The sleek and spotless train arrived and left acutely on time and we enjoyed comfortable seats with plenty of legroom and a picture window for the views. For two jaded Southern rail travellers, it was a treat!
We wandered its winding streets and alleys admiring the Benedictine Abbey and gardens (helping ourselves to just a few fresh herbs from the pretty ‘krautern garten’) the large patrician houses, ornate fountains and squares and the many watchtowers guarding the centre and looking out across the Kinzigtal landscape.
We bought Black Forest ham filled rolls ‘shinkel brot’ from the town’s historic wood-fired bread oven which has fuelled the locals since 1485 and continues to be the bakery of choice, judging by the queue that formed as lunchtime approached.
Back in town we found a winstub where we perched outside on a bench undercover from the rains. A calamitous waitress made our quick snack of wurst salad and baked fresh flammenkuchen a hilarious affair which came to a sudden end with the arrival of a grumpy German tour group. We were bustled to finish our meal as they squatted on our bench and declared flatly ‘nein’ to our invitation to chat.
Staying on the train back through Oberkirch we travelled high up into the forest to the end of the line at Bad Griesbach.
Bad Griesbach is a ski and hiking resort and we had half an hour to find a coffee and explore the one main street before the train left the station. We walked up the road which was lined with guest houses and found the one business open that afternoon, a bakery.
We amused the smiling and elderly shopkeeper by buying hot coffee and fresh eggs from her for the next morning’s breakfast. She waved us cheerily goodbye chuckling about “frische eier fur fruhstuck in Oberkirch”.