Three are grumpy on a mountain

If you’ve read my camping with kids tips you’ll know the golden rule. Do one thing a day, two short things at a push. Never three.

We left late for Mount Feldberg. SC’s grasp of money is tenuous at the best of times so trying to explain why she had to give us her pounds in return for Euros took longer than expected.

The plan was to do the cable car ride up Mount Feldberg, the nearby trail in the woods and the House of Nature museum. Our first impressions of Feldberg was that is was cold and expensive. It’s 1000m above sea level and about 5 degrees colder than where we had come from. The guide book describes the cable car / House of Nature complex as having “ample parking” but fails to mention it is a giant, ugly multi storey and €13 a day. To add insult to injury it’s 50¢ a time to use the toilets.

Undeterred we headed to the cable car (top tip, these toilets are free if you can hold on…) and bobbled our way to the top. There was a high density of Gortex and sensible footwear at the summit, even the smallest children were kitted out in state of the art walking boots.

With fabulous views of the Black Forest and gently tinkling cow bells it should have been idyllic but now 1500m above sea level it was even chillier. SC was cold and grumpy but, in that peculiar small child way, hostile to putting on additional clothes. I was wearing everything that I had bought but was also cold and grumpy.

There is a tower on the slopes of the mountain, previously a broadcasting tower, now owned by the municipality of Feldberg. I translated the sign as “Ham Museum”, assumed I must have got the word muddled up with something similar but it was, in fact, a Ham Museum. A museum about ham.

You can climb, via the museum, 45m to the top of the tower for panoramic views. I insisted that SC accompany Scott which made her grumpier still as I stayed on the ground to take photos.

Family harmony was restored through the medium of a hearty lunch (is there any other type in Germany?) at the fabulous Cafe Waldvogel. It looked exactly as I expected a German cafe on the slopes of a mountain in the Black Forest to look like, all dark wood, dried flowers and oil paintings of mountain scenes. Most importantly it was nice and warm.

Good humour back in place we realised that we were over extending ourselves with our plans. Scott and SC like a daily dad/daughter dip in the Arctic waters of the Herbolzheim swimming pool and time was ticking on.

We gave SC the choice of the nearby Wichelpfad trail or the House of Nature centre. She chose the trail in the woods and I was secretly pleased despite having paid for joint cable car / House of Nature tickets. We’d seen a lot of the forest from the road and from up high but it would be nice to be right in it.

The Wichelpfad trail was devised by the head ranger at the House of Nature to encourage children to hike in the forest. Children search for the capercaillie bird with the help of gnomes, elves and fairies.

The trail takes you to little settings built into the trees (the elf pub, the fairy pharmacy, the foxes den etc). It’s only about a mile so it took an hour and SC was enchanted. There’s a nice playground at the end where the postman and the elf find the capercaillie bird (a phrase I never thought I’d need to use!).

On the drive home we saw the beautiful lake Titisee. The weather is supposed to be hot tomorrow so we’re off to it’s bigger brother Lake Schluchsee for some lido swimming.