Vogesen “Mountains”

After spending the night at my new flat in Freiburg, Frauke and I drove across the border to France and spent a night in the Vogesen mountains (hills). We went climbing at a crag named Gueberschwihr which was quite fun. We haven’t done a lot of climbing recently and have no finger strength. I lead a few climbs around the 5a, 5b mark and then we had had enough.

Cris climbing 2 (Gueberschwihr, Vogesen Mountains, France) resize Frauke goes looking for bouldering (Gueberschwihr, Vogesen Mountains, France) resize

Above left: Me climbing at the Guerberschwihr crag with Frauke belaying below. Above right: There was a boulder area a wee walk from the climbing crag.

We camped in a little town in the evening. There was a wine festival there and at about 2am a lot of drunk French guys came out and started making lots of noise. Two of them came over to our tent. One poured a glass of beer over it and the other peed on the side of it. The French are so terribly charming.

The next day we went cycling for a few hours in the hills. It was ok but we were both still feeling a little unwell from our lingering colds and various ailments. We checked out Martinswand, another rock climbing crag in the afternoon but it was only 6 degrees and a nasty wind made it feel much colder. It was beginning to rain so we left without doing any climbing and headed back to Germany.

Cycling up Col du Firstplan (Vogesen Mountains, France) resize View from could climbing crag back towards Germany (Vogesen Mountains, France) resize

Above left: Frauke and I cycling up Col du Firstplan. Above right: It was rather cold and wintery at the Martinswand crag so we headed back to Freiburg.


As the weather is still un-customarily warm and friendly Frauke and I went for a mission up Widderstein in nearby Austria. Der Großer Widderstein is a 2533 m that can be reached from Kleinwalsertal (a valley just across the border from Oberstdorf). It’s got a good traditional looking summit i.e. you know when you’re at the top. The round trip with a good break for lunch took about 6.5 hours.

Following our sunny walk we ate a tub of ice-cream as has become a tradition.

Frauke climbing Widderstein (Austria) resize View from Widderstein (Austria) resize Frauke nears the naked man (Widderstein, Austria) resize

Above left: Frauke climbing Widderstein. Above middle: View from the top of Widderstein. Above right: There were a disturbing number of naked men on the walk. Frauke nears one of them in this photo.

Below: Map of route.

Widderstein Tramp – web

Al and Amber visit

Alastair and Amber visited this week. They’re planning a cycle touring trip through Germany, Austria, Italy, and Switzerland. They are starting at my place in Oberstdorf and will end up in Freiburg sometime in September. I’ll meet them there. Of course I will take the easier option and go by car.

We spent the week walking in the hills, cycling, avoiding the rain. As I am too lazy to write much I shall post photos instead.

Amber climbing (Allgaeu, Germany) resize Amber and Al infront of cross (Allgaeu, Germany) resize

Above: Amber and Al on Riffenkopf in Allgaeu.

Below left: Al and Cris riding by the Iller. Below right: Al and Amber in the Breitlachklamm.

Cris and Al (Allgaeu, Germany) resize Al and Amber in Breitlachklamm (Germany) resize

Cris is a German 4 (Oberstdorf, Germany) resize

Above: Cris did his best to dress in camouflage so as to fit in with the natives. Below: Al, Amber, Cris, and a native at the Allgäu Festwoche. Beer was consumed. Cheesy festival music was played.

Al, Amber, Cris, and Frauke at Festwoche (Kempten, Germany) resize

Below: Mmmm icecream…

Mmmm icecream (Allgaeu, Germany) resize

A new home in Freiburg

I was in Freiburg this week looking for a flat. I start working there at the start of September. After a couple of days of searching I settled on a flat fairly near to work. The size/price ratio is quite good (for Freiburg) and my flat mates seem friendly enough.

I caught up with Oli while I was there. We cooked together on Tuesday night and yesterday evening we went out to an archery range and broke arrows together. It was quite fun.

View from Oli's flat (Freiburg, Germany) resize Cris shoots (Freiburg, Germany) resize

Above left: View from Oli’s flat in the evening. Above right: Me trying to shoot straight. I somehow managed to break an arrow by shooting a tiny little bit of metal near the target. Ooops.

Above: Oli the crack-shot shoots.

Following this we headed into town and ate at Julian and Jana’s favorite little kebab shack. Yum, yum. I confessed to Oli that it was in fact my second visit to the place that day. We finished our meal with a beer in a beer garden near by.

I’m currently on the train heading back through cloudy and rainy Germany to Oberstdorf.

Yum yum (Freiburg, Germany) resize So much food (Freiburg, Germany) resize

Above: Mmmm Vegetarian Jafka. Delicious. Two a day keeps the doctor away.

Stuttgart Hauptbahnhof (Stuttgart, Germany) resize

Above: I just passed through Stuttgart. It’s looking suitably grey and industrial at the train station. I kind of like the floating chairs…