Wednesday, 26 October 2011

My first trip to Germany!

Morgen mittenand!

I seem to always be lagging a week behind these days…this post is about our short trip to Konstanz in Germany last week end. A couple of friends we knew from Glasgow have recently moved there and we are very pleased to have some good friends living nearby. So on Saturday morning, Alf, Mr T and I jumped on a train to Kontanz for an overnight stay.

After a quick dip in Bodensee for Alf…

… we sat down for a lunch of German cold meat and Dutch cheese (our friend Marc is Dutch). Feeling full and rather content, we then all went for a long walk in the nearby woods to collect mushrooms. I wouldn’t know where to start collecting mushrooms, but our friend Katja spent a lot of time as a child collecting mushrooms in Russia and she knows her do’s and don’ts.  We didn’t collect any of the mushrooms below as Katja had her eyes set on only picking a type of orange mushroom which name I forgot (honey mushroom maybe?) and which I wasn’t quick enough to photograph. Katja was on a mission and it was amazing to see how quickly she could spot them in a layer of leaf litter! Anyhow, the picture below will give you a good idea of the variety of fungi we encountered in a couple of hours in a relatively small area.

The following morning was spent walking around the old centre of Konstanz. Being Sunday, none of the shops were open (to my disappointment…Konstanz is definitely a cheaper shopping destination than Zürich!) but we thoroughly enjoyed having a stroll. What really surprised us in Konstanz was the architecture and the “OMG, am I tripping on LSD?” works of art throughout the town. Take the “Triumphal Arch” for example:

I don’t even know where to start!! Two fat elderly people sat in a jacuzzi, a naked woman exhibiting herself to semi-human semi-seal monsters, a monkey with a steering wheel and many other caricatures! The fountain is the creation of contemporary artist Peter Lenk.There must be some logical explanation for this I have failed to obtain…

We thought that was the one weird-and-whacky fountain in Konstanz but we were proven wrong 30 minutes later when we stumbled across this one in Marktstätte:

2 peacocks, a life-size horse, rabbits with fish tail spurting water and a lady with a bird on her head and nipples coming out of her top! After searching on the Konstanz tourist information website, I found that this is called the Imperial Fountain (Kaiserbrunnen). It was created in 1897 by the sculptor Hans Baur, but the fountain lost its original decorative figures during the 1940s. The artist couple Barbara and Gernot  Rumpf  redesigned the structure and concealed within it a number of allusions to Konstanz’s past. The website (visit link) tells us:
 "The Emperor Fountain in Marktstätte assembles several figures and scenes that tell of the medieval history of the Holy Roman Empire in reference to Konstanz. We see portraits of the Emperors Friedrich Barbarossa, Otto the Great, and Maximilian around the central column. A bust of Maximilian's wife Bianca Sforza sits on the balustrade. The little bird on her bonnet at intervals spits water into Maximilian's outstretched hand. A pair of pigeons is classified as bishop and emperor, religious and worldly power. The document of the Konstanz Peace Treaty of 1183 is represented in bronze. The three-headed peacock with his three tiaras stands for the three Popes and Antipopes during the Great Schisma before the Council.”

Erm....interesting...The last water fountain we stumbled across that morning seemed very demure in comparison.

I must admit that these random artefacts and the lovely architecture in the old town make Konstanz a very interesting city to visit and walk around.

We will be back!!


Juanita Tortilla said...

I thought it was mighty weird too, that Triumphal Arch!
Konstanz is such a great (shopping) getaway. If you get there by car, you'll see that over half the cars are CH ones :D

So, what became of the 'honey mushrooms'? Were they the "Eierschwämm" ones (that I see in the supermarket)?

The undomesticated scientist said...

interesting fissy bunnies! I've done the pairs for the stocking swap. you've got me! he he he.

Ellinor said...


Nice blog! I found it when I googled "Kostanz". I've recently moved there from Sweden, so it's nice to read about someone else's experiences :)


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