Sunday, November 03, 2013



Silke’s sister Angie and her husband Mino, invited us to dinner at their house.  On the way we stopped at a beautiful German village in the middle of the vineyards.  Of course we had to try some ice cream on this another beautiful day.  Newlyweds Angie and Mino put out a spread in the Italian style.  Mino, who is part Italian, loves to cook and it showed with what he had prepared.  In Italy, antipasto is not what you generally get in the US at an Italian restaurant.  The word means, “before the meal” and for most of us it means a salad with some meat and cheese in it.  Mino lay before us, tomatoes with mozzarella and basil, olives, a spread made from eggplant, broccoli, cucumbers with dressing, beans and I’m sure I've forgotten something.  Next came pasta with a homemade meat sauce and we haven’t got to the main course yet.  The main course was swordfish in another great tomato based sauce.  Of course there was wine and bread to go with everything.  We just couldn't eat it all, having to save room for tiramisu which Angie made from scratch.  It was a great meal with good company.


After two weeks, Silke had to go back to work, but with Hansjorg in the lead, we took off for our last week in Europe.  Hansjorg first took us back into Switzerland to take a look at the Rhine River Falls.  Small when compared to Niagara Falls, but impressive none the less.  It had been raining, but the skies cleared for us as we took a circle walk around the falls, crossing the river first below and then above the falls.  As we left it started raining again and of course Hansjorg took credit for the great planning.

Next stop on the tour was Lake Konstanz back in Germany.  We stayed at Gaestehaus in a very nice apartment with a terrace and a view of the lake.  In the morning we took the ferry across the lake and paid a visit to Mainau Island, once the home of Frederick I, Grand Duke of Baden.  The Duke, a collector of plants from all over the word created the island's arboretum.  The island is a garden which contains 500 species of deciduous and conifer trees, many exotic and valuable, including fine specimens of the North American Sequoia.  Also on the island was a butterfly exhibit where you are able to walk through a jungle like enclosure full of different species of butterflies.


We stopped in the city of Konstanz for a look around the waterfront.  The statue below is of Imperia is relatively new but it tells the story about what happened at a papal conference that was held here from 1414 to 1418.  The conference was attended by the pope and many royal folks from around Europe.  The woman, who is scantily clad, holds in one hand the pope and in the other a king.  Both are naked.  It is said that during the time of the conference there was a desire of many attendees to partake in the desires of the flesh, or to put it more directly, the need for prostitutes.  The story is a harsh satire of the Catholic clergy’s morals, where Imperia seduces cardinals and princes at the conference and has power over them all.

The next day Cathie took the day off and Hansjorg and I went to the Zeppelin Museum in Freidichshafen.  The city of Freidichshafen is where the Zeppelins have been made for years.  Blimps are still made there today.  Most of the museum is dedicated to the crash of the Hindenburg which crashed in New Jersey in 1937.  There is a partial mock up of the Hindenburg in which you can walk through as see staterooms and the dining lounge.  There are also displays with pieces recovered from the crash site, the most impressive is an engine and the pod which housed it.

On the way back to our guesthouse we stopped in Meersburg for a walk around the historic center of the town.

Next up, more of Switzerland.......stay tuned

No comments: