Trip Start Mar 29, 2006
232Trip End Feb 28, 2007
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A rest day
MONDAY, 11th September
Hey, it's 9-11! Not that you'd know in Meersburg where we spent the morning. There was no call to have a two minute silence or even a tolling of bells. There may well have been but we were too busy doing the tourist thing. It would have been a nice touch if all those wonderful bell towers had struck some sombre notes at the designated hour.
The drive to Meersberg was fogged. The morning mist hung over the lake and around the hills until midday denying us views across the waters as we drove around Lake Konstance
From there we walked through a medieval gate and into the lower town at the foot of the cliff. It was somewhat like Stein am Rhein but without the wall decorations. Cobbled streets with homes, shops and lots of restaurants and bars particularly along the waterfront. We walked up the hill via some shallow steps toward the upper part of the town. We reached a water mill first. It had a huge 15 metre wheel turned by a stream of water from above. The mill house had been turned into guest house.
Above the mill loomed the Old Palace reached by crossing a bridge over aforementioned mill. We paid our entry fee and wandered up, down and around this oldest of castles. There was little written information in English so we were ignorant as to much of its history. But we could see that it was very old...7th century it said somewhere...although I doubt there was much remaining from those times other than the earth works hidden below. The tragedy with most European castles is that they were frequently sacked and raised to the ground only to be rebuilt by later aristocracy
Most of what we were looking at was 15th century ...not to be sniffed at. The US of A was still in nappies at that period and Terra Australis was but a twinkle in the southern hemisphere. The rooms were furnished and included a kitchen, the dining room, some 18th century poet's apartments and dungeons. I do like to see castle rooms furnished. Bare walls do nothing for me.
We wandered around the upper town mingling with the many other tourists and pleased to hear many English voices at last. Meersburg is obviously on a 'places to see' list. It did not quite have the wow factor of Stein am Rhein though. We bought a miniature phone for C's dolls house and walked down the incline back to the car park. On the way we were entertained by a man jiggling a puppet which was playing a violin to recorded music. It was very clever and earned our applause and money. Anne bought some cherries on the way out gobbling them all up as we walked...giggling in delight at their flavour.
Friedrichshafen was our next port of call
I went into the Zeppelin museum for half an hour which was mostly a memorial to the creators and fliers of those monster airships. It was all in German so much of it regrettably I did not understand. The Junkers exhibit was also of interest...just looking at the old photos. Needless to say they replayed the film of the Hindenberg disaster. Anne spent her time in and out of travel agents seeking Vienna info with not much luck again.
We drove out of town in the direction of the airport to view the latest Zeppelin, the NT, which takes tourists aloft across the lake and back, a sight we saw quite frequently from below. We just missed it as it soared above us after taking off from its mooring on one of its hourly flights. I would have like to go on one of those rides but it cost!
We drove home on a northerly course via Salem and Heiligenburg which took us up into the hills. There would have been great views from up there if it hadn't been for the trees and the hotels hogging the cliff edge.