Yesterday: Hirsch-Brauerei Honer, Wurmlingen
Good news: I bought a "Baden-Württemberg Ticket", good for travel all over the state, for just 18,00€ ($27.21), much cheaper than the 35€ ($53) or so that today's trip was supposed to cost. (Even so, last time I was here 18€ was only about $21.60.)
Bad news: It's not valid on the trains that I had originally picked. It's only good on the Inter-Regio Express, Regional Express, Regional Bahn, and "S" trains. It's not good on the Inter-City Express nor Inter-City trains, and also not on the SBB Thurbo and 3-Löwen-Takt trains that leave every ten minutes or so.
So I walked around Konstanz for a while to kill part of the extra hour, until the train was scheduled at 10:38am. I tried to find the path where I got lost back in October 2006, but I ended up getting lost again. I killed more time by writing up notes from yesterday and walking around Konstanz Hafen.
"A shock to begin the season: A liter of beer in the beer gardens will cost almost 7€" ($10.58)
Konstanz' local boy Graf Zeppelin
Imperia and the entrance to Konstanz Hafen
Biergit arrives in Konstanz
Nordbahnhof bar, Radolfzell
It's 5°C at 11:00am; probably 15-20°F warmer than it is at home. Everybody here is bundled up in coats. I'm sweating inside my Pulli, but I look less like a tourist when I wear it. (I'm strictly a T-shirt-and-jeans kind of guy, which isn't a particularly European look.)
With nearly an hour to kill in Radolfzell, I wandered around the Altstadt a bit and found this building, the "Villa Windschief im Grienen Winkel", parts of which date back to the 10th Century. It's apparent that the carpenter's square and level hadn't been invented yet.
Villa Windschief im Grienen Winkel, Radolfzell
I eventually got on the train from Radolfzell to Waldshut, and I found myself on a bus on the way to Waldhaus, full of boisterous schoolkids; it's 1:00 in the afternoon. There was a ten-year-old boy sitting next to me studying his English textbook. I told him that I'm American, but he declined my offer of help.
I got to Waldhaus — after getting off the bus a kilometer too early and walking the rest of the way — just after 1:30pm. If I don't catch the 2:25 bus back to Waldshut, I'll be stuck here for another three hours.
Waldhaus Privatbrauerei, Waldhaus-Weilheim
Waldhaus is a real nice restaurant attached to a brewery pretty much in the middle of nowhere. I got to sample six beers:
- Light Line, "with 40% less alcohol and calories"
- Diplom Pils
- Spezialbier, a Helles
- Schwarzwald Weisse
- Jubliäums Dunkel Naturtrub, brewed for their 175th anniversary, and quite unlike any Dunkles Lager I've ever tasted
The Waldhauser Beers
They all tasted fine with a couple of Weisswurst with homemade mustard, a pretzel, and bread.
Every place I visit, there's a man — usually "a bit older" — who sits by himself and has a beer, or maybe two. He looks so serious, as if having this beer is a momentous, enormous event that requires his full attention. When he's done, he pays his bill and leaves, and someone exactly like him takes his place. I've never noticed this at a US bar. (The one currently at Waldhaus — he replaced the one that was here when I arrived — looks like Orville Reddenbacher.)
It's about 4:00pm now, and I'm nearly out of money. (I only had 20€ in my pocket, and I asked the waitress to cut me off when it was spent.) Fortunately, my bill was only 14€ so far. But the ABBA disk just restarted for the third time, so I figured it was time to find the bus.
I called my friend Matthias way up in Asterode to ask him to leave a message at the hotel for Paris (I didn't have the number) to let her know that I'd be very late, and that I'd meet her at zur steinernen Kugel. After a few dropped calls — the cellular service in the Schwarzwald isn't what it could be — we got it done via SMS.
4:15pm, an hour before the next bus comes through. I decided to walk to Bannholz to see if they have an ATM, and maybe even an earlier bus. Glück! A Waldshut-bound bus was pulling out of the stop as I
walked ran up; he very kindly stopped and let me board, thus saving me an hour getting back to Konstanz.
Only a half-hour to kill in Waldshut, so I found an ATM and had a half-liter of Fürstenberg Pils "vom Faß" at the Bahnhof Gaststätte. Most of the people there were drinking it right out of the bottle. A couple of guys were drinking bottles of "Das Helle" instead, and one even had "Das Schwarze".
A lot of the young (and they're all pretty young) Polizei patrolling the trains look like soccer hooligans, only they're wearing sidearms.
Met Paris at the Kugel. Had a number of beers. Broke a glass. Dropped my machine on the floor. Embarassing all around. By my count, I drank about 4½ liters of beer today.
Changing plans on the fly
An unbroken glass of Köstritzer Schwarzbier
Tomorrow: Hirschbrauerei Flözlingen