A mini-break in Konstanz

We arrived in Konstanz at just after 1 pm on Thursday, following a roughly three hour journey on the Schwarzwaldbahn (beautiful scenery!). The above two photos were taken in the Petershausen area of Konstanz, which is where we thought our hotel was. Except both of us had apparantly failed to read the date correctly and we had managed to book a room for the night of Wednesday, 28th May instead. Of course, there were no rooms left at the IBIS for that night, but the receptionist was kind enough to phone another hotel where she managed to get us a double room. We ended up at Hotel Halm, which was slightly more expensive than we would have liked, but at that point it was a case of beggars not being choosers, so we went with it. At least it was convenient for the train station… as in directly opposite! And we got a welcome drink when we arrived which kind of made up for our complete stupidity 😉

Welcome drink at Hotel Halm
Welcome drink at Hotel Halm

Once we’d drunk our sparkling wines, we decided to take advantage of the absolutely glorious weather and take a boat out to Mainau, an island in Lake Constance (or the Bodensee in German). The boat trip over took about half an hour.

Approaching Mainau on the boat. The builing is a palce owned by the Bernadotte family
Approaching Mainau on the boat. The building is a palace owned by the Bernadotte family

After a quick stop for a sandwich at the cafe, we decided to head for the butterfly house. It was pretty crowded, but definitely worth it. So many butterflies! Here are a few:

Once we’d seen the butterflies, we went for a walk around the rest of the island. Here are a few photos. It’s not known as a flower island for nothing!

Probably my favourite thing on Mainau was this rendering of the Bodensee in blue flowers!

Lake Konstanz in flowers
Lake Konstanz in flowers

 

Once we’d seen all the island had to offer, we took a boat back over to the mainland and went off in search of somewhere to eat. The first place we tried was closed on Sundays and holidays (Thursday was Christihimmelfahrt… Ascension Day), so we wandered all over town, finally ending up back down at the lake. Here are a few photos from our wanderings:

Seeing as we were at a lake, fish seemed like a good choice of food. Jan had “Felchenfilet”, which translates as whitefish (sooo imaginative!), apparantly the typical fish of the Bodensee. I went with sea bass, which was served on a bed of carrot and ginger puree (you can’t see it in the picture as it’s under the fish). Each of us ordered a side, which we shared between us… spinach for me and rosemary potatoes for Jan. To drink, I had a local Pils which came in a teeny glass!

The next morning, it was raining heavily so we decided to hit a museum first. There is currently a special exhibition on about the Council of Konstanz, which took place from 1414-1418. The aim of the council was to resolve the papal schism. Basically, three people were claiming to be the rightful pope, each with different followers. It took four years, but eventually the three popes were persuaded (or forced) to resign and the council was able to elect a new pope, who became Martin V as he was elected on St. Martin’s Day. The exhibition was interesting, but loooong! We must have been walking around in there for 3 hours! By the end my feet were killing and I was dying of thirst! No photos of that part of the day I’m afraid because you weren’t allowed to take any…

After the exhibition, our next stop was the Cathedral. We had a look inside then paid the €2 each to climb the tower for a view of Konstanz. By that time, the rain had stopped although it was still cloudy.

Back down on the ground, we had another walk around town, mostly on the look out for a place to buy water. Then we stopped at a place called Pano for something to eat. For a place named, well, bread there was a disappointing lack of bread, but never mind! Food eaten, it was almost time for our train, but before leaving we briefly walked across the border into Kreuzlingen purely for the novelty of walking to Switzerland! There was a park over there (the Seegarten), which I’m sure would have been nice to have a look at if we’d had more time, but instead I just briefly took a photo of some flags by the harbour then we headed back to Konstanz to pick up our bags and catch a train home. All in all, it was a nice little break and Konstanz is somewhere I would definitely like to visit again!

Friday letters & some links

Friday is upon us again! I’m actually in Konstanz right now… yesterday was the last one in a series of Thursday public holiday in my part of Germany, so I decided to use some overtime and treat myself to a four-day weekend. I didn’t want to waste my extra day off sitting at home, so I persuaded Jan to take a break from his thesis for a couple of days and come down to Konstanz with me. I wish every day could be a three-day working week followed by a four-day weekend 😉

Friday letters

Dear man on my train. There is seriously no need to stink that badly of BO at 8 a.m. on a Monday. It’s not even that hot at that time in the morning (yet). What are you going to do when proper summer arrives? For the sake of your fellow commuters, please invest in some deodorant!

Dear red pandas. You are definitely my favourite part of the my journey to work ❤

Dear bookcases. I know you’re way too full already, but I’m afraid you’re going to have to prepare yourself for another onslaught of books. Amazon was just too tempting this week…

Dear May. Where did you go? It doesn’t seem possible that tomorrow is your last day!

And now for some interesting links I’ve come across recently:

  • A friend posted this article on Facebook and I’ve been sharing it everywhere! Some excellent points (and terrifying) points about rape culture, nerds and the “I’m a nice guy so I deserve sex” myth.
  • Ever wanted to speak Icelandic? Find some basic phrases at Unlocking Kiki. (Also, check out the rest of her blog. Her photos make me want to be in Iceland RIGHT NOW!).
  • It’s been ten years since the final episode of Friends aired in Great Britain (What? How is that possible?). Here’s a BBC article with things you may not have known about the series.
  • I came across this list of 18 German Castles that put Disney to Shame while looking for something else, and now I want to visit them all!

Happy Friday everyone! I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!