A Picturesque Medieval German Village

Over the two years of my Master’s studies, I had the pleasure to spend some time in the small German village of Bad Waldsee. This village is located north of the Bodensee, near Ravensburg. It’s probably not the top of anyone’s travel list, but I enjoyed visiting there on occasional weekends and semester breaks nonetheless.

To highlight some of the my favorite things about the village, I’d like to tell you all seven things I enjoyed there. Without further ado, here’s a list of my favorite things in Bad Waldsee in no particular order.

Snow in BW2

No. 1: The Charming Architecture

Wandering around Bald Waldsee Altstadt (Old Town) is a good way to enjoy an afternoon. There are several buildings and churches which have been around for centuries, and part of the old town wall still exists as well. Bonus points if you get to enjoy Bad Waldsee in the snow!

Merry Christmas!

No. 2: The Giant Advent Calendar

Around Christmas time, Bad Waldsee puts up a giant Advent calendar on one of the city buildings right in the middle of the Old Town. Every December evening leading up to Christmas, the townspeople gather to see a new window opened, enjoy live music (which is surprisingly frequent despite the cold), and drink Glühwein (mulled wine).

No. 3: Take a Walk around the Lakes

Bad Waldsee Old Town is sandwiched between two small lakes: Stadtsee (Town Lake) and Schlosssee (Palace Lake). Many people like to walk around Stadtsee, the bigger of the two. The pathway around the lake offers lovely views of the town, especially at night with the city lights or in winter with snow and ice.

DSCN2525

No. 4: Seenachtsfest

Long-time readers may recognize Seenachtsfest as the evening summer festival in Konstanz, complete with fireworks. While this is indeed an event in Konstanz, Seenachtsfest loosely translates to “evening lake festival,” and is held at other lakes besides the Bodensee (Lake of Constance).

Bad Waldsee hosts their own small, but enjoyable, Seenachtsfest each summer. The event is usually accompanied by a Flohmarkt (flea market), carnival, live music, and numerous food and drink vendors. There are also, of course, fireworks over the lake. The fee for entry to the fireworks is much cheaper than Konstanz, and much less crowded as well.

No. 5: Künstlermarkt

Speaking of festivals, I can’t forget to add in the Künstlermarkt. This happens on one weekend of September. I’ve always caught it on a Sunday, and all of the shops open their doors for the day (which is not normal on a Sunday in Germany). There’s also a little handmade goods market, live music, and food and drinks. Definitely worth a visit if you’re around.

Stadt See Tulips

No. 6: Dinner at Amadeus

Because I’ve mentioned food in several of the above items, it’s only fair that I recommend a few places to eat for when there isn’t a festival going on. My favorite place in Bad Waldsee to go for dinner is Amadeus.

Amadeus has a bit of a funky menu, from chicken curry to burgers. There’s certainly something here for everyone. I can especially recommend their pumpkin soup with shrimp. Yum.

If you’re in the mood for a drink, Amadeus also makes amazing cocktails.

No. 7: Cake at Café Weinstube am Markt

For those of you with a sweet tooth (like me), you’ll enjoy eating some cake at this old-fashioned café. While the décor may be a bit traditional, the cake is some of the best I’ve bought in southern Germany. There’s always a mix in the case, and I’ve never left disappointed. When the weather is good, you can even enjoy your cake on the patio. To me, this place is Kaffee und Kuchen at its finest.

Stadt See Schnee

So I guess that’s my small virtual introduction to Bad Waldsee. If you’re ever heading through there, I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Cheers!

P.S. This town is also home to a Spätzle Museum, perfect for Swabian cuisine enthusiasts!

Germany Thus Far: Months 21 & 22

Since things have been quite busy in terms of my study load, I decided to lump two months together when I realized that there was no way I’d write about June on time. To be clear, those two months are June and July. Oh wow, that’s most of the summer gone already…

Around Konstanz & Southern Germany

In the first part of June, I did quite a bit of cycling. It wasn’t unbearably hot, but still nice enough weather to summon you outdoors. On one Saturday, I went cycling along the coast of the Bodensee with A before we went for a swim in the cool lake water. After swimming, we realized it was getting closer to 8, so we cooked dinner and then took some wine and glasses back to the beach.

Bodensee Sunset

We had intended to just drink some of the wine while enjoying the sunset. It was certainly a surprise when, across the lake near Meersburg, a firework show started up.

Fireworks vor Moonrise

This went on for about five to ten minutes. Near the end, I glanced to the right and noticed a light above the horizon. At first, I thought it was the sun for some reason, but then I realized that the sun had set to the left and had been below the horizon for some time already. It only took me a few seconds more to realize that it was the moon rising up from behind the Alps and scattered clouds there. We stayed a while longer and enjoyed the moonrise before finally deciding to cycle back home at a quarter to 11.

Moonrise

Several weeks later A and I went hiking at a place called Eistobel. The hike isn’t particularly strenuous, and there are several opportunities for taking a swim along the path (although the water is freezing!). However, what Eistobel is most known for is its waterfalls. I understand that the waterfalls are especially beautiful in winter when they freeze, so I may need to return during a colder part of the year to get the full experience.

Eistobel

Also that weekend, I saw my first ever hedgehogs during an evening cookout. A pair of the adorable little guys just decided to join us in the yard, probably drawn by the warmth of the fire and the abundance of slugs (a meal for them) in the nearby bushes.

At the end of the month, I spent some time at the annual Konstanz Flohmarkt (flea market). According to the local news, there were about a thousand stands at this market. It’s every year in June for a full twenty-four hours, along both sides of the Rhine and across the Swiss border into Kreutzlingen. I didn’t buy much, but I did pick up some antiques for one of my little sisters.

July has been much less exciting. The heat waves have ended with cold spells before igniting a new heat wave. As I write this, the past several days have been cold, rainy, and gray. I even had to get a pair of fuzzy socks out to keep my feet warm. Now the thing with these drastic weather changes, as any good Midwesterner would know, is that they bring strong storms. It’s been quite a month for a storm lover (meaning me!), and there were even multiple instances of small hail!

Hail Kz

The few exciting things this month, apart from the weather, have been dinners. The first dinner was at the house of my professor, who is also my advisor and now former-employer. In case you didn’t know, I quit my student job to focus my last few months on my thesis and job search. The dinner was a relaxing break, and I got to put my experience of making fruit bowls to good use.

The second dinner was to say goodbye to a good friend and fellow student in the program. He moved to Mannheim this week to pursue a PhD. I wish him all the best in his continuing studies, and I know he will see us all again.

That dinner was the first time I really thought about my friend group here splitting up. I realized that he and I are the two who will be leaving Konstanz at the end of this semester. And for me, that means having to once again search for a new friend group in the city where I will live next. Or being a hermit, which is entirely possible although not the plan!

In the Books

On the study side of things, there is good news. Lectures have ended, and I only have one exam next week. Luckily, this exam isn’t required coursework, so the pressure isn’t so high. I also finished my colloquium presentations on my thesis, which is a huge load off of my shoulders.

What is left is to get moving on my thesis, write everything up, and hand in the final document at the beginning of September.

I also officially started my job search in this past month, which has meant writing lots of cover letters and getting frustrated with myself for not speaking better German. The jobs in my field usually prefer people with excellent German skills. The ones which don’t require German are often either too senior for me, or I am overqualified for the position. I’m trying to apply for all of the jobs that I can which are in my Goldilocks zone (and interesting to me), but that means that I may not end up going to the city which I am most hoping to live in. Let’s see.

Speaking Denglish

I’ve been trying to push myself a bit more with German. I do have to say though, that doesn’t mean a whole lot considering learning improving my German has taken a backseat due to my thesis. Annoyingly, I keep stumbling across confusing things such as the strange forms of Junge which are part of an entire class of nouns previously unknown to me and the fact that Fladenbrot (flatbread) is not at all what I think of as flatbread. Sure makes it difficult to try cooking something new. But hey, finding ingredients has been a challenge since I arrived for many of my favorite dishes, ehem, Mexican and Southwestern cuisine.

Before the Storm at Bodensee

So that’s my June and July here at the Bodensee. Hope you all have been enjoying summer! Oh, and by the way, happy Game of Thrones return!

Cheers!