Wednesday, 26 June 2013


"We have beer as cold as your ex's heart": the sign at Zoe's a bar in Ravensburg that we found pretty amusing

Last weekend I went on a romantic get-a-way to Ravensburg, a picturesque town in Upper Swabia not too far from Konstanz, with my good friend Laura. The Aldstadt (the 'historic' part of town, the best and most interesting part of any town) remains the central focus of Ravensburg and luckily the hotel we stayed in was situated right in the middle, flanked by Ravensburg's 10 towers.  
The view from Blasetürm

The first evening I took Laura on a romantic date to Barbarossa's where I introduced her to the Summer wonder drink that is a Hugo (White wine and soda or Champagne long drink mixed with elderflower cordial, mint, lime and ice) and so began a very enjoyable weekend. The food at Barbarossa's, we both agreed, was the best meal either of us had had in a long time. We shared a steak and asparagus and tomato risotto and everything was just cooked perfectly. The restaurant itself attracted us because of its outdoor seating area which seemed modern yet summery and an ideal place to enjoy the sunshine into the evening. The menu offered a strange mix between Thai and Italian which we initially found quite dubious, but after the meal we realised that our South German restaurant restrictions to Jaegerschnitzel and Flammkuchen had closed our minds to new culinary adventures! (Although both are obviously delicious). 

Enjoying a meal and Hugo's in Colours for lunch
After a Brandy Alexander in Barbarossa we went for a drink in Colours a bar-restaurant recommended to us by our friend Tobi- who lives in Ravensburg, so we didn't want to pass up the insiders tip! Colours is popular for after dinner cocktails and coffees. They had a huge choice and had specialist bartenders making them, and we were not disappointed. They had an indoor/ outdoor grotto area with fairy lights, cushions and a large, imposing deer head as part of their decoration. After we followed the crowds to a parade of bars in the center of town, the outdoor seating was filled to maximum on a Friday night as it was a pleasant evening. We found a seat in a bar called Gyspies. While it had a nice holiday atmosphere Laura ordered a cocktail and it was not drinkable. Go to enjoy the atmosphere, but order a beer! 

A selection of tiny antlers at the Saturday market
Inside an antiques store
View of the market
On the Saturday, greeted with doom and gloom from the sky, we decided to brave the weather with some umbrella's and explore the town. The Saturday morning market was in full swing and we enjoyed looking at the bio Falafal, the Churros, the traditional "echt" Spaetzle stalls as well as the many fully stocked anti-pasti stalls. It really put Konstanz's rather provincial Saturday morning market to shame, although I didn't see any of that amazing cheesecake that the Konstanz market offers. 

Vogel Art Papier Laden

Vogel Art Papier Laden
We also found a Papier Laden, Vogel Art, in which we spent far too much time poring over stationary, notebooks, letter writing sets and gift wrapping that we had no means to transport home. The little shop was filled with all those amazing "one off" pieces you see one or two examples of in ordinary stationary and art shops. The shop owner was very friendly and easy to talk to and allowed me to take a few photo's to "take back to London"! Here's the website to the shop if you like the look of it

After a coffee, the day had brightened up a bit so we climbed two of Ravensburg's towers to get a panoramic view of the town. The first, Blasetürm, was the old fire clock tower and and look out tower. The second, Mehlsack, was built to defend the town against attacks from the castle situated higher up. It's called Mehlsack because the shape of the tower apparently looks like a flour bag. Very intimidating.  

Some of the puppets in the Figuren Theatre

In the evening we attended a performance of Der Kleine Prinz (better known as Le Petit Prince) in which all the characters, aside from the narrator, were little puppets (similar to the ones pictured). It was a really interesting show, really atmospheric. The puppets suitcases represented the separate worlds from the book and the show opened with a miniature aeroplane center stage. The portrayal of the characters, especially the drunkard, was unflinchingly morose and the business man was full of chaotic vigour. Although there were a few children in the audience, the play managed to convey the sensitive sadness of Der Kleine Prinz even through the medium of puppets. The narrator was an experienced story teller and he really invigorated the story with new meaning (which is a challenge seeing as he read it fully in German and I'm not all that familiar with the original story). If you are ever in Ravensburg the Figuren Theatre is a must see especaially as the student prices are only 7 euros a performance. 

A mysterious lady in the Figuren Theatre
The next day we met up with our friend's Tobi and Elias and took our final adventure in Ravensburg to Spieleland! Admittedly, not our age demographic, but it was fun to play and be silly for the day... particular favourite would be the Labyrinth race in which I got slightly competitive and raced for my life (to great victory)! To conclude the weekend, Tobi took us to a typical Swabisch restaurant hidden away behind a farm and several country lanes. We unfortunately had to sit outside and share a blanket as we hadn't booked a table but the Maultaschen tasted just as good. Maultaschen, a very typical meat ravioli type dish in Baden-Württemberg, so the legend goes was created especially by a sneaky monk during Lent when eating meat is discouraged. The pasta covering the filling means that the meat cannot be seen by God and so no religious rules are broken! The Swabian nickname for Maultaschen is Herrgottsbescheißerle which means "little cheaters of God" and vegetarian eaters of the pasta are considered morally abhorrent because it's considered very bad form to cheat God twice. "Echt" German humour. 

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