High Above the Blue at Hochblauen
Alamanicus is having a short break from history this week with a trip to the Hochblauen ("High Blue"), a peak in the southern Black Forest. The Hochblauen is a short drive south east from Müllheim/Badenweiler, and accessible entirely by road (including by bus from Kandern). It rises nearly 700m (c.2300ft) above the Rhine plain, and 1165m (3822ft) above sea level, and is popular with hikers, mountain-bikers, and parascenders. The peak offers fantastic views of the Black Forest, the Rhine plain with glimpses of the Rhine winding through like a silver ribbon, the Vosges - the forested mountain range in France that is the twin of the German Black Forest, and northern Switzerland - on a good day one can even spy the Alps rising far to the south. A 21m (nearly 70ft) observation tower built in 1895 is worth the 50 cent entrance fee for its grand all round views, and the Hochblauen Berghotel cafe terrace (open Wednesday to Sunday 10:00 - 18:00) is a great place to sit with beer and cake whilst the sun disappears into France.