One of our favorite weekends is the time we spend at the Bodensee. We stayed in the Youth Hostel in Friedrichshafen and made day trips to Lindau and Bregenz with a trip to Konstanz for the final day. We started with a train trip to Friedrichshafen. We checked into the Youth Hostel and had the chance to spend time with a couple of others groups. They were not as quiet as our students but we coped with the noise. We had a great time traveling around the city and got our bearings so that we were ready for the activities on Friday. We also had a chance to see a beach soccer game. It was a blast watching the players try to play soccer in the sand.
For our full day in Friedrichshafen we started with the Zeppelin Museum. It was fascinating to see the history of the Zeppelin and the additional fact that America contributed to the Hindenburg disaster in New Jersey in 1937. The company had to use Hydrogen instead of Helium because the United States wouldn’t sell Helium to the German government. I was very fond of the 1930’s vintage Maybach car. We moved over to Unteruhldingen to visit the village built on the pylons at the edge of Lake Konstanz. It was part of the GAPP project for our German partners. We also had the task of creating a toy. We had to scrape a piece of wood to round down the sides and ended up with a sound toy.
On Saturday we went to the town of Lindau. We visited the downtown and saw 2 very different churches. The first was an ornate Catholic church and the second is a modest Protestant church. It is a perfect example of the Protestant Reformation and very fitting for the five hundred year anniversary of Martin Luther posting the 95 Theses that were the focus of the reformation. The students had some free time for shopping and eating. We took the train to Bregenz and went to the base of the Phänder and rode the Phänderbahn to the top. As expected we travel in a gondola and this served as another opportunity to scare the people who are afraid of heights. For this trip I was the most afraid of heights individual. We spent the evening at the hostel after dinner.
Sunday was a trip to the city of Konstanz. We were on the border between Switzerland and Germany. We saw a magnificent fountain in the city center as we moved to the Münster It was a grand church with several styles used as it was built over many years. We quickly discovered on this trip that many of these towns are hundreds of years older than our country. Even as we looked at the peoples of the pylon houses it was evident that these people lived there many hundreds of years before the people of the Mesa Verde region, which we think is old. It was a great opportunity to talk about the development of culture and technology. We came back on the train from Lake Konstanz to complete a great and tiring weekend.