The pace starts to pick up.
Finally, the giant car begins to stretch its muscles (photo: Walla! system, Yatir Davidovitz)
B500, the Black Forest.
near the town of Baden-Baden, southwest Germany.
about an hour and a half drive from Frankfurt, 45 minutes drive from Strasbourg.
45 km and dozens more around.
When to drive:
In the days when even roads have become a political issue in Israel, it is more tempting than ever to look further to Europe.
Amazing driving roads are hidden along the length and breadth of the continent.
Some offer a stunning view, others offer an unforgettable driving experience and many others offer all options together.
Today we start a series of articles about these roads, driving in the Black Forest in Germany.
The road is in southwest Germany, about an hour and a half drive from Frankfurt, 45 minutes drive from Strasbourg (photo: Walla! system, Google)
In general terms:
The Black Forest (or "Schwarzwald" in German) is a popular destination for travelers coming to northeastern France or southwestern Germany.
Hiking trails and stunning views in the summer and numerous ski resorts in the winter make the magnificent forest a unique experience.
The mountain range on which the Black Forest is spread is not very high and reaches only 1,400 meters at its peak, but it is the source of many rivers, including the Danube and the Hankar.
The B500 road starts around the town of Baden-Baden, known for its hot springs, where it follows, more or less, the watershed of the Black Forest range to the border with Switzerland.
In total, it is about 190 km of travel, but the most successful part is in the northern part and is about 45 km long.
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Looking far ahead, foot on the floor.
The experience is reminiscent of real racetracks (photo: Walla! system, Yatir Davidovitz)
Driving in the Black Forest
Most of the great driving roads in Europe climb up a steep mountain pass.
The roads tend to be narrow and full of tight turns and limited visibility.
The Black Forest Road is almost the exact opposite as it runs the length of the ridge line.
The different structure dictates moderate and long turns, a less steep climb and a much higher pace.
But before we start the story of the road, let's understand where we start: from the town of Baden-Baden.
The small and friendly town is a few kilometers southeast of Karlsruhe in the south of Germany on Autobahn No. 5. To reach the successful parts of Route 500 you have to cross the town by driving and then you reach the starting point where the road leaves the town and begins to climb the mountain. Pay attention to the speed camera waiting for the downhillers Down or for those in a hurry, give gas. Immediately after you turn left with the road and start climbing, you will notice a sign warning of bikers who come to enjoy themselves. The speed here is limited to 50 km/h, but all the times we were there we did not see a speed camera further down the road (forbidden we never recommend exceeding the speed limit permitted).
The pace starts to increase and the turns combine a moderate rise and long turns.
Finally the giant car starts to flex its muscles.
At the entrance to the turns we send a long look ahead to make sure that no speeding biker will suddenly cut off the turn on the descent and that no slow cyclist will sit right on the apex for us.
The road climbs towards the ridge line.
The first turns are a little tighter and slower than what you will encounter later, but in any case it is not a technical route.
The quality of the asphalt here is amazing and even at minus a few degrees there is always enough movement to break the ice and give confidence that the excellent asphalt will grip the tires.
Every few hundred meters you can stop in one of the parking bays along the way.
The many bays are intended for cross-country enthusiasts (walking with skis) for which tracks are scattered along the entire road.
After about 5 km you come to a traffic light, a kind of antithesis to the first rounds. Immediately after it you will return to a high pace. The road twists and turns. The speed limit - about 70 km but there are also areas of 100 km/h which are usually enough to get out of the car without grip Absolutely lots of fun. The giant Bimmer feels like a locomotive here.
On the way up you'll start to see different ski resorts. If you like skiing, the Black Forest offers a lot of options in winter, especially for the beginners among you. The ski and cross-country trails make the area especially busy on weekends. The problem is Not only the amount of traffic, but mainly the fact that many people park in the bays that are close to the road, so on long sections of the road you simply won't be able to enjoy a real drive between Friday and Sunday, take that into account.
Somewhere in the middle of the road the road reaches a site called Momelza.
Momelza is a small lake that freezes in winter and offers a gorgeous view and short and lovely walking trails around it.
In the restaurant by the lake you can enjoy the real 'Black Forest' cake.
The rest of the road offers ups and downs as the road follows the road conditions along the ridge line.
Some places allow acceleration on moderate hills and long straights.
Every few kilometers there is an intersection that allows you to turn to one of the side roads that descend from the ridge, we will expand on them in a moment.
The last 15 km are a real treat for driving enthusiasts. Here there are almost no intersections or ski resorts that slow down the pace and the road is flat and seasoned with wide margins. The slopes in the turns that help the grip when driving really fast can even be seen in the pictures.
Looking far ahead, foot on the floor and the huge car roaring ahead.
The experience is reminiscent of real racetracks.
Without speed limits or fear of the police, the pace was probably in the stratosphere.
Turn after turn, the field of vision is open and excellent and you can look far ahead and plan a driving line as if you were in Spa or Suzuka and not with a limousine that weighs two tons.
The slight relaxations from the accelerator pedal are all that is needed to signal the nose to move in the right direction and now a light snowfall begins.
The road ends at the junction with road 28. It was fast.
You can be disappointed that it has passed, you can go back again and drive downhill, but if you have a relatively small and dynamic car you will probably be happy to find out: almost every road that descends from the ridge line towards the east or west offers a completely different driving style.
On these roads the margins are narrow to non-existent, the bends are much sharper and 'pinhead' turns are found here and there.
In some cases you will find that you can only drive with the field of view open because in other cases a car that is overtaking or going downhill may emerge in a turn.
Here good driving skills will definitely help to get the car home safely.
if you like to drive these roads alone can give you two or three days of extremely enjoyable driving.
She felt at home in the Black Forest, and made the long drive home an equally successful experience (Photo: Yatir Davidovitz)
The car with us
Well the time has come to tell about the bride, and as the tracker says "this is a heavy bride".
When the manufacturer's representatives informed us that a new BMW 740D from the bag was ready for the test, we gently reminded them that this was an article about driving on winding European roads.
"We were thinking of maybe taking one of the M division cars" we told them.
They replied with a long and polite email saying in a very convoluted way "take it and you will be surprised".
But apparently they know something.
Because the huge Bimmer, with its two tones, felt right at home in the Black Forest.
The large limousine has a feature that is almost impossible to find anymore: it shrinks around the driver and gives all the confidence to enter a turn, even if the turn is particularly narrow and on its sides cliff and cliff await eagerly.
Its steering wheel is as precise as a Swiss watch and the engine is a real gem.
That's right, it's a diesel with 286 horsepower + 14 more that come when you press the "boost" button.
But it's not the horsepower that makes this car fast, it's the torque.
The BMW 740d has no less than 65 kg that move it with annoying lightness.
The peak power does not reach the particularly exciting area and a wonderful 8-speed gearbox shifts a little after 4,000 rpm to the next gear as in any modified diesel.
True, in a long and steep mountain pass like Sustan (which we might meet in the summer) the lack of thrust at high rpm would be a hindrance, but in the Black Forest, which has relatively mild slopes, the torque plays a much greater role
. BMW's flagship signals that it's not a pure sports car after all, a bit of lean and maybe a hint of understeer will welcome you.
At the end of the day the choice was good.
It's not just a car that managed to provide a lot of fun on this particular road, it also made the long trip from Munich and back an equally successful experience.
A full test on the 740d will come separately.
More of an escape point for driving enthusiasts than hardcore experience drivers.
And still very enjoyable to drive in the European winter (photo: Walla! system, Yatir Davidovitz)
The spectacular quality of the pavement and a particularly enjoyable section towards the end are an excellent reason to come and drive in the Black Forest, and that's even before we talked about the skiing, the trips and the many surrounding attractions.
The location is perfect for those in central Western Europe - Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Munich, Luxembourg, Strasbourg and Lyon.
On the weekends, the traffic can kill the fun, the road itself is not varied enough in terms of the number of turns and the surrounding roads are a bit narrow and dangerous. The Black Forest is more of an escape point for driving enthusiasts than for hardcore experience drivers. It is still one of the most enjoyable roads to drive in the European winter. Paving quality
Amount of traffic:
3/5 midweek 1/5 on the weekend
Field of vision: