Federal State: Baden-Württemberg
Dieter Moll grew up in the Black Forest. Nowadays he is the director of the Furtwangen Boarding School for Skiers, where such well known ski jumpers as Martin Schmitt and Sven Hannawald prepared themselves for competition.
Of course, he knows some of the loveliest spots in the Upper Breg Valley, and because conditions are perfect for winter sports, Dieter Moll wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.
First he shows us the school. This is where he and his staff train talented young skiers. The school was founded in 1984, and offers students a combination of schooling and professional training in competitive winter sports such as biathlon, cross country, Nordic and Alpine skiing, and ski jumping.
The first recommendation
Before exploring sporting opportunities, Dieter Moll takes us back to the nineteen-fifties. His first recommendation: Die Arche, or the Ark, used to be a hotel and is now a local history museum. It has a long and varied history. Built in 1759, it owes its name to Noe (Noah) Ganter, a Furtwangen native who, in 1875, received permission to run its pub serving brandy.
The museum is an homage to the hotel it was in the 1950s with original furniture from the time when petticoats were all the rage. Personal possessions that belonged to the former hotel owner tell their own anecdotes and bear witness to the history of Furtwangen The old tavern is still open for business, but only on Sundays between 2 and 5 p.m., when the museum is open.
The second recommendation
Cross country skiing is a wonderful way to explore the Black Forest in winter, and that can be done even if the Breg Valley doesn’t get its usual share of snow. The Rothaus cross country skiing centre in Weißenbach has artificial snow on two and a half kilometres of trails. It’s Dieter Moll’s second recommendation. He loves to visit the area around Weißenbach, and says cross country skiing is the ideal way to relax after work or as a leisure time activity. When snow is plentiful, he takes advantage of the 200 kilometres of cross country trails in and around the Upper Breg Valley.
The third recommendation
Dieter Moll’s third recommendation is the Hexenloch, or Witches’ Hole, with the Hexenloch Mill, a popular spot for excursions. A small road leads through the steep valley to the 200-year-old mill, where visitors can admire the old saw with its two water wheels. The machinery is still intact and the saw is fully functional. Water power used to supply the power for sawing the wood to make cuckoo clock casings. Nowadays you can buy other Black Forest specialities at a shop in the mill.
Dieter Moll's recommendations are sure to spark your interest in the upper Breg valley: discovering its history in the "Arche" Guest House Museum, doing some cross country skiing at the Rothaus Ski Centre and visiting the fabled Hexenloch Mill.