Konstanz, Germany


This was my second weekend trip with the other Stuttgart interns. There are many more of us now than the six we had when we went to Heidelberg. We were heading to Konstanz at the southern tip of Germany. The town borders Switzerland by a giant body of water known as Bodensee. It makes sense since ‘Boden’ means floor and ‘See’ means sea. It’s the large lake at the south end or floor of Germany.

From Stuttgart, we transferred at a small town called Singen to get to Konstanz. It was a late July day and we took advantage of two full weekend train tickets. I had the great idea to bring a swimsuit and a towel to swim in the lake. The story of that incident will come up but not at this moment.

As a group we decided to rent some paddle boats. We went off into two boats as some of us decided not to go. It sat four people each for a total of eight people. As we headed out into the lake, we could see the huge rotating statue they named Imperia. They should have just named her Cleavage. Take a look at the state you will know why. After paddling for a few minutes. I decided to get into my swimsuit to the surprise and bewilderment of my boat companions. I jumped in and immediately cramped up. The lake water was suprisingly cold on this summer day and it didn’t help that I didn’t stretch. Good thing I didn’t drown, but my friends had a good laugh about it.

After the boat ride, everybody separated to see the town. I went with some people to the Münster and so the first of many church’s in Germany. I think all the interns from Europe were bored of churches, so there were only a few of us that went it. I thought it was pretty cool. Especially, the intricately carved wooden door.

The best place to walk around in Konstanz is probably Niederburg. It’s the oldest quarter of town and stretches from the Münster to the Rhine river. It is where the craftsmen and merchants set up shop. Walking around the area, you do feel medieval vibe. But that is like almost any small town in Germany. Unless, you were a historian, you probably couldn’t tell between medieval and Renaissance influences. The fountain in one of the open squares is pretty cool. You’ll see performance artists there. We saw a man drawing a huge chalk painting on the ground. The fountain itself has cool depictions of animals. The children on vacation seemed to really enjoy them.

Konstanz was a great day trip away from Stuttgart in the summer days. It was nice to see a large body of water when you know you are landlocked.

Parting Words

A boat ride away from Konstanz is Mainau Island. It was originally a place for a castle for the Knights of the Teutonic Order. Currently, it is owned by the Bernadotte family, who has ties to Swedish royalty. My sister, who visited at a different time, told me that it’s a great place to visit and that the butterfly house on the island is especially memorable.

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About the Author

John is always trying to find his way back to the road. He has an affinity for Germany due to his three years studying German at Cal, and a year working as an intern in the Stuttgart area. He also likes chocolate cake and good cheese.