Ann's News

Lake Constance: On Bike

This trip confirmed that a day on a bike in the cold and rain is still better than any day spent at work behind a desk. My five day bike trip around Lake Constance was the first trip of its kind I’ve ever taken. I bought my mountain bike shortly after arriving to Germany. I’ve been riding pretty regularly, loving every moment of it and realizing I want to do a lot more of it. Being that I’ll be completely consumed this summer with inspection preparation for our upcoming Command Cyber Readiness Inspection in September; it made sense to escape for a week and do some exploring while pedaling.

Lake Constance came up in conversation with someone at work…so after some Googling, realizing I could book a tour that included everything I needed, and it was just a short drive away; I was sold. I had to get a roof rack installed on my car for my bike, and buy other biking gear to be ready to go, but I was super excited about this trip.Lake KonstanzThe trip took me around Lake Constance, passing through a series of towns and attractions along the way. The package that awaited me at my first hotel had directions, maps, and recommendations of where to stop along the way. Each night I ended in a new place, and each morning, all I needed to do was drop off my luggage, have breakfast and get on my bike. Most days I biked about 50km…except for the day I took a detour to go inland and stop at a monkey refuge, and the day it rained so much I skipped all attractions, but back tracked once the rain stopped.

The trip kicked off at Lake Constance, where I stayed at Hotel Trompeterschlossle. Owned by a couple, this was a cozy hotel that catered to people who did this type of trip. I stayed there my first and last night (in the same room) and left my car parked until my return. The first night, I went wondering around the town of Konstance, it seemed like a pretty happening place. In the morning, I dropped off my luggage and began my adventure. The route was a little confusing at first, but once I found my bearing I was on my way to Isle of Reichenau. The island itself was declared as a UNESCO world heritage site in 2001.Isle Reichenau

After about an hour tour around the island, I caught a ferry which took me to the main route of my trip for the day. I pedaled to Stein am Rhein, where I spent the night in a basic but comfortable room. It took me a little while and some getting turned around to find where I was to spend the night, but even with those delays, I arrived about mid-afternoon. I showered and went out to explore Stein am Rhein. It was a small, colorful village where I enjoyed an impromptu concert after which, I grabbed a bite to eat then returned to my small room to rest; happy with my first day.

Stein am Rhein20140511_144846

The next day, a little sore, I saddled up on my bike after breakfast and rode into the country side with a smile on my face. Today lead me back to Konstance, where I enjoyed some lunch before doing the next leg of my journey that included another ferry ride to reach the town of Uberlingen. I located my hotel, Hotel Zum Romer, once again owned by a nice couple. I received a warm welcome, my luggage and was shown to another cozy room for the night. I took a shower, changed and headed out to explore Uberlingen and find dinner. I stopped in to a few of the attractions, the town hall (Rathaus) and the Franciscan church. After dinner, I made my way back to the hotel to rest.

20140512_10040320140512_141653Uberlingen

The next day, I was rained on quite a bit as I rode from Uberlingen to the Kressbronn region with a detour to Affenberg Salem (monkey wildlife park). I went through Meerburg, a small picturesque town where fortunately the sun came out for a bit, while I walked around. I stayed the night at the country guesthouse Dorfkrug. It was a pretty isolated location, so I didn’t do too much wondering about and I was tired from riding about 80km and fighting the weather.

20140513_09473920140513_101334Meersburg

Admittedly, the following day was cold, rainy and pretty miserable…so I rode almost straight through to my next hotel. I only made a stop at a train station to grab something to eat, and dry myself up a little in the bathroom. I arrived at the hotel frozen and disappointed. It was about 3pm, I was exhausted so I took a hot shower and then a nap. I woke up at 5pm to the sun shining outside my window. I debated my options for what to with the rest of the day; in the end I decided to backtrack and see the things I’d missed.

I’m so glad I did that. I ended up going up Pfanderbahn gondola in Bregenz and saw some amazing views. Also had one heck of a ride back down! I returned to the hotel late, tired, but happy with how my day turned out.

Overlooking Bregenz

The last day of the trip was again cold and rainy weather…but I still enjoyed my pedaling along the country side, winery and through various towns. By the time I returned to Konstance, where the trip all began, the sun was back out. I ended my trip watching a beautiful sunset, satisfied with my journey and accomplishment.Sunset Last night