We left Innsbruck last Monday and headed off to Salem in Germany. Salem is about 9kms away from Bodensee/Lake Konstanz. On our way and just before the border, we handed in our Go Box, the way you pay for tolls in Austria if, like us, your Motorhome weighs over 3,500 kgs. The Go Box works by topping it up with credit. Luckily after our second top up we had learnt that we could easily avoid the motorways so when handing the Box in, we gratefully received our €100 back.
Our journey should have taken us 2 1/2 hours but we got caught in three sets of road works that extended the journey to nearly 5 hours! One of these road works was clearing rocks off the road after a rockslide. The only compensation was a quick stop at the roadside for a snack and to buy some strawberries at a stall there. They were enormous and deliciously juicy and sweet…
On arriving at our campsite we were surprised to learn that it was almost fully booked and we could only have our pitch for a maximum of 4 nights. Actually that suited us fine. In Southern Germany (the Catholic part) there are a number of religious holidays in early summer and we had arrived just before one that gave people a long weekend off (something to do with Pentecost apparently).
The campsite is near a well known Schloss and Monastery at Salem so we went to visit. The Monastery was founded in 1134. There was a devastating fire in 1697 which destroyed the medieval buildings, and the ‘new’ buildings are in the baroque style. The whole complex was and is huge, originally a self contained town with shops, a smithy, bakery, vineyard and winery/brewery and even its own Apothecary.
The old winery….
The buildings that originally serviced the Abbey complex…
The day was really hot so we sought sanctuary in a couple of buildings which were deliciously cool, first in the highly decorated stables…..
And then in the Abbey church. The original roof was decorated in green tile , only a small turret now has them…
Inside (in my humble opinion) was way over the top and very ugly…..
The Abbey complex now has a fire-fighting museum, which given the history of the site is not surprising. What surprised us was how interesting it was 😳! We learned about how medieval fires were dealt with through to how fire-fighting developed into what we recognise today. I know, but it really was interesting!!
Early fire engines….
Fire-fighting equipment and Clothing…….
The boots in the last picture have wooden soles to protect the feet from the heat. A couple of uniform examples….
We also saw how communication equipment, fire extinguishers and flexible water hoses developed, which, you will be relieved to know, are not pictured here!
Just before we left, we came across this strange little goblin-like statute which we have decided to share with you…
Our next posting will include cats on leads and a visit to Meersburg on Bodensee…..