Updated: Jun 22, 2021
I wrote this blog at the beginning of February when it was just the start of the official outburst of the Corona virus in Europe. Who could have imagined that few weeks later the hotels,excursions,the travelling will all fall into a deep coma as in "the sleeping beauty" We went into a lockdown.The world that has appeared so reachable,convenient,obeying to our commands,has stopped brutally.But although it stopped.Our mind,imagination,wishes have continued moving,flowing inside of us.Gradually the universe wakes up..
Back to Paris after a short but most fulfilled staying in Bareiss hotel, at the Black Forest.
I see people in town with a worrying expression on their face,in the metro, at the buses. Every sneeze or coughing turns heads, what surreal reality are we heading for.. thoughts tickle my mind. I would like to take a step back, "to the world of yesterday"( a reminder of the beloved Stephan Zweig book) not before so long. Just a week ago where i was at hotel Bareiss surrounding by an amazing nature,where there was no room for apprehensions or uncertainty. Where all you see are endearing colors. Embracing yourself with beauty and pleasure.
Let me guide you to the prestigious and special Hotel Bareiss and its unique location. The Black Forest.
Once upon a time there was a forest
That enchanted anyone who got inside.In the summer the high trees were filled with violet blooming,apples and pears and in winter the trees were naked, covered with thick layers of snow .Once the sunshine touched them,they were sparkling with glowing light. So seductive is this forest,but the one who dares enter inside,will he find his way back?
I am going to the Black Forest. When i was a student in Strasbourg.The closest city to it i have visited was Baden Baden. I was always wondering what hides behind the Aura of the Black Forest on which i have heard a lot. It associated with the notorious German Brothers Grimm, who wrote plenty of fairy tales about an intriguing dark forest .Was a frightening witch hiding there? where they inspired by the mysterious Black Forest to write their legends?
Beginning of February- The sunshine warms the car's windows " in summer, the forest is filled with flowers" explains the driver "The winter has changed dramatically,only last week it was snowing, The snow was so massive here, years ago, it used to reach above the knees.With the global warming we have less and less snow. Still we are delighted that the snow has finally visited us. He is a very welcome guest in this region" He ended his words with a smile.
The region of the black forest spreads out on huge soll. It has villages inside and around it, and bordered with cities as Baden Baden and Freiburg.
The magnificent hotel Bareiss is in the region Baiersbronn which is a part of the black forest,in the village Mitteltal.
The car continues to drive up the mountain. I enjoy the view of the snowy trees. In a moment we will arrive to Hotel Bareiss.
And there reveals to me the Hotel Bareiss.
It is meticulously beautiful but not showing off. Its beauty lays upon the details. The refined design gives the person who walks in,calmness and balanced feelings,The colours and the art objects are blending together harmoniously. In the corridors and rooms. The flowery padding on the armchairs and sofas has reminded me the design of the romantic british style as of Laura Ashley.
The minute you step inside it is as if you are slipping to a previous time,(yet with all the facilities of modernity) before the invasion of the internet. I felt as if I was invited to a marvelous castle from the 18th century. Even the golden key i was given,was stylish and a sign from the past.The guests enjoy this romantic atmosphere and try to leave aside the mobile.
At the entrance ,in front of the reception stands a sculpted head of a woman from bronze,around it,bouquets of pink flowers. Her gaze is full of determination and strength.This is Hermina Bareiss. She created the Hotel. Born at the end of the 20s in the previous century. She has set it up in 1950. Her husband had died few years earlier towards the end of the second world war. Hermina Bareiss has managed to turn the quite family modest hotel to a prospering luxury one with many properties. The son Herman Bareiss has inherited the Hotel and has continued to investigate in it and to contribute to its success. Beside the several restaurants in the Hotel Bareiss.There are other three in the surrounding which they posses.Installed in the wild natural's landscape of the Black Forest. They are also beautifully designed: warm and welcoming(the prices are affordable),to any one who strolls in the forest and wish to make a comfortable break.
Satellite hiking Cabin is the first restaurant located in the forest. It is ideal for any one who goes for a long walk, climbs the hills and treats himself after this excursion with a hearty lunch in this cosy place. The furniture is mainly from wood,creating this warm, rustic ambience. The waiters are dressed with the traditional costumes for the black forest.(in all the restaurants of the Bareiss it is the code dressing)
Second restaurant Forellenhof Bullbach. A fish speciality restaurant. Next to the restaurant swimming pools where you can see the breeding of forel fishes black or gold. This restaurant has a lovely spacy balcony where you can enjoy the view of the mountains,carneys, little waterfalls.
The restaurant Morlokhof (hof in english is courtyard)is actually a museum contains an intriguing story about a mysterious doctor named John Morlok" in the 18th century. A medical practitioner,a hiller who had claimed to be gifted with unnatural forces to hill any sick person. The place is remarkably restored. Prescriptions in the handwriting of Morlok in biblical Hebrew and Latin are conserved inside a glass box.While visiting the house the spirit of Morlok sliding between the rooms.
The restaurant is simple yet beautiful with a perfumed aroma from the wood. it is often hired for private celebrations. On Thursday evening if you wish to "meet Morlok" There is an actor from Baden Baden's theater.who hosts the guests and tells them "spicy stories" as he is transforms to Morlok himself.
Its very easy to get detached from the race of life in Bareiss.
The breakfast buffet is in a large elegant hall, tainted in cream and ancient rose. The choice is huge.All the various of bread,and cheese that you can dream of, and the quality deserves 5 stars and plus. The waiters are extremely friendly and you can sit there satiated, having a very good coffee, enjoying yourself. sitting in a room that in the morning as in the night,looks like a superb ballroom.
In the hotel there are several restaurants, they are are all seem to be behind a cryptic door leading you to an unexpected secret.
Dining in a three stars Michelin restaurant was an extraordinary experience. It is the most extravagant,lavish restaurant i have ever been to. Like i was sitting in one of the royal rooms of Palace of Versaille. I didn't count the numerous dishes i was being served. Who can refuse to such a temptation. The ingredients were so delicate and airy,extremely creative.Each glass of wine was coordinate with the flavour.The chef in charge. Clause peter-lumpp as if he had known that i loved so much beetroot in all its variation. The fish was served with a delicious beetroot sauce. At the end of the meal,after the desert i had to refuse unfortunately to the chocolate pralines hand made.There was no more room.. Kindly one of the waiters had wrapped in a box the chocolates. As I have found out later,they were absolutely divine.
Its such a pleasure to just stay in this superb location, but at night i took a walk in the garden and park surrounding the hotel. They were still decorated from Christmas. lights were glittering from the darkness popping out from the trees, The view was magical, and it was good to breath the cold air and staying close to the nocturnal nature.
The hotel has a very prestigious Spa. The dominating colours are blue and green, the tasteful design inspired from ancient Greece or Italy.The Black Forest has a healing power.No wonder Morlok has settled down there. In this zen atmosphere, you will be surprised by what you will find...I loved to stay under the steaming water in the outside swimming pool and staring at the horizon, the Black Forest was exposed in all its splendor.
Bareiss is friendly to all kind of guests.For children there is a separate building with guides and activities. It is practical and comfortable, in the upstairs floor there is a separate room for their parents if they wish to wait for them and rest,
The biggest city in the region Baiersbronn where is located Hotel Bareiss is the city Freudenstadt. (the city of happiness in english),its only 20 minutes drive from Mitteltal and Bareiss. In the city center there is a large square,built with arcs. It has cafes and shops. The city was covered with snow. I had the time to discover,stroll in this pleasant,calm town and had managed to come back for the after noon coffee and a savory cheese cake or the famous black forest tart in the hotel. The restaurant turns into a quiet cafe,where you can spend your time with the company of a friend or a good book.
A beautiful city to visit,40 minutes drive from Bareiss, is Baden Baden. I vividly recommend it. The city was conserved as it was built. With a detailed magnificent architecture. As it is approximates to the black forest, it is known as well for its thermal baths, You can enjoy a wellness experience. It is a city of leisure and relaxation, picturesque and colourful. I have been several times there and each time i am impressed by its beauty and its variety. It is so classy that i can imagine aristocrats from previous times, strolling in the gardens paths. Just sitting in one of the impressive Cafes or in the Ice cream Italian places, is a gratifying experience in Baden Baden.
"Please would you like some schnapps?it gives you the energy to continue walking" offered me kindly Franck Gaizer the hotel's tour guide. Its a different experience to walk in the Black Forest with someone who has a lot of knowledge and share it with you.
"Why does it is called the Black Forest"?
"Look, how the trees are pressed together.They create the sensation of darkness,even when the sky is clear." We were walking around two hours,climbing and downwarding the hills, the valleys. The beautiful landscape of the forest and mountains was colored each time differently while climbing, depending on which side we were, and according to the sun and clouds that accompanied us.
Franck shows me how clear is the difference between the south of the forest that is much more enlightened, and the north is ruled by the clouds.
The scenic mountains, the streams, the little waterfalls, the sheeps and the deer,the quaint houses we saw on our way had reminded me, how nature is the most precious. Humans should not take it for granted,and treat it with conscience and sensibility.
I have few hours in Strasbourg before leaving to Paris.(Strasbourg is a little less then an hour drive from Bareiss)
I can't count the numerous times i have been to Strasbourg. Where i have lived 2 years as a student.I am always thrilled to walk in its narrow captivating streets, as if i am discovering its beauty for the first time.
Strasbourg on a greyish sunday afternoon was half closed,half asleep,and still so full of charm.
I had the feeling that the enormous,famous cathedral was staring at me with significant secretive look from afar.Imposing its monumental,dramatic presence,lightening up old memories..i kept wondering around the ancient centre town,with a heart filled with gratitude.
Photos credit-Hotel Bareiss