A Travellerspoint blog

Zurich

rain 9 °C

My last port of call is the city of Zurich. The weather is not the best and it is very cold and windy. It's only about an hour and a half from Konstanz to Zurich so I arrive just after lunch. After dropping my bags of at the hotel I venture out to explore. My first thought was just how quite the city was then the penny dropped. It is Sunday. Shops are closed and only mad dogs, english men and tourists are out in this cold windy weather. It wasn't raining yet and I thought best to make the most of it while the rain is not around. I think I've seen too many old towns now and I wasn't all that impressed. Parts of the city reminded me of Paris. The architecture and the high end shops.

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Monday and the rain is coming down and not pleasent weather to be out in. Things are so expensive in Switzerland. No wonder a lot drive to Germany or Austria to shop. I thought about going to the museum but its closed on Monday but I should be able to fit it into tomorrow morning before I head to the airport to fly home.

I've had some amazing experiences on this European Odyssey. The cog railway to the top of the Schafberg mountain in Austria, walking the wall of Dubrovnik, the Plitvice lakes and the towns of Dresden and Meersberg. Oh! Also the bluebery schnapps from Lake Bled.
I have had my fill of Medieval, Gothic and Renaissance architecture and that should keep me happy for a few years at least.

AUF WIEDERSEHEN to all.

Posted by Shelleymc1 12:10 Archived in Switzerland Comments (0)

Konstanz

sunny 17 °C

I haven't talked about the actual town of Konstanz yet. The old town of Konstanz has the lake on one side and the Rhine which flows into the lake on the other. It has been an important trading town since 525AD and played an important role in the Reformation and as a result lost its freedom of the Empire in 1548. At one point it even belonged to Austria but now most of the town is in Germany. It managed to void being bombed by the allied forces during WW2 by leaving on all the city lights pretending they were part of Switzerland.

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It still is a major trading town with lots of retail shops situated in the old town. It has lots of old buildings, cobblestone streets, laneways and marketplatzs. So full of history and I had a lot of fun discovering lots of interesting places. Most of the old town wall has been pulled down but some of the towers remain.

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There is still a lot to discover about Lake Konstanz but time has run out. Maybe I'll just have to come back one day and visit the other towns like Friedrichshafen which has the Zeppelin museum. There is a Zeppelin which flys over Lake Konstanz every day. It's a very impressive sight.

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Posted by Shelleymc1 11:26 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Meersberg

semi-overcast 17 °C

The young student I spoke to on my first day in Konstanz made my promise that I would go to Meersberg which is just across the lake from Konstanz. The fog is still around but is clearing and mostly gone by midday.
To get there I just need to catch the local bus to the car ferry and jump on board for the 30 minute sail across the lake. It turns out Meersberg is a real hidden treasure. It is one of the best preserved medeival towns I've seen. It's up there with Rothenburg.

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It has its own castle that has been a museum since 1878 so it's full of really cool old historic artefacts and a dungeon with a torturer chamber. There are the old churches and the half timbered houses from the middle ages along with the new palace built in the early 1700's for the bishops.

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The best thing about Meersburg is that it has not been commercialised and just the lack of tourists. The day I was there I think the locals out numbered the tourists which is pretty rare in these old towns.
If you are in the area it is a must see.

Posted by Shelleymc1 06:54 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Konstanz and Mainau Island

overcast 17 °C

Up early and back catching trains to get from Frankfurt to Lake Konstanz. Three trains and 5 hours later I arrive safely in the Konstanz. Find my hotel and take one look at the bed and my decision is made. I need a rest. The last 5 weeks have been quite full on and one of the reasons for coming to Konstanz is to have a holiday from my holiday.
After a good lie down I head out to get some food and take a look at the town. One of the first people I talk to is a young Australian boy who is spending a year studying at the local university. He was a lovely young man and gave me some good tips. Because of the weather conditions the Lake is shrouded in fog just like it was 2 days ago when we stopped briefly at Lindau.
The next day I realise that I'm also having 1st world problems with connecting to the internet at the hotel. With no solution forthcoming I head off to McDonald's and have no problems connected there. So the blog continues. Just as well as I have a bit to catchup on.
Today I am off to the island of Mainau which is owned by some Barron who has turned it into a botanical garden. So you get a break from photos of old buildings and get to look at flowers instead. Although well passed its prime the garden still looked amazing and had plenty of autumn colours. The staff were busy pulling out a lot of the flower beds and planting bulbs and pansies.

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There is also a butterfly house and the obligatory church and palace. The later is used as a function and reception centre now.
Would love to see it in the springtime..
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Posted by Shelleymc1 05:03 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

Black Forest, Heidelberg and Frankfurt

sunny

Today is our last day of the tour of Germany. I managed to get some shots of our stop over last night in the Black Forest but it was early and the sun was still rising. Such a lovely places. I would have like to have had more time there to explore.

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We are off to Heidelberg but first a quick stop in the town of Schwarwald to look at the world largest cuckoo clock.
We are greeted by the owner holding shots of Black forest Kirchwasser. Tasty! I'll have 2 thanks. He tells us the story of his cuckoo clock making business. Don't ask me to retell the story as I was to busy thinking about how I could get a 3rd shot and yes I did get it. He was very accommodating. I needed it when I saw the prices of his cuckoo clocks in the shop. Expensive but a lot of workmanship does go into each clock. Great shop not only full of cuckoo clocks but great Christmas ornaments and treasures.

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On to Heidelberg which sits on the Neckar river. Heidelberg castle looks down over the town however most of it is in ruin. Nothing sinister, apparently it burnt down and they have only restored a small part with no plans to do the rest. I think being a ruin suits it and gives it and the town more character. The old town is of baroque style and very charming. A university town so full of students and not so many tourists. A nice town to end the tour with.

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Back to Frankfurt for a final dinner and farewell drinks. Maria and Wolfgang our driver work hard this tour. With a lot of difficult guests for Maria to handle and traffic jams and road closures for Wolfgang to deal with. They've earned their money this tour.
Ps I was not one of the difficult ones and I enjoyed the tour. Just wish it wasn't so rushed in certain places. I'm just a little puffed. Must be getting old but can't stop yet and Lake Konstanz and Zurich to go.

Posted by Shelleymc1 04:18 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

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