Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Lindau Buildings

This is - promise! - my next-to-last post about Lindau. Isn't it amazing how much blog material I can get out of a mini break that lasted from Wednesday night to Saturday after breakfast?

Today I'll show you some of the buildings in/on Lindau ("on" because it is, after all, the name of the island as well as the town) I found most beautiful, or most interesting. Something of a more specific sightseeing trip, if you like; not just a stroll along the streets and alleys like on yesterday's post.

Let's start with the view from our hotel room. Across the road was a "Stift", a home for the elderly originally founded by devout Catholics. The inscription on the wall means "What time (literally "which time") is it? - It is time to do good."

 















This was our hotel. It was simple, clean but not spotless, and the staff was... horrible. A grumpy old man and his wife, both originally from Berlin, who did not treat you as a guest but as a burden. They were impolite to impertinent, and I found it really hard to deal with them. Had I had a choice, I would have gone somewhere else - but there was a trade fair going on at the same time, which meant each and every room in Lindau was taken.
The location was ideal, right on top of the old city wall. You can see it in the picture of the street, too, it is the yellow building.


Lindau's old town hall, front and back. (The new town hall, where local administration sits today, is nearby.) Originally, it was built in 1422 but altered to what you can see today in 1576. The murals were added much later, in the 19th century, when it became fashionable to see the past as a string of one glorious event after the other.

This building is not on the tourist maps, but I liked the way it looked behind the silhouette of the tree. It is home to Lindau's Zollamt (customs office).

The Mangturm ("Mang tower"), along with the lighthouse and the lion certainly Lindau's best known and most iconic sight. It was Lindau's lighthouse from 1180 until 1300; back then, there was no gabled roof on top of it, but it ended with the yellow upper floor where the fire was lit. The roof with its colourful tiles was added in the 19th century. Up until the 18th century, it did not stand on land, but was only accessible by a draw bridge.

A beauty and health clinic. There are several here on the island, and it is known in Germany that rich and famous people go there for treatments and therapy. It is typical for Lindau, therefore I have included it here.

A very modern building I can not remember from my previous visit in 2008. Not sure whether it is a hotel or an apartment building for rich people; it is close to the private yacht harbour.

The tower of St. Peter's church, Lindau's oldest church. The foundations of the building date back to around the year 1000. It is not used as a church anymore, but a memorial to the dead of both world wars and the 14 inhabitants of Lindau who fell victims to the Nazis.
The walls show murals and frescoes from around 1485, only partially restored. It was too dark in there to take pictures; plus there was a group with a guide while I was there so there were always people in front of the walls anyway. But the solemn atmosphere was striking and very different from the hustle and bustle on the main street with its many shops and restaurants.

Just one more Lindau post tomorrow!

Monday, 27 October 2014

Streets of Lindau

You've walked around the circumference of the island of Lindau with me, and you have seen it from the top of its lighthouse - now you'll see the streets of Lindau as I saw them on the 16th of October:












The very first picture was taken from right next to our hotel; in fact, I think the yellow wall is part of the building. Further down, can you see the large red plant pots around the fountain in the picture of the cobbled square? I didn't care for these pots in the least, I found them way too "loud". The scene was colourful enough without them!

Lindau consists of two parts: the island and the (much bigger and generally more modern) city on the land side. There are two connections between the two parts; a road bridge for cars, and a dam for the railway. Both links also have pedestrian paths.
The old town on the island is, thankfully, kept largely car free. It makes walking here a pleasure!

Sunday, 26 October 2014

An Afternoon in Lindau

In my previous two posts, I showed you a complete walk around the island of Lindau, with many views of the lake and the sky. After lunch at the "Möwe Jonathan", I resolved not to go on a boat tour; it was still very windy and the weather kept changing, and I was sure I would have spent nearly all the time on the boat under deck, which is clearly not the point of such a trip round the bay to Bregenz (Austria) and back. 
Instead, I climbed the lighthouse which you have seen already on a few pictures in the other two posts. It was built in 1856 when Lindau was just emerging as a tourist attraction thanks to the advent of that brand new technology, the railway. 

Of course, Lindau itself is much, much older, and the harbour was always used as such, it just didn't have such good stone works to protect it. There is archaelogical proof of a Roman settlement in the 2nd century on the island, but it found its first written mention in the year 882 and turned into a proper town, with market, church etc., in the late 11th century. Much of what can be seen today was built in Lindau's heyday in the late 15th century and, after a much reduced population slowly recovered from an outbreak of the Black Death, in the 16th and 17th century.




The views from the lighthouse were good; three countries can be seen: Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The high winds meant I did not stay up there too long, but went back down and into town for a leisurely stroll along the old streets and alleyways. My next post will be with pictures of these streets and alleys.

For the rest of the afternoon, I had a special treat for myself: I went to a rather posh perfume and cosmetics shop for a 90-minute treatment at their spa, complete with massage and something totally new to me: a proper make-up! It was only a very light day make-up, so I didn't really look any different (at least I didn't think so, and RJ did not remark on the way I looked when we met after his seminar ended), but it felt strange having something called "foundation" on my skin. Usually all I do is put some cream on, and for going out or to the office, use a bit of black mascara on my eyelashes (hardly visible behind my glasses anyway) and dab on some lipstick to match the colour of my outfit. I don't paint my nails or pluck my eyebrows; I just can't be bothered with such things, but I do very much enjoy an occasional visit (maybe twice a year) to a cosmetics salon and have someone faff with my face.
It was most relaxing, the lady who took care of me very pleasant (not too chatty, but not as mute as a fish, eihter), and I nearly fell asleep on the recliner during the 15 minutes one of the treatments had to be on my skin. A real holiday!

Friday, 24 October 2014

Completing the Walk

To complete the walk around Lindau (see previous post for the first part), all I had to do was to keep close to the water and cross the road near the Spielbank (casino). 


From there, the path takes on something of a different character; it becomes more "fancy", if you like, with roses planted alongside and leading up to the private yacht harbour where members only are allowed to moor. In the summer, this bit is very busy, but now all boats are covered for the winter, and there were only a few people about for maintenance work.




At this point, I had completed my walk around the island. 


I found these two sleeping beauties snoozing in the main harbour. The picture of the lighthouse was taken from the base of the Lion, same as this selfie. (The Lion being the same one you can see in the first picture of my previous post.)


Usually, boats and ships are coming and going all the time; not just for tourists, but also the people who live and work around the lake use them to get from A to B, as it sometimes can be quicker than by road. At this time of the year, however, traffic is much reduced, and this was one of the few boats I actually saw in action.

 View of Lindau from the base of the Lion.


Oh dear! People can't leave an iron railing alone these days, it seems. The "love lock" fad started with bridges, and now it looks as if it is spreading to just any type of railing. This is not a bridge but the railing around the base of the Lion. Also, people throw coins, trying to land them on top of the pillars. I could think of a thousand better things to do with one's money.

It was lunch time by now, of which my stomach reminded me with quite some insistance. I went for something to eat at a place called "Die Möwe Jonathan" ("Jonathan the Seagull"), which is the German name of the novel "Jonathan Livingston Seagull" by Richard Bach, published in 1970. I have not read the novel, but it has become famous enough for everyone to associate the name Jonathan with seagulls, I think.
Anyway, my lunch was nice, chatting with the hostess and watching the world go by, thinking about what to do for the afternoon.
The café/restaurant have their own facebook page, if you are interested.

I'll let you know what I did in the afternoon in my next post.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Walking Around Lindau

Two posts back, I gave you a warning - there were going to be many more pictures from Lindau (on Lake Constance) in future posts. And here is one of them.
On the first day of our stay there, RJ left after breakfast to hold a one-day seminar about data protection/privacy and IT security. I had the day to myself and set off soon after he was gone.

My plan was to walk around the outer rim of the island once, which would take me nearly until lunch time (if I'd keep to a very leisurely pace, allowing for plenty of photo stops), then have something to eat before setting out on another walk, this time to explore the town centre. Depending on the weather, I could take a short boat trip around the bay to Bregenz (Austria), or visit a museum and/or some shops.

At first, the weather didn't look promising. As you can see, the morning light was grey, and it was very windy, with sprinkles here and there, just enough for me to be glad of my hooded rain jacket, but not enough for stopping me from my walk.


Later into the morning, all of a sudden the sun came out. This is the advantage - or the disadvantage - of being near a large body of water such as a big lake or the Sea: The weather changes very quickly.




 By now, I had more than halfway surrounded the island. I'll show you the rest in my next post.