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Train from Gengenbach and Return

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Train from Gengenbach and Return

Hi - We will be traveling by train and will be staying in Gengenbach for a couple days in early October. We would like to do a circular trip by train and see some of the more scenic areas of the Black Forest. Here's what I have been mulling over in my head:

(1) Black Forest Railway: Gengenbach to Donaueschingen (via Hornberg, Triberg, St Georgen)

(2) Hollentalbahn: Donaueschingen to Freiburg (via Titisee)

(3) Rhine Valley Railway: Freiburg to Offenburg (then on back to Gengenbach)

I some questions:

(A) What's the best way to book this and are advance bookings necessary (to save some $$$)? Also, will the Konus card cover any or all of this itinerary? How do you go about using the Konus card?

(B) Is it feasible to do this in one day? How much train time is actually involved?

(C) What would be some recommendations as to stopping points for some shopping, lunch, dinner, etc.?

(D) Lastly - is this really the best area of the Black Forest for seeing from a train?

I know there are some really great posters on this board and ... THANKS! ... in advance for the help.

Mannheim, Germany
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1. Re: Train from Gengenbach and Return

There is nothing to book and your Konus card covers all the itinerary (on the Rheintalbahn only the regional trains, on the rest there are no long distance trains anyway). For schedules see www.bahn.de.

I am not a big fan of seeing things just from a train window, you should really get off in a couple of places. E.g. take the train from Titisee to Schluchsee and have a walk at the lakeshore, stop in Triberg and walk to the waterfall, etc.

Karlsruhe, Germany
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2. Re: Train from Gengenbach and Return

(A) All these are regional trains. You do not "book" them. You simply hop on with a ticket in hand respective in your pocket or wallet. In your case, the ticket is the Konus card.

The Konus card covers the entire loop. If the conductor shows up and asks for "Fahrkarten" (tickets), you show him/her your Konus card, that's all you have to do.

(B) The loop can be done in one day - depending how many stops you intend to do along the way. Look up train connections on http://www.bahn.com and tick the "Only local transport" box as the ticket is only valid on local/regional trains. On the first leg there are a few IC trains you have to avoid, the majority of trains are IRE andRE which you can use. On the Höllental railway you can take any train because there are no long-distance trains. From Freiburg to Offenburg you have to check more carefully: Take a RE or IRE train, avoid ICEs. The rule of thumb at the station is: no white trains, only red ones.

(C) Yes, big yes. Schwarzwaldbahn and Hölklentalbahn are the two main railway routes that run through the Black Forest and from both you'll see quite spectacular landscapes.

Just a comment... Titisee lake is quite nice but not that special, and Titisee village is the worst tourist trap of the whole Black Forest, full of tacky souvenir shops and the kind of restaurants that are visited by tour buses. I'd recommend skipping Titisee in favour of just about any other destination on that route.

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3. Re: Train from Gengenbach and Return

Thanks ... Yes we do NOT want to just sit on a train all day. And, YES, we enjoy visiting ... walking around the smaller, non-touristy places. Outside of avoiding Titi see, any recommendations for places to spend a little time withe the 'locals'?

Paradise, California
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4. Re: Train from Gengenbach and Return

"Outside of avoiding Titi see, any recommendations for places to spend a little time withe the 'locals'?"

Yesterday I suggested the following possibilities along the Black Forest Railway line to a poster.

"Visit Black forest towns on/near the Black Forest Railway by train: Haslach, Hausach (Vogtsbauernhof open-air museum), Schiltach, Alpirsbach, Villingen, and Triberg are all possible destinations."


(I found Villingen vastly more interesting than nearby Donaueschingen.)



black-forest-travel.com/places-of-interest/v… (Note that there are bus connections to the Vogtsbauernhof from Hausach which eliminate the 30-minute walk (easy walk.)

Triberg is pretty touristy, not that interesting or attractive; I suggest it only because it appears in guidebooks as a worthy destination, an assertion I agree with on the basis of the Black Forest Museum there, which houses some VERY interesting stuff (with displays that are almost all in German only, sadly enough for international visitors.) Note also that the walk into town here is very steep - take the bus if you have walking difficulties. Bus connections into the middle of Triberg can be found at the DB website by using the destination "Triberg im Schwarzwald Marktplatz" rather than just "Triberg" (which means the rail station.)

Titisee is a lakeside town in a lovely setting - but like Triberg it's a big tour bus stop, and without much to offer but hotels, restaurants, and tourist trinkets. Titisee, Neustadt, and Hinterzarten are all good places to head out from on a hike through the Black Forest, however. There are some lovely views for both big and smaller, easier-to-reach peaks in this area.

5. Re: Train from Gengenbach and Return

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