Freiburg is a green, university city. When I first visited some 18 years ago I was amazed at the panoply of food and wine available on the menu of a simple campus restaurant – the laminated-paged menu weighed me down to the ground with its lengthy choices of Italian, French and German food and wine, of asiatische spezialitäten – and low and behold even a page of Aussie wines!
After several months living in carnivore (and cream) dominated France, it was a surprise to come across such a libertine culinary spirit residing on the other side of the Rhine (which clearly went well beyond the affairs of the platter and deep into the city’s fiber).
Freiburg is a deep green city, sandwiched in Black Forest folds. It’s proximity to Alsace explains why Strasbourg – about 80 kilometers north – is one of if not the most ecologically leaning cities of France – measured among other things in the number of crottes de chien in the streets (there are still way too many but less than in the rest of France).
For many years Alsace has rubbed up against the feisty green resolve of the Baden–Württemberg region. It’s here where Germany’s green will really sprouted – among the anti nuclear (no nukes) protests of the 1970’s. The city is a lovely mix of parks, stony history and spires, chic’y shopping, silent narrow streets to shelter from the crowds and heat, boutiques and bookstores, wine bar-after-wine bar, battalions of bikes, canal-sided restaurants, Gothic and art nouveau buildings, vintage stores and charming trams.
It has an air for me of a little Berlin – a small cosy city yet with enough animation to put a pep in your step – in the right places (so to speak) – and a breezy, creative, free-reign feel. Clearly I am well within in my comfort zone coming from a city like Hobart and finding myself in a town of some 200,000 residents, cotton wool-balled in nature and greenery.
Freiburg will forever remain a special place since my most recent visit – since it was here I unleashed the ‘bazooka’ – my new Nikon D810 with a 70-200mm lens … such a terrible nickname I know for something as creative as a camera, but it is difficult otherwise to get across the relative heaviness of this outfit! Worth its weight in gold – as I hope some of my pics will convey! Guten reisen! (That’s bon voyage in German).