Thursday, May 15, 2014

German village life: Pfullendorf and Lake Constance, via Instagram

Here in Australia, we like living in huge urban centres. Nearly nine out of ten Australians live in an urban area - which is pretty amazing considering how large our country is for such a small population. When I moved to Germany, it was a huge mystery to me when my students told me where they lived. Everyone seemed to come from a different town or village! And even the biggest cities like Stuttgart or Berlin have fewer inhabitants than most big Australian cities, even though Germany has a huge population compared to its small size.

But over the years I have come to terms with the German village thing and I really rather like it. It seems to mean that in Germany it is very practical to live in a small town or village but still work in a good city job. It is never far to drive to a decent shop or to head out to see music or a museum. All that is very different to Aussie life, and I must say I like it.

The Fachwerk architecture of Pfullendorf, southern Germany
My mother-in-law lives in one of those typical little villages. She moved there after we left Germany so it's only been on short trips that we've explored it but for me it seems typical of German life: her town of Pfullendorf has only around 13,000 people living there, it is cute and quaint, but there are lots of things to do nearby and it's easy to get around to them.



There's a lot to like about Pfullendorf and on our two visits there in recent years my favourite place, I must admit, has been the bookshop - and a big subsection of the books in my son's shelves are from there (I'm a big fan of German books for him!). On our last trip, we also got to visit the Felsenkeller - an underground pub which that night came complete with a medieval-themed wedding party. And something I didn't expect was a mountain full of monkeys - the Affenberg park is nearby, full of macaques you can feed. Who knew!




But the big drawcard is the Bodensee - Lake Constance - about a half hour drive away. I've been there several times and it really is a beautiful part of Europe. With a three-year-old in tow the best thing of all was just to play by the water's edge (it definitely wasn't swimming weather - in fact even in the middle of summer I've found it rather chilly there!) and enjoy some of the old wooden playground equipment. Close to the lake, we also came across numerous apple growers, so munching on fresh apples was also part of the fun!

Apples for sale near Lake Constance - on our morning outing from Pfullendorf
Pfullendorf is the kind of place you wouldn't ordinarily visit if you were touring Germany and I love that having family there means we have a reason to explore German village life. Hopefully we'll get back there again soon!


I'm linking up with IG Travel Thursday, and you can check out some of the other great posts below. 


8 comments:

  1. I've also been enchanted by the idea of village life, especially in Europe! These German villages are so charming. The idea of living in one and commuting to a bigger city seems like a great idea :)

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    1. Yes the commuting thing seems so lovely to me as an Aussie who either lives and works in a big city or just doesn't - we don't have many options there!

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  2. Bodensee looks really lovely, I wouldn't mind exploring some small German village too!

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    1. It's a really beautiful area Reeta - lots of quaint villages all round it! (and a Swiss side too.)

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  3. I'm all for village life as opposed to being "stuck" in a city with traffic and crowds, as long as I can visit the cities every now and then... And I have to agree, Bodensee looks lovely!

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    1. Yes it's a great compromise, isn't it? I do need the city, but not all the time.

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  4. I love quaint German villages. This looks to be a great town.

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    1. It's nothing super-special Leigh but a good typical experience of German village life, I think!

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