Fancy racing downhill at over 30mph? That was our mission as we took on the Todtnau toboggan run!
Toboggan runs in Germany are not how I envisioned them. I thought there would be ice, and a halfpipe and a lot of terror. Instead there was a track, with a sled and a handle which acted as a brake. Apparently.
The Todtnau toboggan run is an easy 10 minute walk from the motorhome parking we stayed at overnight. You catch a chair lift up a mountain…. the exact same chair lift which in winter takes you to the top of a ski run. Then, with minimal training (which was in German & lasted at most 15 seconds) you are strapped to a plastic chair, sat into a rail, pushed to the edge of a drop which looks a lot steeper up close than it did at the bottom, and sent on your merry way.
This ride is not automated. It’s not a rollercoaster. You push the stick forward to go faster and pull it back to brake. If you don’t brake, you will probably die. If you brake too much, the person behind will probably run into you. It is your job to stay at least 25m away from the toboggan in front…. but most people are screaming/ laughing too much to pay any attention.
We had the added fun of having two toboggans. Mr WB and Baby Bird went off in the first one. We gave Baby Bird the Go Pro- highly illegal and breaking most safety standards…. but there didn’t seem to be that many safety standards in place anyway! 30 seconds behind them, I set off and made it my mission to catch them as quickly as I could. Between Mr WB braking on each straight section (of which there were very few) and me risking certain death by braking hardly at all, we managed to get within about 25m of each other very quickly and enjoy the ride together. (Video on this is coming very soon. It’s hilarious…)
The whole ride was a lot longer than I thought- it took about 7 minutes to get down and all I can say is WOW! We were all beaming from ear to ear and would all happily have gone up and done it again, even Baby Bird who doesn’t like heights and didn’t really want to go in the first place (but we bribed her with bratwurst.)
Talking of which, at the bottom of the Todtnau toboggan run is a lovely little cafe which served Bratwurst and, Mr WB’s personal favourite, Currywurst. Given that we hadn’t had a german sausage yet (nope, not laughing at the sausage jokes) we decided to indulge. It was so warm that we actually sat outside in OUR T-SHIRTS. At the beginning of April. Heaven. We were basking like lizards in the sunshine and enjoying our lunch, whilst deciding what we wanted to do for the afternoon.
The consensus was ‘castles’, so we wandered back to the van, made use of the services in the car park (it required Euros to activate the various services. I think I’ve said this every post so far, but keep a stash of coins with you for this- especcially 2€, 1€ and 50c). I found a stellplatz which looked promising and we headed off eastwards towards Hechingen & Hohenzollern castle.
After a gentle 90 minute drive, we stopped at the Lidl in Hechingen. Love them or loathe them, Lidl are really useful when you’re touring. We love to eat local foods and sample different cultures, but for basic foodstuffs, you know you can count on a Lidl or Aldi- especially when you haven’t got the time or willpower to go round the local town trying to find where the shops are (although I admit I enjoy doing this every now and then.) There is a big difference between ‘holiday’ exploring when you’re trying to cram as much as you can into your time, and ‘unlimited’ exploring when you can take your time and meander across a country. I look forward most vervently for the latter but for now we are stuck with the former and high-speed food shopping is a bonus for us!
Our stellplatz for the night was literally a car park next to a bar. It had all the services, including electric (although we didn’t use it.) The cost was 10€, payable in the bar/ restaurant next door. I normally hate places next to a bar as you never know how noisy it’s going to become in the evening, but it was actually very quiet. There was only one other motorhome there and we had fantastic views of Hohenzollern castle. We tried to fly the drone over to the castle, but the wind was so strong the poor drone was only doing about 0.5m/ minute (it normally does 10-12!) so our photos of this gorgeous castle aren’t as impressive as we would like.
Dinner this evening was schnitzel, salad and lovely cheese potato gratin things from Lidl. German word of the day is Kraut, which means herb. I thought it meant cabbage, so I was totally confused by cabbage flavoured chicken…. turns out it doesn’t mean that! I was also extremely excited to find wine I like for only 1.99€ a bottle. Seriously, it’s delicious! I’m going back on the way home so we can stock up…
TOTAL COST TODAY:
Toboggan run 30€ (10€ each)
Pictures from the picture booth at the bottom of the run (there’s a camera set up near the bottom to capture your screaming face) 3€ each = 6€
Bratwurst x 3 (in the sunshine) 14€
Parking at Hechingen 10€
Food/Fuel/ Tolls- it’s on the card- I’ll do a total for the trip when we know the figures.
GPS : N 48°21’34.9164” E 8°57’30.096”; 48.359699,8.958360
Adresse : 41 Niederhechinger Straße, 72379 Hechingen