Woke up in Meersburg to surprisingly nicer sunny weather, accompanied by quite a spectacular view from our room. We could see all the way across Lake Constance and had the town's old castle practically right outside our window. Couldn't have asked for a better view. Also, here's a picture of Cecily and our Renault Clio just outside of our gasthaus room...
Went and had our frühstück (breakfast). Check out this VIDEO Clip (about 3.4 megabytes) of the spread! Still surprising that they don't even check to see if you are staying at the hotel. People must be more trustworthy in these areas of Germany. Surely, this would be taken advantage of in good ol' KC…
Such a beautiful day. Not too chilly and the sun was shining. We toured the old castle in Meersburg. It is the oldest castle (Altes Schloss) still intact in Germany. Very medieval in contrast to the picturesque castles we've seen thus far. We got busted for going in certain areas reserved for guided tours only. How were we supposed to know?
Here's a description from Frommers.com about the castle:
Nearby, at Schlossplatz, is the Altes Schloss, which dates from 628 and is the oldest intact German castle. All the relics of a warring age are here--clubs, flails, armor, helmets, and axes--along with 30 fully furnished rooms, decorated with pieces from the various epochs. The bishops of Konstanz lived in this castle until the 18th century, when they moved to the Neues Schloss . The baron of Lassberg (knight Joseph von Laßberg), an admirer of medieval romance, then took over, and invited Annette von Droste-Hülshoff (1797-1848), his sister-in-law and Germany's leading female poet, to come as well. She had the castle turned into a setting for artists and writers. You can visit her luxuriously furnished chambers, as well as the murky dungeons and the castle museum with its medieval jousting equipment.
Here is a picture of Cecily standing in one of Annette von Droste-Hülshoff's (the poet described above) rooms. There is a painting of her on the wall on the left side of the picture.. There are also additional pictures of the inside of the castle. (There is a hoof of some kind of animal encased on a table in one of the pics. I wonder what that's all about.) The last picture is one of the new baroque-style castle (Neues Schloss, designed by Balthasar Neumann, who was a leading architect in the 18th centuy), which faces the old castle.
Then we tooled around the city. (On a side note, Cecily as not amused that she had to pay to pee in certain places that were free to John.) We walked along the boardwalk near Lake Constance. We had a fabulous lunch at an Italian restaurant - pizza and pasta with wine for Cecily and beer for John. (Cecily decided Italians make good pizza, as opposed to the Germans.) We both got a free shot of Ramazzottie from the waiter. He claims it "aids in digestion".
Drove toward Oberstaufen. It wasn't far, but things take longer due to the mountainous rodes, cities right on the highways for which you need to slow down, and sporadic construction (just like at home). Motorcycles, however, are obviously allowed liberties. They weave in and out of the cars at dangerous speeds, even to pass with oncoming traffic approaching. It also took a while longer, since the highways are marked with city names and not directions… and not with city name you're going to either, just the name of the next major city. You have to figure it out on the fly. Every road, somehow, seems to lead everywhere, unless we just kept getting lucky.
We finally made it to Oberstaufen (dark when we got there, too)… but forgot the paperwork back in the U.S. that told us at which hotel we were staying - SH@T!!! We made a couple of international phone calls in vain from a payphone. Once again, RCI gave a wrong phone number. It was a person's private line with an answering machine. Luckily, a nice lady at a hotel directed us to an internet café located in an interesting bar with leaves and trees everywhere, kind of like a contained forest. We went to RCI.com and found what we were looking for - Ferienclub Oberstaufen.
It was just a little ways down the mountain; we had overshot by a minute or two. Got checked in and ate dinner back up the road at a German-style restaurant. Took a chance again, since the menu was not in English, but it's all good. Back to the room to relax a bit before night-night. Going to see a couple castles in the morning. (PS, our room had a "strobe light" in the bathroom and another one in the hall outside the door…)