Monday, 7 July 2008

listening to bells, thunder and a piano accordian.

I made it out of Paris and am recuperating in Konstanz with some warmly hospitable and welcoming friends. I don´t think I could´ve chosen a more contrasting place to Paris, or a better place for a little tlc and chillout time. It all looks so ridiculously German, and although it doesnt have any famous sights, is a perfect pretty town, just right for wandering and relaxing.

Right now it´s a clear but cloudy day, and outside my window there´s an (impressivelz good) accordian player squeezing out the Baroque´s greatest hits. This week there´s also been string quartets, and a white hippy didgeridoo player.

On my first day here, we went and paddled in the river - so clear I saw a fish swim right by my legs.

On the second few days I walked the city - I´m taking myself on a tour following the plan given by the tourist office. It´s supposed to take 2 hours, but with my sense of direction it´s 2 days and not finished yet. It´s a lovely little town, with winding alleys and old corners, so it´s not such a shame getting lost. The ´cbd´is car-free too, which thankfully reduces my chances of getting hit while I look up and marvel, and forget to pay attention to the more practical aspects of wandering the streets.

I´ve had a (big, milky) coffees in a lovelz little place called 'Das Vogelhaus' (The Birdhouse) which has seating on different raised levels, and climbed the Münster (Cathedral) to enjoy the view of the city. On the day that I visited it, they were tuning the big organ, giving the huge space an eerie feel as the pipes wheezed out bland, out-of-tune notes.

I visited the Isle of Meinau, the flower island, owned by a duchess and always in bloom. We saw a huge smiling flower topiary, and a giant dwarf, and took a million photos in the 'Schmetterlinghaus'.

We had dinner in Meersburg, taking the ferry across the lake and climbing it's old hilly streets.

I've eaten lots and lots of icecream, of course trying the stranger flavours first, like walnut, and cinnamon. I've been practicing my (very basic) German, and so far everyone has been super polite, I've gotten what I wanted, and only once has someone switched into English for me.

I've had applejuice mixed with soda-water, wine mixed with soda water, and beer mixed with lemonade. I visited the biggest beer-garden in Konstanz, and (by chance I'm told...yeah right!) there was an oom-pah band playing, all dressed up in red waistcoats and leggings, and alternating playing with drinking (and sometimes just doing both at once). I took a 5 minute walk and straddled the Swiss/German border.

This week hopefully I will take a boat-ride around the lake, make a day-trip to Zurich, and visit Freiburg. Then upwards to the rest of Germany.

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