Lindau is located at the border of Austria, Switzerland, and Germany, on Lake Constance (which the Germans call the Bodensee). The main part of the city is located on a very small island, connected to the mainland only by a railroad that runs on a land bridge just wide enough for the tracks. Consequently, there are very few cars on the island, and most of the streets are occupied only by tourists on foot. There is a "sea promenade" along the lakefront (the lake is very large). Our hotel was located right on the lakefront, and this was the view from our hotel room window:
This is the Lindau harbor, with the Swiss Alps in the background, mostly invisible in the clouds. This picture has definitely suffered in the conversion to JPEG format for Web display; the bands of color in the sky are an artifact of image compression. Turning to your right, you would see the sea promenade:
and turning your back to the lake you would see many cafes such as this one:
Here's our hotel. Our room has two windows right under the huge letters giving the hotel's name (the center and the right window were ours for five nights).
Here I am enjoying what the Germans call a "small beer":
A street artist worked with chalk directly on the sidewalk:
Of course, working hours were given over to scientific lectures and discussions. About 200 scientists were in attendance. The upside-down A and backwards E are not mistakes but puns--they are symbols used in logic, as well as the initials in Conference on Automated Deduction. The 15 indicates that this is the 15th such conference.
Lindau's conference hall is used at least all summer, and perhaps all year. Each year the Nobel prize winners gather there. They had preceded us this summer.
Tuesday evening, there was a reception in the Old City Hall. The vice-mayor gave a welcoming speech and offered us all a glass of wine. We were told to keep the glass as a souvenir. Here's the old city hall (despite valiant efforts, in a reasonable time I couldn't remove the white side strips left after rotating the picture to vertical).
Breakfast in our hotel was served buffet-style. Here's the first of three big buffet tables:
The other side of this table contained cereals, and there were three kinds of fresh juice, and a big table of croissants, breakfast rolls, and various breads. For those who prefer an English breakfast there were bacon and eggs. There was even champagne on ice, although nobody drank it. (After all, we were on our way to hear lectures.)
The dining room, like the whole hotel, had an air of ancient elegance. Here are the chandeliers:
Tour boats like this one ran from the harbor in front of our hotel:
We didn't take one of these boats. Instead, Wednesday afternoon the entire conference boarded a refurbished World-War I paddle steamer:
and went for a cruise. The weather was cold and rainy, though, so nobody was on deck:
No matter, though. Inside the boat is a nice restaurant, and we ate lunch.
We stopped for a few hours at Friedrichshaven. This small city is the home of the Zeppelin Museum. In this city, Count Graf von Zeppelin made his famous dirigibles. There is a museum there in which a portion of the Hindenberg is reconstructed:
You can go inside the reconstructed portion. It's like a hotel; there are tables and chairs. The sleeping compartments are like old-fashioned Pullman cars. It took three days to go from Germany to South America and cost about the equivalent of 15,000 marks today (on the order of nine thousand dollars). In the 1930's, Germany had extensive South American trade, and businessmen would pay these prices because you could get to South America and close your deal before your competition could get there on the boat. But a major portion of the Zeppelin's income came from carrying express mail. There was no faster way. While you walk through the Hindenberg, television monitors outside the windows play real films taken from the actual Hindenberg. When the Hindenberg landed, two hundred people had to pull on ropes. There were two crew members for every passenger, as they had to man three shifts, and there had to be a man at each engine. The Hindenberg was 240 meters (several blocks) long. They are starting to make Zeppelins again, and the first new Zeppelins will be sold next year.
Count Graf von Zeppelin was a study in perseverance. He was a military man, who participated in the American Civil War and afterwards had an adventurous trip in the American West. During the Civil War he saw spy balloons. (Civil War cannons could not be tilted more than 30 degrees from horizontal and so could not shoot at spy balloons overhead!) When he retired from the military at age 52, he sank his entire personal fortune into the production of the first three Zeppelins, each of which met with some disaster. Then he convinced the German government to finance him, but they required him to make a demonstration flight of 48 hours before getting money to produce more than one Zeppelin. He flew to Frankfurt, but an engine ran hot. He stopped to repair it, but afterwards BOTH engines ran hot. He tried to continue, alternating engines; but a headwind came up and he could not return home on one engine. He stopped at the city where the engines were made to have them repaired at the factory. The repair was done, but before he could take off, a thunderstorm came up and lightning struck the aircraft, burning the skin and leaving the frame a twisted aluminum wreck. Tears streamed down his face as he contemplated the scene--he was a ruined man. A lesser man would have been destroyed, but Graf von Zeppelin had the wrecked frame cut and pressed into millions of souvenir ashtrays, and sold these ashtrays all over Germany, by which means he raised six million marks and was able to continue making dirigibles! Now, that's perseverance.
The boat picked us up again, and took us back across (part of) the lake to Lindau, leaving us at last:
Where it left us was not "home", but another fancy hotel just outside Lindau. Here you see the scientists entering the hotel:
Inside, we had a sumptious banquet. Unfortunately, the digital camera doesn't work inside, so the banquet went unrecorded. The dessert buffet should certainly have gone on record. There were three big tables filled with every imaginable kind of luscious Bavarian dessert. You could have some of each. People returned for seconds and left the tables bare!
During the week we sampled several of the Bavarian desserts at the restaurants where we ate. These were mostly delicious fruit-filled pastries of several different kinds. One memorable dessert was "Heisse Liebe" (Hot Love), which was vanilla ice cream with hot raspberry sauce. The sauce was really fresh raspberries, some of which had been been mashed in sugar, and served hot in a silver "gravy" bowl, for you to pour over the ice cream at the table. Here's Hennie enjoying it: