Another cold night last night with lows in the high 30’s. The weather has been less than ideal this trip. We have so far had only two sunny days, we have several days of heavy rain, and even the days when it has not rained have been cloudy and cold. It is starting to wear on us a bit.
There were 5 vans in the Stellplatz last night and we were the last to leave in the morning by a good bit. We have a good excuse as we were up at about 5am celebrating the Trailblazers game 7 win in the NBA playoffs.
We wanted to swing by Lake Constance while we were in this part of Germany. It is about 40 miles long and 7 miles wide at its widest point. Germany, Switzerland, and Austria all have part of the lake. Some of the tourist ads refer to it as Germany’s Riviera which is stretching it.
Meersburg made a favorable impression on us, though I think it would have made an even better impression if it was not gray, windy, and about 50 degrees. (OK I am done complaining about the weather.) Meersburg is a nice town with two very distinct levels. As you look over the lake towards Switzerland you can see the alps. The upper level has a couple of very large estates one of which is an upscale winery, and the other a museum. The lower level has some typical tourist stores as well as a lot of nice restaurants.
There is also an old castle that looked interesting so after some debate we decided to go for the tour. It turns out that this is the oldest castle in Germany dating to the 1300’s.
This castle is in private hands now, after the church moved to a modern castle in the late 1700’s a family bought it in the 1800’s and still lives there today. The first impression was just ok as we walked in just as about 60 French middle schoolers arrived. But one of the guides came to us and told us to wait a few minutes to let the middle schoolers go, and we could join a guided tour that included a climb to the top of the tower which was not on the public tour. The tour was in German, but she went out of her way at each stop to pull us aside and give us information in English.
Like many castles it went thru several additions, and remodels so several different architectural styles are represented. It did successfully withstand one siege of two months in the 1600’s. They also have an extensive collection of armor and weapons from the middle ages until the late 1700’s.
It turned out to be a great tour. At the end the guide spent twenty minutes with us discussing the area, different dialects of German, and other fun things. She convinced us to stay another day and explore some more.