Day 7 - Black Forest & Rhine Falls

calling for my demons now to let me go
I need something, give me something wonderful

Love & Hate - Michael Kiwanuka

That song above includes the line you can't steal the things that God has given me which is something that I like to keep faith about. It also includes the lines you can't take me down, you can't break me down, you can't take me down which is sadly something that I can't really drill into my head and heart even though I would very much like to believe it. Fact is, there have been many things that broke me down. However, we're still here, aren't we? These days when I pray, I often don't pray for outcome that would be in my favor, I just ask God to help me be alright no matter what happens. Anyways, let's talk about the trip now.

On day 7, I was taking a day trip that would visit Black Forest and the Rhine Falls. That trip started after noon, so I had the morning free. The main objective that morning was to get all the chocolate shopping that I wanted done. I had googled out the shops that I wanted to go to. However, it was still quite early when I set out so the shops were looking rather quiet and I also wasn't sure if they're already opened, so I ended up just walking the Bahnhofstrasse (main shopping street). I thought maybe I should just go explore the area first and then come back later. I somehow found my way to the park at Lindenhof hill. Not many people were here that I felt I was kinda intruding on the quiet that the people who were already there were enjoying. It being on a hill, you have a view of Zürich below. You got to see buildings by the Limmat river and the bridges.

On the way down, I passed by St. Peter's church which I already passed by on the way up. By the way the map given by my hotel has a recommended walking route and it was quite helpful. Anyways, apparently St. Peter's church has the largest church clock face in Europe. Inside though, it's quite an ordinary church. Perhaps because it was quite early in the morning, there weren't many people or tourists around. By early I mean it's after 9 AM. I guess for tourists, that is quite early.

I then made my way to Fraumünster church. It wasn't opened yet when I was there. There's a bridge nearby that leads to the other side of the river, but I didn't cross it because I wanted to save exploring that side of the river on my last day. I did take some pictures from that bridge.


Nearby Fraumünster, there's a big square with quite an interesting modern kind of fountain. At this time, I wasn't aware that Fraumünster has a cloister which I think opens earlier than the church. I should have visited the cloister to pass the time. Instead I ended up just sitting at the square. It turns out the church wasn't free, but since I didn't know what to do to pass the time, I decided to visit it. If I remember correctly it's 5 CHF. You know how I feel about places of worship that charge for admission, but I guess they need it for maintenance. It's been said that many churches are closing down since there's not enough worshipers anymore. The ticket also include either a brochure or audio guide. I opted for the brochure because you can keep it.

The main attraction of the the church is the Chagall windows. I feel bad writing that because shouldn't the main attraction be Jesus? :D Anyways these big stained glass windows are located by the main altar and they're quite something. The brochure or the audio guide are useful here because they helped you see elements of the glass windows. What's also interesting for me that Chagall was quite old when he started to dabble in stained glass art. He was 80 something when he worked on these panels. This information felt to me like that if you just keep going, you could still do marvelous things even in your old age. You can't take pictures inside the church, so I have no picture of the stained glass windows. I did bought one magnet that features a section of the yellow orange panel because I thought it's quite nice. When I was about to approach the counter to look at the magnets, there were 2 staff who were talking that I had to say, excuse me. This point is important because of what happened after, stay tuned. After I got the magnet, I went to one of the seat to pack my bag. It wasn't cold anymore and I was taking things out so that I can squeeze my coat. I thought I had put all my things in and off I went on my way.

I went to the famous chocolate shop, Confiserie Sprüngli, nearby. They have so many tempting things, but I ended up not getting any. There are 4 chocolate shops on my list that day that I wanted to visit, but somehow I couldn't find one of them and I only visited 3. At the last shop near the train station, I decided to just do all my chocolate shopping there. I picked the things that I wanted and off I went to pay. After rumbling into my bag, I found out my wallet wasn't there. Yes, oh my God! and all the other curse words that came to my head. I was embarrassed and had to tell the girl, sorry, I couldn't find my wallet. I went outside the shop. In my disbelief, I rechecked my bag again and the wallet was really not there. So tracing my way, I thought of the church. I could only hope it's there. I couldn't recall taking out my wallet in the other chocolate shops, but as my brain raced, I couldn't be really sure. I walked quickly and prayed to God to let it be there. I didn't cry and this kinda surprised myself. I also started to calculate the damage. I use a different wallet when travelling so inside that wallet there's only 1 credit card and all of my remaining Switzerland Francs. I had no ID or passport inside. So I thought, worst come to worst, I just need to call the bank about the credit card and then use my other credit card in my other wallet in the safe in the hotel to make purchases in Switzerland.

I finally arrived in the church, asked the lady in the ticket counter if anyone found a wallet and told her my predicament. She said no and she was very understanding of my plight and told me to go inside quickly to check. I went to the seat where I packed my bag and there's no wallet on the seat or under it (just in case it fell). I'm pretty sure my head was filled with curse words, but I did realize I was in a church, so I didn't think I uttered any out loud. At this time, it's like my heart sank and a realization started to form that yes this is happening and I have to deal with it. I made one last attempt to ask the lady in the souvenir counter that I bought the magnet from and she said yes, the colleague she was talking to found it and she's actually walked around to find me. She wasn't in the church at this time and the souvenir lady told me to maybe go to the main door again and see if she's there. At this point, I was just elated, relieved, and plain glad. It was a praise Jesus moment and I kinda can't still believe that God is so kind to me. I went to the main door again and talked to the lady who sells the ticket. She said the colleague hadn't come back and told me, she's sorry that I was in this situation. I said, no it's alright, I was so happy that it's found. At this point, I asked her if she could call the other staff in her mobile phone, but perhaps she didn't know what the number was, that she didn't do it right away. I didn't know how long she would be, so I then told the staff that I'd try to walk around and see if I could find her and if she came back to tell her to wait. I walked outside and though I didn't see her straightaway, I finally saw her. She was young and shorter than me with a blonde hair. She looked to me like an intern. I waved at her when I saw her, wondering if she knew it's me. I think she did. When she saw me, she said she's so happy to find me. I told her, I'm so happy. I asked if she wanted to see my ID. She said no. I think she did notice me back then. I'm so thankful. I'm truly so thankful, even now. After many miles and years I've been doing this, this is the first time something like this happened to me. I was so so stupid, thankfully the good Lord still took care of me. It did give me a bit of paranoia though. In the days after, I was checking my bags frequently to make sure my wallet was there.

I didn't go back to the chocolate shop because by this time, I was approaching the time where I should be going for the day trip. I got a square of pizza for lunch. It was too big, I couldn't finish it, and then I went to the meeting place. The Black Forest is in Germany. As we crossed Germany, the guide told us that things are cheaper in Germany that many Swiss by the border area often do their shopping in Germany. It's like Singaporeans going to Malaysia to do their shopping. Black Forest being a big area, our destination was this touristy village by Lake Titisee. I have to say, there's nothing particularly special in the landscape on the drive there. Arriving in the village, we saw a demonstration of how cuckoo clock is made. I actually like cuckoo clock and one of my uncle had one. As I child, I found it fascinating. I wonder if their family still have it. These are real hand made cuckoo clocks, so they are, as expected, expensive. So I didn't get anything, also because I don't have a house of my own to put it in. The things that I found most interesting about these clocks are the unique scenes that they have on the face of the clock. They're just very cute.

The village itself is quite small and has just souvenir shops and some restaurants and cafes. Overall there's nothing much to do and I got bored. I walked by the lake and decided to take the boat ride along the lake. This being Germany, it's back to using Euro. I think it's 5 euro and the ride is like 25 minutes or so. I knew it's gonna be quite boring, but it was quite relaxing having the wind lulled me under the hot sun.

After that I did the cliche thing. I had Black Forest cake, being that we were in Black Forest. I had a slice of the cake and a glass of orange soda and it cost less than 10 Euro and I began to wonder if things in Germany are cheaper, like compared to Austria for example. So far the experience indicated so, but it could also be because we were not in the big cities. The cake was good by the way. Not mind blowing, but good. After that I went around to the different shops and took pictures of some of the things they sell. I was actually drawn to a wooden sword that little boys would have liked, but then logic won and I didn't get it. There were some other interesting things like these witches.

Since there's not many things to do in that village, I don't have a lot of pictures and I also don't think my pictures are descriptive of what Black Forest is. For pictures please go here. After Black Forest, we made our way to Rhine Falls. It is the largest plain waterfall in Europe. I opted to take the boat ride just like many others in the group. The falls is wide but it's not very tall. The boat ride took us quite near to the falls that we felt splashes of water. There were rainbows on the falls and there was a small island thing at the middle of it. There's a look out there and I saw people. I wonder how people walk there and I think it could be quite an interesting walk. We didn't have time to do it though. The boat ride wasn't very long, but after that we only had a small time before we had to go back to the bus and Zurich. Overall the trip that day wasn't the best I've experienced, but I guess in a way curiosity was somewhat appeased.

:) eKa @ 7:24:00 PM •

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