Looking past modern houses built into the hillside onto the city centre from our hotel room at the Mercure Panorama. Freiburg is an enigma. It's big (220,000), but it feels intimate when you walk the trails or the streets of the city.
Situated on the edge of the Black Forest at the southernmost tip of Germany, bordering both Switzerland and France, it boasts a lovely climate and towering tree lined hiking trails that wind around the mountains and down into the city.
Most of the city centre looks like a medieval village. The streets are brick and cobblestone and there are no cars allowed. There are streets for trams and bicycles and pedestrians so the pace is different without cars. Freiburg is actually a green city (it would like to be the greenest city in the world).
The people are friendly, helpful and everyone we met on the trails was in excellent physical health.
Although there are big stores, as you would expect in a larger city, the shopping experience on side streets was charming and surprisingly fruitful. Much German food involves meat and potatoes but there are 7 restaurants with a Michelin star in the Freiburg area! We had sone amazing meals.
Everywhere we went, in restaurants, hiking paths, outdoor cafes, spas, and even a great brewery, we met people of all ages who enjoyed life together and genuinely shared the space with one another. Our western culture could benefit from this inclusive attitude.
Spending a whole day at the hot springs mineral baths was a most exhilarating and rejuvenating experience.
Going to the spa is a way of life here. We have some pretty funny stories about naked people in the sauna who might have thought we were from another planet with our bathing suits on.
Relaxed and totally enamoured with Freiburg!