Of Stilt Houses and Castles

Today saw us making a trip into history.

We kicked it off with a trip to the Stone and Bronze Ages with a visit of the Stilt House Museum (Pfahlbautenmuseum).

From here (after a bit of tourist rip-off) it was on into medieval times and to Meersburg, a small city at the shores of Lake Constance.

We had a walk around town, checking out the lower and the upper town – and taking in the views on the way. We eventually stopped at a bistro at the lake front for some food and drinks – before heading back to Friedrichshafen.

After another evening with the family, I left on Tuesday morning – heading home by train – and looking back to a great, eventful weekend.

A trip across the Lake – Bregenz & the Pfaender

Today we spent big time on Lake Constance – making our way from Friedrichshafen to Bregenz on the Austrian side of the lake, each way being a good two hours with multiple stops en-route.

After arrival in Bregenz we made it straight for the Pfänderbahn, to get up the Pfänder mountain. At 1062m above sea level – and (more important) 667m above Lake Constance views here were fabulous.

Back down in Bregenz we had a quick walk around the city center and (as by now we were both hungry and thirsty) a quick afternoon snack – before catching the ship back to Friedrichshafen.

A weekend at Lake Constance – Friedrichshafen

My mother had one of those big birthdays this year – instead of a big celebration we had a small family reunion … with Lake Constance being my mother’s choice of destination.

My parents picked me up Friday midday and we made our way down to Friedrichshafen at the front of Lake Constance – a drive of about four hours.

My sister and nephew joined on Saturday – both days were spent, exploring town – and included a visit of the Zeppelin Museum on Saturday.

documenta fifteen

In Five years are over once more – and it is time, to head back to Kassel for a fit of contemporary art at the biggest exhibition of its kind on the planet – documenta fifteen.

The approach for this edition was a bit different than with previous ones, with the role of artistic director being given to the Indonesian art collective Ruangrupa. Other art collectives were asked to join – who in turn added like-minded artists. The result – in my view – was a fairly one-sided system-criticizing exhibition with (at least for me) no real WOW-moment. Well – and the controversy around antisemitic elements in several pieces of art in the exhibition is just the next thing.

In any case, below a couple of impressions from the exhibition …

Back to Riga – and Good Bye

We made it back to Riga after a long drive of about five hours. I had a nighttime walk around town after dinner (and drinks), to get in some final impressions of Riga – and final impressions of this trip.

Overall this has been a very loaded trip – with many, many things to do and see. The trip clearly showed off on the cultural heritage and history of the three countries – but (at least from my perspective) also gave insight into the lively scenes of art, food, drink and music in all three countries. I also quiet enjoyed visiting the National Parks and of course the gastronomic delights during the trip.

Coming back, I would probably do things differently – focusing on the main attractions only, much fewer churches – and more nature, more hikes and more focus on trying delicacies, local food and drinks. Exploring the craft beer scene here might be worth a trip on itself. But for now – Good Bye Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania!

Curonian Spit – final Impressions

Today was the final full day of trip. We had the morning for some final explorations around Nida – before a midday pickup for the long drive back to Riga.

The weather had changed, today it was cloudy with occasional sprinkles of rain and colder than yesterday. I used the morning, to make my way over to the Thomas Mann culture center, check out the exterior, before continuing over to the Baltic Sea for some final views of the ocean for this trip. For the way back to Nida I once more picked a trail going across the Parnidis Dune.

Lagoon Night Impressions

We had dinner in a Mexican restaurant just at the front of the lagoon. I took below photos after dinner … and now sharing those night impressions here.

First Impressions of the Curonian Spit

We made it to Nida – a (if not the) resort town at the Curonian Lagoon – in the early evening. After dinner there was enough time for some first exploration of town and a walk into the Curonian Spit National Park and up to the viewpoint on the Parnidis Dune.