No, not the famous one in the play. The one I was sitting in one morning in the Black Forest.
Yes, the Black Forest really does have cherries, lots and lots and lots of them. Not actually in the forest though.
How it works is that the Rhine runs through a wide plain (it’s a U shaped glacial valley). Along one side (France) are the Vosges Mountains; along the other side (Germany) the Black Forest, which pretty much mirrors the Vosges. You can see the one range from the other, whichever side you’re on.
On the German side, the flat valley plain is where the larger towns are, and also a lot of agricultural land, growing mainly cereals so far as we can see. Then as you move away from the river you start to see lots of fruit orchards, also market gardening, strawberry fields, asparagus, and soft fruit, all in abundance. Then, further away from the river again, on lower slopes, are the vines, with their stunning straight lines and varying angles. Finally, where it’s too steep or too dark for the vines, is what remains of the forest (a lot remains, but some of the lower parts have been eaten up for vineyards).
So, to get back to the cherry orchard. I was walking back from the village baker and saw that Felix had cut the grass in the orchard. I’d never walked through the orchard before, but with the cherries ripening all around, the weather hot and sunny, and the lovely smell of fresh cut grass everywhere, I was drawn in. I took off my shoes to walk barefoot. I found a shady spot and sat. I took out my crochet* (never leave home without crochet or knitting, you never know when you might need it), and spent a happy hour hooking in the cherry orchard.
I confess ate a few, the most delicious I’ve ever had, though Rita told me later that they’re not considered good enough for eating. The cherries in this orchard are destined for the distillery where they will become Kirchwasser.
And for our dessert later in the evening, a slice of cherry tart to share, and a bowl of cherries from one of the local smallholdings. Delicious in every respect.
* surprise, surprise – another ripple blanket. Am I hooked? Genau! [absolutely]