Published 27 June 2010 by Jessica Riccò

Griass aich! Or: Where on earth am I?

Welcome to Lindau. Apparently, you’re one of the non-German readers of this blog and in that case maybe even one of the lucky scientists who will travel to this picturesque town next week. If it is your first visit to Germany you should definetely try to see a little more than Lindau – especially because you’re now on a border triangle between Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

From Lindau there is a boat crossing Lake Constance to Rorschach – a small Swiss village that has nothing to do with the homonymous test. You can also take a train to Zurich which takes about two hours. In a lot of ways, Switzerland is paradise. The landscape tends to be ridiculously postcard-beautiful, the food is swell and of course, if you decide to travel a bit further you can visit CERN in Geneva. Also you can rent bikes on most train stations in Switzerland and by that take a tour for example around Lake Constance or the Rhine Falls in Schaffhausen.

If you decide to travel to the other direction, towards Munich, there is just as much to visit. Since my heart still lives in Hamburg I am not going to show off, but Munich is actually a really, really interesting city. There is the amazing Englischer Garten, a public park, larger than Central Park. Several art museums invite you for a visit and also a plain walk through the city centre will easily make you love the capital of Bavaria.

And then of course, there is this one oh so touristy place. I know, none of you would ever consider going there. Of course. But I’ll just lay down this information now and then each of you can decide what he or she is going to do with that. The castle of Neuschwanstein – the cheesy original of Disney’s Sleeping Beauty Castle – can be best reached by car (or carriage). You find it in Hohenschwangau which is about an hour and a half by car. Be aware that it will be a) full of tourists, if the weather stays as nice as it is now and b) some of these tourists might be Japanese or Russian couples getting married. One may also see Neuschwanstein as real life satire.

I still owe you a resolution. The cryptic headline of this article is how you will more or less be greeted in south Germany. I am sorry to say that even if you might have learnt some German at school, it won’t help you a lot on the countryside. The regional dialects can be quite strong – but that should not distract you from the cordiality you’re likely to encounter.

There are of course loads of further places to see and visit around Lindau – but I hope that this small introduction can yet be suggestive of the region you’re about to travel to. I wish you a good trip and look forward to meeting you!

Jessica Riccò