Today we hung around in Konstanz, Germany. There is plenty of lovely old architecture left there. That’s because the city was not bombed by the allies during World War II thanks to geography.
Konstanz is really a twin city of a Swiss town called Kreuzlingen. Allied bombers left Konstanz alone because they were worried about accidently bombing Kreuzlingen and thus violating Switzerland’s neutrality. Konstanz citizens left all their lights on at night so that allied pilots would not be able to differentiate Konstanz from Kreuzlingen where citizens also left their lights on to alert allied pilots. We learned about this at the Rosgarten Museum in Konstanz which we visited today courtesy of a free coupon from our bike tour company. A display on the top floor told the story of the fate of the Jews in Konstanz during World War II. They were transported to Gurs, an internment camp in France. Those who didn’t die there were sent to Auschwitz where they were murdered. We sat in the sunny courtyard of the museum later enjoying the free coffees also provided by our coupon. Dave read more about Konstanz history in the museum guide. As we walked through the streets of Konstanz my sister pointed out this men’s clothing store. Kaaren and I grew up in a community called Steinbach. Here was a clothing store with the name of our home town in reverse. Bach Stein. We ate delicious lamb doner kebabs for supper. The owner chatted with us as we ate. He is a Kurdish immigrant and has been quite successful in Germany. He also owns two businesses in Stuttgart.
After supper we had pastries and coffee in the city square and listened to a band covering American music by the likes of Cat Stevens and Elton John. Then it was off to bed. Tomorrow we head to Zurich and then on to Iceland for the second leg of our trip.