A hidden gem in Germany
What a lovely little spot this is to relax and enjoy some shopping and sightseeing without the hustle and bustle we experienced in Amsterdam. Konstanz is situated right on the border between Germany and Switzerland and in fact a strange border line extends past the Rhine just a little to include the old town. We actually walked across the swiss border, marked only by a small stone, and then back again into Germany. I have included a photo of a now disused border tower, a remnant of days when security was more of an issue than it seems today. Because of its proximity to Switzerland, Konstanz was able to escape any destruction during World War 2, and in fact did not participate in blackouts, as did Switzerland, so that bombers flying overhead would know that it was a neutral country. A bit sneaky, as it is still Germany, but the result is a town that is very well preserved and with wonderful examples of architecture dated back to the 12th century. Its a great little place to walk around and I would recommend visiting! Its a little off the usual tourist trail, but the prevalence of camping grounds around the lake is testament to its popularity. It seems to be a place where German people come to spend their vacations. This morning was a little bit chilly, with a mist hanging around until about midday, when the sun finally came out. We definitely needed our scarves and some form of jacket during our wandering, but with the sun out now, we will be looking for a warm spot to sit and drink some steins! The small harbour is guarded by a rotating statue of Imperia.
Imperia is a voluptuous female figure of 9m height who carries two small men in her hands - one resembling a king, the other a cleric. When Imperia was unveiled, conservative critics hated it for ridiculing the catholic church. Many also objected to the fact that the statue shows a prostitute. Nowadays, though, it's Konstanz's most famous landmark - and simultaneously the world's biggest statue of a prostitute!
She is an impressive sight! Tomorrow we head off by train to Zurich, and then on to Salzburg for another day of playing tourist...this time in Austria, before our last long day on the train to Timisoara. Nearly there Stevie!xxxxxx