Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Black Forest, A spot of bother with a Cuckoo Clock

Despite the detour Kim navigated us back to the main road and suddenly there was a complete change in the weather, the clouds parted and let the sun through and there was a late afternoon blue sky. We were glad of this because this meant that we could return to Gengenbach to try and get the pictures that we wanted. We had to be quick though because it was getting late and the sky was beginning to darken as the sun dipped away somewhere over France so we did a whistle-stop march and then finished the afternoon in a smart Italian bar for a cup of tea and a slice of cake.

After stopping for wine supplies at a discount supermarket we arrived back at the hotel where the car park was coned off for no obvious reason. Thirty minutes later we discovered why when a coach party from the Netherlands arrived and swarms of guests on a Black Forest tour bus took over most of the hotel. This meant that the restaurant was especially busy tonight and we had to share a table with a German couple from Friedrichshafen in a side room just off the main dining area. Because they were so busy the service was slow which meant that we drank more wine than usual and after the German couple had left us to ourselves I started to poke around the bric-a-brac and the ornaments and then foolishly started to fiddle with an impressive large cuckoo clock hanging on the wall behind the table.

Immediately I wished I hadn’t touched those cone things that drive the mechanism because it unexpectedly whirred into life and out popped the cuckoo which turned out to be a rather loud cuckoo. And then as the chain headed non stop towards the floor it popped out several more times, each time announcing itself with its little song that just seemed to get louder and louder. The doors were banging, the chains were rattling and I wondered if I might have to throttle it. This impromptu and unscheduled entertainment seemed to amuse the people on the bus tour who were giggling and laughing and I just wanted the thing to get back in its box and shut up. There was no such luck and the clock went through twenty-four movements in under two minutes and believe me that is an awful lot of cuckoos. Then just as I was giving up all hope the thing thankfully finally exhausted itself and it stopped and with me red faced with embarrassment we slipped out of the restaurant and went back to our room before I could get up to any more mischief.

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