Peter and Marianne picked Petra and I up at around noon. In about an-hour drive we were in the area of Lake Constance or Bodensee.
Lake Constance (German: Bodensee) is a lake on the Rhine at the northern foot of the Alps, and consists of three bodies of water: the Obersee (“upper lake”), the Untersee (“lower lake”), and a connecting stretch of the Rhine, called the Seerhein. The lake is situated in Germany, Switzerland and Austria near the Alps. Specifically, its shorelines lie in the German federal-states of Bavaria and Baden-Württemberg, the Austrian federal-state of Vorarlberg, and the Swiss cantons of Thurgau and St. Gallen. The Rhine flows into it from the south following the Austro-Swiss frontier.
Marianne’s mother, Annemarie, has a beautiful summer house right on the lake. She is a lovely woman. It was very nice to be in her company and with our friends Marianne and Peter. Annemarie cooked a delicious, healthy and plentiful lunch. Champagne, wine, water and coffee were great companions to the conversations: Napoleon Bonaparte being significantly responsible for Switzerland’s form of government, Germany’s reasons not to invade Switzerland during WWII, Apple employees getting paid $12/hour, Mia feeling free in the yard, the right way to cook meat on the Barbie…
The most dramatic story was Annemarie’s. When she was 9 years old, during WWII, soldiers from the Allied forces would parachute into the area. The lake is between Germany and Switzerland. The unfortunate soldiers who landed on the German side of the lake were killed. Those who landed on the Swiss side were given protection and shelter. Her parents frequently sheltered these soldiers. She recalled being excused from school to see the soldiers land on one side or the other. There was even a bunker in their yard.
Watch the video.