From Schongau, staying on the ‘scenic route’ we drove the 66kms north to Augsburg. The mountain peaks flattened into long undulating plains which still proved to have steep hairpin bends in places. Nervy still about Bertha’s steering we veered off the A8 to visit a motorhome service garage for help.
Unfortunately, whilst the mechanic understood the problem he was not able to deal with it and directed us to a Fiat dealership. After some fruitless searching around an industrial estate we found the business, closed for the last five years. We headed onwards and it was with some relief that we pulled into a central car park aire at Kircheim-unter-Teck at 5pm, having driven 135kms.
Not having much energy we meandered into town and perched on a bench at a local’s bar run by punky middle-aged women sporting tattoos and improbable hair colours.
Back in Bertha it was a frustrating evening trying to use our phones to internet research a route into and out of Stuttgart without falling foul of the ‘umwelt zone’, Germany’s environmental tax but also the network of roads which are off limits to diesel guzzling vehicles like ours. Pretty tired by now we battened up for the night as locals left the car park in droves.
Next morning, woken early by a mechanical digger in the car park and not having found an immediate solution to the Stuttgart problem we headed back into the Black Forest, this time on its eastern side. We experienced momentary panic as we realised were indeed passing through the ‘umwelt zone’ around the town of Pforzheim.We fixed apologetic smiles and tried to look inconspicuous to a passing police car!
It was a close, muggy afternoon as we scaled, yet again, more narrow streets and alleyways up to the centre of the old town. Slightly disconcerted by graphic sculptures depicting Leda and a randy swan, and another of presumably the Minotaur’s mother and her bullish lover, we found the charming market square and painted Rathaus, depicting the good citizens of Horb.
As this was to be our last day in the Black Forest we asked at the tourist office about the best gateau in town. Clearly there was plenty of competition and it took the lovely lady at least 6 minutes to decide. Duly directed back up the steep way to the Markt Platz a bemused café owner presented us with a whole Black Forest Gateau, six inches high, 12 inches wide and covered in white frothy cream.