Überlingen, September 6, 1909

A beautiful clear day, we arose at 6:30 and took a steamer at 8:35. I bought a 300 kilometer ticket as we intended to spend as much time as possible on the lake.

We crossed the lake to Dingelsdorf and recrossed to the Unteruhldingen, then we crossed again to the isle of Mainau, formerly the seat of lodge of the Teutonic Order, as a cross on the side of the chateau indicates. This island is about a mile and a half in circumference and rises in terraces from the lake.

We sat on deck and admired every thing. It was a perfect day, the sun shining, not too warm and not too cold, and we thought of the folks at home sweltering in the heat of the day, and we wished that all of you could be with us to enjoy this beautiful peaceful and restful ride on the fine lake.

Recrossing, we reached Meersburg and went ashore to lunch at the old hotel See-of. This little town has many old houses and lies picturesquely on a steep slope covered with vineyards.

Meersburg at Lake Constance:
[clockwise from lower left] old castle at the side of the lake; view from the port; street view of the lower town

The old chateau, on a promontory with the ancient Dagobert Tower, is said to have once been a seat of the Hohenstanfen. the churchyard contains the tomb of Mesmer, the discoverer of mesmerism, who died in 1815.

We took a stroll through the streets of this old town, and I felt as if I would like to spend a few weeks here and make excursions from here.

Another and much larger steamer coming from Constance took us past the villages of Hognan and Immenstaad to Friedrichshafen, which has become celebrated as the home of Count of Zeppelin and the place from where he makes the ascends in his airships. We could see the immense hall erected on a float, which is towed out into the lake and from which the airship emerges when it takes flights, thus affording a large space for its gradual rising into the air.

Ascent of the airship of Graf Zeppelin.
The airship rises above the new floating balloon shed, and heads southwest on the Obersee toward Rorschach.

While Überlingen is in Baden, Friedrichshafen is in Wurtemberg, and it has always been a favorite summer resort of the King of W., who also took great interest in Count Z.’s experiments.

We next touched Lindau where we intended to return tonight on our way home, and we reached Bregenz in time for dinner, which we took in the open air in the Oesterreichischer Hof.

View of Bregenz.

This old town was known at the time of the Romans by the name of Brigantium. It now belongs to Austria and a week ago the Emperor of Austria was here to celebrate the 100th anniversary of something, and we could see traces of the decoration and arches erected for his reception.

We took a walk uptown, had a look at the fine old Martins Church and took a seat in the Harbor promenade from where we had a fine view of the Swiss mountains.

We took a boat again for Lindau, and, as we had an hour to spare before our train would leave, we walked around this pretty town which is called the German Venice. It lies on an island and is connected with the mainland by the railway embankment and a wooden bridge. At the end of a pier is a large lion in marble, 25 feet high, and, on the opposite pier, a light house 108 feet high. Between these two, our boat had entered the harbor.


We were much interested in the old fashioned way in which many of the houses are built, the second story being carried across the sidewalk to the edge of the street, thus forming a covered promenade or rather arcade or in German, a Laube (arbor) which sounds much cozier, and here they sit after their day’s work and enjoy the well earned rest and see the passers by. They give a name to some of these, as, for instance, one of them over a baker’s shop is called Brodlaube, bread arbor.

We came across the fine old Rathaus painted in front and behind and surmounted by a statue of Justice erected in 1422 and changed in 1578. It is a fine example of German Renaissance, and I really regretted that we did not have time to see the interior. We also came across the old Diebsturm, a well preserved prison dating from the 13th century, the surrounding wall over grown with ivy.

Constance City Hall

It was very hard to part from this quaint old town without seeing more of it, but we had to catch our train and, after a short ride, we reached Überlingen and thus ended one of the most enjoyable days which we have spent in this country.


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