The Wine Road
Today is Ascension Day, "Christi Himmelfahrt" in German, and a public holiday. They closed a 14km (8.5 mile) stretch of wine-country road to motor traffic, and between 10:00 and 18:00 the greatest peril pedestrians faced was from speeding bicycles wreaking revenge for the fact that it is normally they that are the prey of speeding cars on these narrow winding roads at the foot of the Black Forest.
The temporarily pedestrianised road runs between Staufen and Müllheim and, after an opening ceremony at the village of Laufen, almost half way between the two, and the award of the 2013 Gutedel title, the day's true purpose begins.
Gutedel is a local wine variety often mixed with water or lemonade to create "Schorle", more commonly known in the English speaking world as Spritzer, and a popular beverage in this corner of Germany. Participants can choose to start walking northwards, on the shorther route to Staufen, or southwards on the 8km (5 mile) trek to Müllheim. Their mission is to drink this corner of Germany dry of Gutedel before reaching their destination or falling into a ditch, whichever comes first.
Alamanicus made it to Müllheim, despite the best efforts of the occasional cyclist to force him into the ditch option, and the weather, while a tad cloudy, was just perfect for sitting on a bench in a local Weingut, supping at a Gutedel or two, and fortifying the stomach with the great steak sandwiches they serve in this part of the world.