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Report 1729: Family, Food and Wine (Part 2) Abruzzo Re-Re-Visited and Switzerland

By avvocato from NJ, USA, Spring 2009

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Page 9 of 11: Konstanz, Germany and the Bodensee

photo by Nuan De Stephanis

Schneitzel, frites and a beer in Konstanz

Winterthur is very close to southern Germany and the Bodensee. The Bodensee is a large inland lake that borders Switzerland, Germany and Austria. The Rhine River flows in the eastern end and emerges larger at the western end in Konstanz on its journey to the North Sea. My wife and I take the direct train from Winterthur. The train goes through Frauenfeld the capital of Thurgau Canton and arrives in Konstanz in under 50 minutes. There is no immigration at the station as evidence once again that Switzerland is now fully integrated into the Schengen convention.

Konstanz has a somewhat unique recent history. It was the only major German city not to be bombed by the Allies in World War II due to its proximity to Switzerland. In fact Konstantz left its lights burning brightly during air raids to avoid all doubt. Because of the lack of bombing, the city retained its medieval and historical buildings intact.

The focal point of the town is the lake but the town was a well established trading and cultural center due to its location. The town has many gardens and fountains as well as a central shopping district on the Marktstatte. Near the Bodensee is the 14th century Mercantile House a key landmark for trade with southern Europe. The harbor is dominated by the Imperia statue.

While we are walking at the harbor my wife and I see a rigid airship or “Zeppelin” cruising the skies over the lake. It turns out that Count (Graf) Ferdinand Zeppelin was born in Konstanz and a Zeppelin NT manufacturing plant is in nearby Friedrichshafen. Both the Graf Zeppelin and the infamous Hindenberg were constructed here. There are museums nearby and airships operate today from the airport in Friedrichshafen.

Our lunch in Konstanz consists of a simple schnitzel and frites plus salad with a local beer.

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