January 6, 2009

Meersburg - Part 3

To the north of the Meersburg's Schlossplatz lies the Marktplatz, with attractive half-timbered buildings and the eye-catching Obertor or Upper Gate built between 1300-30 stuccoed in bright orange. Some of Meersburg's prettiest hotels are located in this part of the upper town including the Gasthof Zum Bären circa 1605 where we were booked, with its pretty oriel windows and plaster mural of bears, hence "Bären".

Chef/Owner Michael Gilowsky oversees the Zum Bären and its traditional dining room where we enjoyed the best meal of our trip. To drink, we had a white wine from the Bodensee's own vineyards. One of Mr. Gilosky's waitresses asked me if I knew the English for the Eierlikör or Egg-Liqueur sauce that my fried banana was floating in. I suggested "custard" but the alcoholic content led me to believe I was mistaken. Egg-Liqueur was just fine. Noah had his first schnitzel here, which he enjoyed almost as much has his spaghetti ice cream.

Northwest of the Marktplatz, behind the Gasthof Zum Bären is a former Dominican convent now occupied by the Bible Gallery, the Municipal Library and the Municipal Museum. But we'll have to save that for another time.

Next morning the weather had cleared. When I pushed open the window of our room at the Zum Bären, I was overlooking the heads of the vendors at Meersburg's Saturday market. Bright and early, merchants were selling meat, fish, and vegetables plus honey and candles.

While taking the cobblestone Steigstrasse towards the ferry dock, George braced himself, walked into a stationery shop and asked, in German, for a print of Meersburg's Old Castle. An attractive link between the upper and lower towns, Steigstrasse is lined with colourful houses and cafes. Various walls lining this steep street are adorned with gargoyles, some old and some new, and each business has an ornate wrought iron sign dangling over its door.

After walking around Meersburg's lower town and peering at the menus of its many restaurants, we sauntered unceremoniously onto the 11 o'clock ferry for Konstanz. With the balmy wind in our faces we watched Germany and the old castle receding and we wished we'd stayed longer. We'll be back.

The Gasthof Zum Bären located at Marktplatz 11 has a German only website at http://www.baeren-meersburg.de/. Tel.: 07532 - 43220 Fax: 07532 - 432244

Double rooms start at 82 Euros and go to 108 Euros

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