Forst, a Town We were not Meant to See
On one stretch of our hike along the Deutsche Weinstrasse, the “German Wine Trail”, we turned left where we should have turned right (or was it the other way round?), stepped out of the forest, fully aware that we had lost our way. It happens to the best of us.
So, we just headed for the next steeple we could spot in the distance, expecting to use the name of the village as a point of orientation, to determine our position and then to continue from there.
The steeple, as it turned out, belonged to the small town of Forst. I say “small town” even though Forst is technically a village, but it does not look like any type of “village” I have ever seen. For one, Forst is basically just a double row of buildings, a thin strip exactly one street wide between a busy highway and the forest, featuring a church and a long line of handsome two-hundred-year old winery estates.
And Forst does not feel like much of a village either. It is neither sleepy nor particularly rural and peopled by well-dressed urban folks who are busily skirting from one winery estate to the other, seeking to purchase a bottle to accompany their evening’s dinner or 1 million cases for a Japanese supermarket chain.
If you step across the road, you are free to roam through the town’s vineyards that are neatly divided and sub-divided into individual parcels with historical names such as “Jesuits’ garden” and “Church orchard”. You can pick your favourite Forst cuvée and buy a bottle or two before returning into town – or have them right there, in one of the vineyards’ many restaurants.
We were severely tempted ourselves, quite frankly, but ultimately decided in favour of returning to our trail instead. (Somehow, we felt it was one or the other.)
In the end, we lost about an hour and a half, but felt it was well worth it. I believe it was Confucius who said that it is the journey that counts and not the destination.
I am not going to dispute that and would just like to add that sometimes the detours aren’t half bad either.