We started our trip in a small town in southwest Germany called Ravensburg. This is a town of around 50,000 people in an area known as Upper Swabia. It is a pleasant town and is near enough to the Alps to have beautiful views of the mountains on clear days.

The town is famous for it's towers, the most prominent of which is the Mehlsack, which means flour sack in German. It is called this presumably because of the white color. It towers above the southern part of the old town. Speaking of the old town, because Ravensburg didn't have any major industries, it escaped the heavy bombing that many German towns received during World War II. Therefore the historic center of Ravensburg maintains many of its old buildings.

View of the Mehlsack and Ravensburg.

This building shows the typical construction method used in the area.

This is part of one of the main squares in town.

Here's a tower with a gate. Of course the city used to have walls.
As far as general impressions go, I was struck by how nice everything in Germany was. Anyone who knows me or even reads this blog should know how much I love Italy. I often tell people that if they have little tolerance for things not working as they should, or for things being late, then Italy will frustrate them. For these types of people I highly recommend a trip to Germany. Everything in Germany is in good repair and works properly. The streets are clean and everywhere is extremely safe. I love the quirkiness of Italy, but it is nice to be somewhere where you can be sure everything will work, that the train will leave when it says it will, etc.

General street scene.

Another tower.

Street scene.

The courtyard at the Humpis Quartier Museum.
We also went to the Humpis-Quartier Museum, a museum about the history of a prominent family in the city. This was a very interesting museum located in several connected houses, the oldest of which was built in the 11th Century. You learn many interesting facts about the city, such as in 1870 it has 17 breweries! The courtyard pictured about was used at one time for tanning and working leather. At one time Ravensburg was the home of one of the Great Ravensburg Trading Society, one of the most powerful trading companies in Europe at the time.
Chests in the museum.

One of the main rooms in the museum and the house, featuring a window so you can keep track of the pedestrians on the street below (as well as the neighbors).

Were you aware that in Germany they like beer?
That's all for now. Later I'll post about the amazing parade we went to.


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