DAY 14 – Saturday, July 6, 2019 – Fussen >> Bregenz >> Lindau
We spent the day around Bodensee, also known as Lake Constance. It is bordered by three countries: Germany, Austria, and Switzerland.
In Bregenz, Austria, we walked around town, near Bodensee. We saw two tourist blimps (air bus), an outdoor theater stage on the lake with a giant mechanical head and hands, the golden whistle (which we touched for energy). There was a festival in town. We saw a small circular chapel, a view of Lindau, Germany, and the Sunshine King, a solar boat.
Bregenz is the capital of Vorarlberg, the westernmost state of Austria, on the eastern shore of Lake Constance, which is the third-largest freshwater lake in Central Europe, between Switzerland in the west and Germany in the northwest. Bregenz is on a plateau falling in a series of terraces to the lake at the foot of Pfander Mountain.
Misa and Vladya reported that it was in the news today that Tomas Satoransky, a Czech Republic basketball player was acquired by the Chicago Bulls.
We took a short drive to Lindau, Germany – it’s Aldstadt (Old Town) is an island.
We walked into St. Stephan-Christkirche, a Protestant Church – it was simple; with 200 year old pews and a basic cross; there was a service going on. The original building dates back to the 1100’s.
Across the alley, we walked into an elegantly adorned Catholic Church. Such a contrast!
Minster Unserer Lieben Frau, or Stiftskirche or St. Marien dates back to the year 810 when it was built as any abbey for Benedictine nuns. It burned in the city fire of 1728 and was rebuilt between 1748 and 1752. Johann Caspar Bagnato, the architect, was a master of his guild in the Baroque era. In 1813, the abbey church became a Catholic parish church.
Barbara, Marlene, and I ate lunch at an Italian restaurant on Lindau Island Old Towne. Barbara had spaghetti ice cream for lunch. I had tortellini ragu. Marlene had caprese, but they brought it without mozzarella.
After lunch, we took a boat ride on Bodensee. We left from Lindau Harbor which was completed in 1856. It is framed by the Bavarian lion statue (6 meters high, it is carved from Kehlheim sandstone and weighs 50 tons) and Neuer Leuchturm (the 33 meter high stone “new lighthouse”). We passed Wasser and Bregenz (where we saw the back of the theater) while enjoying mountain views before heading back to Lindau.
With two hours of free time after the boat ride, Barbara and I headed to the edge of Old Town to see two other steeples. Vladya convinced us we should not bother taking the shuttle train. We found the first steeple. It looked like Rapunzel’s castle. The roof looked like terra cotta with periodic colored tiles. We snapped a few photos and looked for a way to get in, but all of the doors seemed to be for private residences.
Diebsturm (Thieves Tower) was built around the year 1400 on the western edge of the city and served as a prison and watch tower.
Big raindrops started to fall. Barbara insisted we get somewhere inside soon. We ducked inside St. Peter’s Cathedral – just in time to hear a huge downpour outside. There were no pews in the church. It is now a memorial to fallen soldiers from Lindau. I looked around and found the surnames of my relatives: Brunner, Konrad, and Endras. There was one other couple in the church. After ten or fifteen minutes, the lights went out. Barbara and I assumed the power went out, but the man calmly walked over and flipped the light switch, which was evidently on a timer. A few minutes later, the rain subsided.
Peterskirche (Peter’s Church) is a bulky church building located next to Diebsturm. At more than 1,000 years old, it is one of the oldest buildings in the Lake Constance area. Today, it is a war memorial.
Barbara and I ventured out. Most of the shops were closed. We found a bar with outside seating overlooking the backside of a statue. After some time, we saw Vladya waking back to the tower to meet our group. He pointed the way to the bus. About 20 minutes later, we saw Misa and other members of our group walking back to the bus. Barbara and I were only a few minutes behind.
On the bus, one of the kids called out BINGO!
We checked into Best Western. Our dinner buffet was delicious: roast beef and pork. There were lots of funny stories at dinner with Ceceila, Marlene, Ceil, and Barbara.
Afterwards, Barbara and I got bad directions from the desk clerk to the nearest bar: GRISN. Luckily, it was easier to find than described. There were several groups of people sitting on the patio; we found an empty table and enjoyed the evening.
What games do you play when you’re traveling?