It’s been over a year since my last post, and I’ve been wondering what to do with this blog.

Facebook is an easy way to keep friends and family updated when we travel and the blog is a bit more public. So when people I didn’t know started to follow the blog, I decided that advertising we weren’t home was not a great idea, especially after someone tried to break in the first night we were gone. I can’t blame that one on the blog though because I hadn’t even posted. At least they were incompetent and didn’t get in. And our neighbour who was looking after the house decided not to ruin our vacation and only told us on our last day.

My life has also changed. We have sold our house and moved out of the neighbourhood so providing neighbourhood updates is somewhat problematic. We are temporarily living in a condo while our new townhouse is being built. But the longer we are here, the more it’s starting to feel like home.

I have been looking for a topic that will get me writing at least once a week. In the spring it may be  the new adventures with the folding Brompton bikes. Or maybe my quest for the best icecream in the west end.

So I am still here, it’s just I’ve been living life instead of blogging about it.

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Stuttgart is undergoing some serious construction. If we think it’s bad building one tunnel for light rail, imagine building six tunnels and demolishing half the train station and moving 18 platforms back. The car rental company wasn’t kidding when it said access to the train station was problematic!

We stayed at the Intercity Hotel, which is attached to the train station. Included in the price was free transit for the days we stayed there. Read the rest of this entry »

We were supposed to wing it for two nights, but when we returned to Bregenz we pre-booked our hotel in Tübingen for two nights.

On our way there, we stopped in Affenburg, a monkey sanctuary with over 200 monkeys. The grounds also include a large pond for fish and an area for birds and deer. Read the rest of this entry »

Our last day of cycling was nice and flat, with a view of the mountains to inspire me to pedal. I have to admit that the previous day’s climbs had tightened my muscles and because we hadn’t cycled fast or far I wasn’t as diligent in my post-cycling stretches. It was beginning to catch up on me.

The paths took us through many vineyards and orchards. Each time we turned towards the lake and I could see the Alps, I had to stop and take it all in.

Read the rest of this entry »

The problem with not cycling the lake in the same stages as everyone else is that you can miscalculate the distance. Ferries crisscross the lake and some tours don’t cycle the entire route. And then I realized that today was going to be a big climb out of Konstanz.

On a positive note, the direction we cycled had a path parallel to the road on the uphills. The downhill was amazing! Cycling on the road through the town of Liggeringen (which I only know from looking it up on Google Maps later) was exilerating. I reached almost 67km/h on a fully loaded folding bike and didn’t crash! Read the rest of this entry »

The Americans had booked 2 nights because rain was forecast for today. They were booking on the fly which cost them a lot but they seemed to like the flexibility.  I’m a weather shopper in English and find that German web sites tend to have more accurate forecasts for Germany than English ones. Luckily we no rain as we cycled. Again, most of the rain came after we had eaten and returned to the hotel.

Today’s journey went around what’s known as the Untersee (or lower lake). Radolfzell was about halfway so we stopped at a baker for coffee and croissant and walked around its Altstadt Read the rest of this entry »

Today we cycled the right bank to Schaffhausen and onto the Rheinfalls.  Our path involved going offroading through forests and along paths beside the river or through farmers’ fields.

While I stopped to take a photo of a pumpkin patch, a pair of cyclists came towards us. They heard us speaking English and stopped. Read the rest of this entry »

We only had few showers at the start of our ride today.  We cycled to Kreuzinglen then into Konstanz and back into Switzerland. There was a somewhat official-looking border crossing because we were on a road, not a path. But the booth was unmanned and nobody was being stopped for passport checks. In some ways, I wish I had been able to get my passport stamped for all the back and forth along the German-Swiss border. Read the rest of this entry »

Unlike most of the websites we found, we decided to start and end in Bregenz. Part of this was because I wanted to take the Pfänderbahn to see a view of the lake, but also because some of the recommended stages were in larger or expensive towns. One of the challenges was finding affordable accommodation in Switzerland without sharing a bathroom. In Romanshorn, it meant staying in a hostel.

A lot of people online said that Austria was the broken link for directions,  but we had no problems. You just follow the bike sign with the blue rear wheel. The number changed when we got to Switzerland but the signs were everywhere. We only missed one by a Supermarkt in Gaißau Austria because we were so focussed on the traffic. That bridge brought us over the Rhein and into Switzerland.

The weather today was cold and we had a sprinkling of rain as we were cycling the 50 km between Bregenz and Romanshorn. But in the evening, it came down in buckets. Sometimes, it’s all in the timing.

The area around Lake Constance is known for its apples. And NosyNeighbour decided to climb in a large pitcher of Apfelsaft for a photo op. I was impressed with his flexibility and deductive reasoning to get back out.

We saw the zeppelin fly over and a hobbit house in Altenrhein. Then we walked our bikes through Rorschach and its Altstadt then followed along the lake.

We explored Arvin then arrived at Romanshorn around 2:45. Unfortunately, check in really was 5 p.m.  We couldn’t even leave our bikes or bags because there was nobody at reception.

Romanshorn is about halfway between Austria  and Germany on the circuit. It doesn’t have a quaint Altstadt, instead spending money to develop the waterfront. It claims to have Lake Constance’s biggest harbour and we did see a lot of ferries crossing over the lake. The waterfront park had some neat fountains that turned on while we were there. But I wouldn’t have gone there just to see them. Eventually the time passed and we were able to check in.

Of course we were dying to get Internet, but we couldn’t seem to get it to work because the system couldn’t text us the code. Why must the Swiss authorities insist on a two-step process for Internet access? And what if we hadn’t had our phones? The one English-speaker who worked there, sent us off to the train station.

We took the advice of the English-speaking hostel chef for supper and ate where the locals do …Pizzeria la Luna . ..like an episode if season 2 of Master of None. Zuppa pomadoro war lecker. It was served with bread that was pizza dough cut in small pieces and baked.

We stopped at the brasserie again after supper then tried the Internet again at the hostel. For North Americans it is 001 plus area code and phone number.  No + required!

We arrived at the train station in Bregenz and eventually found our way to Hotel Helvetia, which is located on a busy street that borders the main pedestrian area. NosyNeighbour assembled the bikes in our room on the third floor. For North Americans, that would be three flights above the ground floor. And did I mention no elevator?

I know when to stay out of his way so I walked to the Fußgängerzone and returned with cold beer and snacks (hello again my paprika Pringles!). It turns out that CATSA opened both suitcases and left us notes indicating they had been searched. At least all the pieces were still there!

NosyNeighbour had done his research on good local restaurants, so we headed over to the Wirtshaus, which is on the lake, then went for a walk along the waterfront after dinner.

The next day we went for a short test drive with the folders. We made it to the Bregenz open air theatre on the water. Each year a new stage is created in the lake tailored to that year’s opera. Although we missed the performance since it was shoulder season, you could walk right into the seating area and look in awe at how grandiose the stage was. Did you know that the theatre appears in the Bond movie Quantum of Solace? In 2008 several scenes were filmed right before and during a night performance of the opera Tosca.

Having folding Dahon bikes, doesn’t mean they fold up perfectly into our Samsonite featherlight suitcases. Some disassembly is required, which usually means adjustments are needed. My bike wasn’t going into the 7th and 8th gears, so the next day, we dropped it off at a bike shop for adjustments.

A market took place in the pedestrian zone until early afternoon. After we picked up my bike, we took the Pfänderbahn up and saw a wonderful view of mountains and the lake. I’m so glad we did this to get a sense of what we were about to cycle.

For supper, we took the hotel’s advice and went to the Goldener Hirschen. In typical European fashion, we were seated with another couple. It makes for a more interesting evening when you can practise your German with native speakers.

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