Monday, April 13, 2015

Day 2 and 3 of south Germany trip

On day 2 of our trip we planned on going to see Konstanz which is a city located on Bodensee lake.  It has an interesting history in the fact that it held Council of Constance from 1414 to 1418 where 3 Popes abdicated and a new pope was elected after nearly  30 years of confusion and turmoil.  The statue in the middle of the lake represents Imperia,  one of the characters  from Balzac's  story, holding an emperor in one hand and the pope in the other and both are naked except for crown and papal tiara.

It was incredibly cold that day so instead of heading out to Mainau (an island that we assumed would be cold and windy),we headed out to check Salem Palace.  It was only about 15 minutes away from the house we were staying in which was an added bonus but even without the bonus, the Palace was a lot of fun.  Again, we opted not to take 3 exhausted boys for an inside guided tour (we've been walking around for around 3 hours by then and see above - really cold!) and enjoyed the grounds, the stables, the church and the firefighting museum.  The stables didn't have horses in them and were kind of weird but everything else was nice.

On the following day we knew that we wanted to go to Mainau so we headed out to Meersburg which has a ferry across the lake.  Meersburg is a lovely German city which has 2 castles within a minute of each other.  The Old Castle is Germany's oldest inhabited castle since 628 and we walked all throughout all the rooms that have cool stuff like knight gear (shields and swords), kitchen, bedrooms, etc.    It was big and felt like we stepped into Medieval times.  The New Castle was impressive in its own right but not so interesting for the boys.  Lots of art work and actually fairly small.  Then to the main attraction of the day - Mainau Island.  It is extremely famous island in this part of the world.  It has a super diverse and exotic garden, it also has Germany's largest butterfly conservatory.  As a side note - it has the most amazing playground which would not be ok by any American standards from the safety prospective, our boys LOVED it.

Fair warning: picture overload!


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