The vineyards and apple orchards multiplied as we worked our way through broad hills leading into the fertile lake basin of Lake Konstanz. Meersburg is a lake side village and our stay here was at a hotel that has been here since the 1200’s. Michael Gilowsky, the current innkeeper/restaurant chef owner of Gastof zum Baren. has been the current owner since 1989 and his family has had the business for 5 generations beginning in 1849. We had a room with a nook in a bay shaped turret that ran up the side of the three story inn. It overlooked the marketplace and was central to the lakefront, shopping, restaurants, and the Meersburg Castle. In the evening, after tourists left, it became very quiet and safe to wander around in. We would be left with local residents and the few visitors like ourselves who were spending a few nights in town.
Locally Sourced Fresh Fish and Produce
A rare thing for us, we chose to eat at a restaurant for dinner, TWICE! See Pick – though not very German sounding at all, offered organic produce and local lake caught fish, the likes of which hit home runs for these innkeepers. To get a fresh organic green salad, and the sweet flavor of local perch and pike was a welcome surprise. This is one of those times you are glad you read some reviews. Tucked amongst a gaggle of mediocre restaurants located on the lakefront, you would not have selected this place if you were wandering along the promenade. Yet here was a locally owned and operated restaurant with just 14 tables and simply done exceptional food. It had been many years since Kenny had enjoyed lake perch from Lake Michigan and after maybe the second bite on the first night, he announced he would like to return the next. We had gotten the last table that night on a fluke, so we secured ourselves reservations for our return before we paid our tab. Thank goodness we did as they turned many folks away on that beautiful Sunday evening.
Completing the Cycle
Just like baseball, where a batter has to smack a home run, triple, double, and single in a single game to hit for the cycle, so too does travel have a cycle. How many modes of transportation can you use to get from destination to destination. Of course, we may have just made this up or it could actually be a thing people do. We don’t know. We do know that we have had fun with it in the past and we were surprised that we hit the jackpot on this trip, since that wasn’t the plan. Obviously, we had to take a plane and, since we were in Europe, it’s no surprise we took a train. Now, if you followed our earlier blog, you also know that we had to take an unscheduled bus ride from Budapest to Vienna to leave the country, since the trains across the border had all been canceled. You also know that we picked up a car to drive over the Swiss alps. Well, Meersburg gave us a chance to score a quintfecta. Although we had originally intended to drive up the lake shore and around to Zurich, we couldn’t resist the chance to drive our little Smart car right onto the ferry at Meersburg and cross over to Konstanz, where we wandered about a bit before heading back in preparation for our departure.
Coming Full Circle
If you recall from the beginning, our hosts in Zurich upon arrival were Toby and Sibylle, who were having a baby the next day. At that time, they had arranged for us to spend our final night at the house of Sibylle’s parents. Rita and Jurg live just about 15 minutes from the airport, so it was ideal for us in several ways. Most importantly, we had the pleasure of meeting Tim and Nino, the later having been born as scheduled 3 weeks prior. In addition, thanks to Rita, we had the chance to have a traditional Swiss meal. She went above and beyond to share some exceptional Swiss delicacies. The smoked and cured wild game was particularly memorable. Being so close to the airport the following morning made catching an early flight stress free. Before you knew it, we were headed home. Just lovely!