Germany // The Black Forest //


From where it meets the Kinzig Valley, the Gutach Valley progressively narrows then climbs to a point some 1000m above sea level after 20km, where the air is so pure it once made the town of TRIBERG a health resort. But this was long ago, and today the town is obsessed with only one thing: the cuckoo clock. Thousands are on sale here and the tourist traffic the industry spawns can be nightmarish; but if you embrace the kitsch and are in the market for a clock, it can be fun.

The long, thin Marktplatz that follows the main road through town is its natural focus, with a large pilgrimage church, or Wallfahrtskirche, looming over it decked out in florid Baroque. But the busiest end of town is uphill from here at a bend in the main road, where clock shops are squeezed together. They’re an attraction in themselves (see The cuckoo clock), and certainly as well visited as the town’s two other main attractions nearby.

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