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Ravensburg & Friedrichshafen, Germany

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Ravensburg was one of the few cities that wasn’t bombed during WWII. So, this means its old medieval center in mostly intact. It seemed to have been a walled city as there are many tall gate towers still there. We stayed at a very average hotel that is well located in the old part of town. The food at the hotel tasted great, but made us both quite ill. This is the third time on the trip David has gotten food poisoning. So much for traveling in developed countries.

On our way to Friedrichshafen to visit the Zeppelin Airship museum we made a wrong turn and found ourselves at the amazing Dornier museum. Dornier was a German aeronautic pioneer, whose many claims to fame included designing the world's first metal airplanes. He dreamed of changing the world with large scale passenger aircraft. So, in the 1920s and '30s, his company developed airplanes like giant luxury cruise ships that took off and landed in water to transport people across continents. Unfortunately, the Nazis came to power and Dornier's factories put concentration camp prisoners to work. Information in the museum suggested that Dornier made some small effort to make conditions better for these starving slaves. And it implied that he was reluctant to show support of the vile regime. What a horrendous time it was. Could Dornier have left Germany? Could he have walked away from his life, or ended it? Meanwhile, German airplanes dropped bombs on London; and then, with the help of the Americans, British airplanes carpet bombed nearly every German city. The war killed 55 million, and 2 civilians were killed for every 1 soldier in this monstrous episode of death and destruction.

We finally made it to the Zeppelin museum, and thought how great it must have been to travel the Atlantic in a floating airship. We wandered along the shore of Lake Constance with a view of massive glacier-topped Swiss Alps along the skyline. The path was filled with happy people, eating ice cream and holding hands, oblivious, in that moment, to their infernal human history.
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