Kay’s Ancestors and the Bodensee

Yesterday morning we drove south about 30 minutes to the village of Ofterdingen. As you may remember from a previous post one of Kay’s ancestors, one Johann Georg Röcker, moved from here to Adelshofen sometime between his birth in 1759 and his death in 1822. We’ve traced her family back to Gall Reckher, her 8th great grandfather, born here in 1557, but the family may go back further in Ofterdingen. We visited the local cemetery and although the graves only date back to the early 20th century there are many Röckers and other relatives – distant cousins no doubt.

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The cemetery is perched on a hill in the countryside above the town. It was peaceful and at the same time disquieting. In the town below we found a church built in 1522. Kay’s ancestors would have worshiped here. As luck would have it the church was open. It was quite beautiful inside as you can see.

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The town has a number of buildings which could date from that time.

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Unlike Adelshofen, most houses have a bit of land, enough for a garden. Folks we saw seemed happy and laid back. In the square by the church was this statue of Heinrich von Ofterdingen, a quasi-historical lyric poet mentioned in a 13th century epic. He looks like quite a merry fellow.

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After lunch back in Tübingen we took a little siesta then ventured out in the early evening. We grabbed some gelato and walked the grounds of Schloss Hohentübingen, the local castle first built in the 16th century.

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In the center of it’s courtyard is a huge bust of Roman Emperor Augustus which apparently graced the top of a colossal statue found here.

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The castle only had a few folks wandering the grounds as the museum and interior were closed for the day. We walked through to a trail leading around the back and down to the town enjoying the quiet twilight.

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At this point we’d worked up an appetite so we stopped in at our local restaurant and bar for a light snack and a drink. A band was warming up in the cellar night club below playing funk and soul. We had to check them out. To be honest they were just okay. The groove wasn’t tight, the drummer had an interesting relationship with time, likewise the singer to pitch. Memphis Shorty could kick their ass.

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This morning we bid farewell to Tübingen and the Hotel Am Schloss and drove south a couple of hours to Lake Konstanz otherwise known as the Bodensee. We dropped off the car and after 45 minutes on buses and 15 minutes across the lake by ferry we found ourselves in the medieval fantasy known as Meersburg. I say fantasy but the town indeed dates legendarily from the 7th century when the Merovingian King Dagobert I built a fortress here. Merovingians where the Frankish dynasty preceding the Carolingians, the most famous of whom was Charlemagne.

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After lunch, beer, wine and coffee we hiked through the steep, cobbled streets and out along a ridge to Landhaus Ödenstein, our B&B, with balcony overlooking rolling vineyards down to the lake.

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The red building above the ferry is our B&B.

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After car, bus, ferry and a substantial hike with our packs it’s time for some rest before we hit Meersburg for dinner.

 

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