We have made a surprising discovery. Germany seems to be allergic to visa. Shops don’t accept visa debit or credit cards. The petrol stations do, however, and you are able to draw cash out of some ATMs but not all of them. I think this is a nationwide aversion to the heavy charges that you have to pay when accepting cards of any sort. It does mean that we have to travel with a much larger sum of money than usual to cover grocery and beer bills.

We wound our way through the Black Forest to Gengenbach, a photogenic medieval town. It is like something straight out of a movie set with cuckoo clocks, black forest gateau in abundance and gabled roofs at every turn. Almost every town in the Black Forest follows this magical formula. We ventured on to Sasbachwalden to be greeted by the same imagery. A fantastic starting point for walks, we discovered hilly terrain crisscrossed with forests and vineyards. A steep climb led us up a tumbling waterfall shrouded by green leafy woods. At the top we were rewarded with seeing our very first reindeer.