Dahn is not a city on anyone’s list to visit when coming to Germany. When we mentioned we were headed there for the weekend, our Stuttgart friends had never even heard of it. We made Dahn our first weekend road-trip because our good friends were there visiting family. His wife is from there, they met when he lived in Germany a few years ago. They come back to visit and spend time there every year. It’s so good to see people who oddly enough, you will probably see more often in Europe than you make time for when living in the US.
Our friends chose this time of year to come to town to celebrate Fasching. Fashing is a huge fest throughout Germany leading up to Lent where there are parades, drinking tents and parties in costume. The theme is different depending where you go, but it is historically surrounded by witches, animals and other creatures with creepy masks to “scare” away the evil spirits of winter. (Video from Dahn found on YouTube). One of the largest Fasching events in Germany is in Cologne. They also host the annual Rose Parade so we will make Cologne our trip for next year’s Fasching events.
The drive to Dahn is easy, 2 hours from Stuttgart, and beautiful going through the center of all the old towns along the way in through the Black Forest.
Dahn is the starting point to many hiking and bike trails through the forest. We hiked one short afternoon trail called The Jungfernsprung, or “virgin jump” cliff. It was a nice trail leading to a cliff overlooking the valley and city center.
Visit The Castles
It is a short 30 minute hike or 15 minute drive up to the early 13th century castle in Dahn (Burgruine Altdahn). From below, it looks like it will be small but once you are up there, you see there are actually multiple castles together making for a good few hours of exploring.
You can climb in, on and around all of them. The highest tower ruin is reachable by a metal ladder that is a little scary to go up and down once you realize how high you actually are. The views are amazing over the forest and surrounding villages. It was a good afternoon spent there.
The Food: One word, Bread.
We have realized in the few months living here now that Germans love their bread for both meals and snacks. It’s not too different in Italy, it just comes in different forms there. For breakfast, there was coffee and a bag from the bakery of rolls with butter, jam etc. For lunch, the same with meat and cheese. In the afternoon, there was cake and coffee with family before a birthday dinner. All were homemade by different family members and each was amazing. We definitely should adopt the afternoon cake and coffee tradition in the US.
We had a really fun time meeting and hanging out with their friends until after midnight. It was 3 am when people started to leave and we figured everyone was going home. Not the case. They were all heading to the famous local bar that was sadly closing for good. The building was so old that it was beyond repair for anyone new to take it over. It was a momentous occasion to be a part of in its last open night. Great music, great people, the only downside was the smoking. Everyone smoking inside this tiny old bar/club. We left “early”at around 6 am or so and took showers the moment we got there. We had a blast seeing our friends and experiencing more of local Germany.
And with that I leave you with a video of what a few of our new Dahn friends believe to be today’s current popular American dancing… : )