a nice café. The cake is not restricted to the area, many, many cafés in the Rhine valley serve it. Those places are usually called Konditorei Café, by the way.
To the OP's original idea for the thread: Great that you tried it out, had the experience and now move on with a light heart. I had wanted to try river cruising for some years, when it finally worked out I was delighted, but also apprehensive. Would it be for me? It was, I thoroughly enjoyed it. As regards ocean cruising I can say that it would take a lot of convincing to get me on an ocean cruiser. I tend to "extrapolate" what the experience might be like from channel crossings on ferries with slot machines and teenagers and children talking in many languages or in high-pitched voices calling for mummy and cannot see myself on such a ship. Especially after some neighbours came back from their Mediterranean cruise with the conviction of not going on one again. I have been to cities along the Mediterranean on land trips and will continue to do so unless somebody pays for my transatlantic crossing on the QE2. I cannot get myself to trying it out with hard-earned money.
As for the Black Forest - yes, I'll admit it was a romantic notion, but one I wanted to do, and so I seized the day and did it. I enjoyed it - the walk in the woods felt all Black Foresty
As for ocean cruising, I don't know about other smaller ship lines, but Viking does not allow anyone under 18, so no children "calling out for mummy" at all. And they do not have slot machines. All of this I am looking forward to enjoying - uncrowded bliss compared to the mainstream lines. I have a friend who swears by Seadream Yacht Club and this also intrigues me, but they have no balconies, and my husband wanted the ship with all the balconies. He got no argument from me!
I would love to do a TA on one of the Cunard Queens - but I'd have to find someone else to go with. My husband is not found of getting dressed up - another thing he likes about Viking.