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Konztanz 18th May

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Hello, sailor

So today we waved goodbye to Zurich after a final (mid-range) blast of coffee and cakes, and caught the train to Konstanz. Konstanz is actually in Germany, by a few millimetres, although a cursory look at a map you’d think it was in Switzerland.

Its cheaper. The tourist mix is different, mostly Germans. Zurich is full of tourists of every breed. A lot of Indian tourists, for example. In Konstanz they are less diverse.

Again we took a central hotel, across the way from the railway station and the pier. The plan is to take a ferry tomorrow to Bregenz in Austria, or maybe Lindau in Germany, which is nearby to Bregenz but considerably cheaper. If it is as nice tomorrow as today…dead-flat lake, open blue sky…a ferry trip sounds ideal.

Here’s an odd thing though. On the internet, you can find any amount of information about travelling from Bregenz to Konstanz. But nothing on the return trip. No prices, timetable etc. When we asked at the Konstanz tourist bureau, the operator pursed her lips and said “You know it’s a four hour trip,” and resignedly shook her head when we persisted. I guess there’s something about the trip we don’t know but might know by tomorrow.

We spent the afternoon on Mainau Insel. A grand park on a small island. It was lovely. I was really excited to see a huge, fat, black bumblebee species that was unfamiliar. The gardens were great. You can’t really fault a lavish, well-maintained 200-year old rich man’s garden on a lush green island in a perfectly clear lake on a beautiful, sunny day.

Back in Konstanz we took up the icecream challenge. Last time I was in Europe it was winter, so I missed the whole icecream palace thing. This time competing icecream establishments offer lavish, sculptured icecream creations. We had a wild-berry thingy, then later came back after dinner for another round with something with strawberries and yoghurt ( and icecream and sauce and cream and so on).

And not just the lumpy hard-then-rotten flavourless supermarket-preferred “strawberries” we eat in Australia…

Also in season is asparagus, and the monstrous, medieval barn-restaurant on the harbor we ate at had a whole page devoted to asparagus dishes. When I say big, I mean it was say, 100 meters long, 5 stories high, and with a terraced restaurant with seating for maybe 200 people overlooking the harbor. The German architecture here is to add a top floor of carved stained wood, and you see them all along the coast.

I had a fillet of fish, hollandaise and about half a kilo of white asparagus for my dinner. Sylvia had asparagus soup as an entrée. Desserts looked horrible, which is why we went back for another bash at the icecream palace.

And when I say overlooking the harbor, that includes the rather distinctive sculpture that greets water-born visitors. A gigantic (wooden?) woman, with a tiny king and perhaps pope in each hand poses like a Minoan beauty. I say Minoan because I’ve seen a ceramic Minoan decoration where the same pose was used:  arms up, palms flat in a w-shape. And like the Minoan ceramic, the Constance statue is pretty eye-catching, being both voluptuous and mostly unclothed. It certainly attracted a lot of attention.

For artistic merit, of course.

Written by wurstofvienna2011

May 18, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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