Day 25 : Do I smell yet?

I’ve got a bit of a routine going with the camping thing now. Had my shower, porridge and coffee, chatted to the caravaners in Germglish and packed up my wet tent and set out at 9am.

The packing up process

Weather started off grey but had long sunny periods later.

I’m now heading west, bound for France.

I am wearing regular sandals for this trip. They may be less efficient than clipless shoes, but I’m not trying to set any records here and when I get off the bike it’s nice to be in normal footwear. Also when it rains, my feet get a wash, and the sandals dry out pretty quickly.

I mention this as they have started to smell a bit. All the constant wet and dry action I bet. So I took a quick look online and people recommend wearing socks with sandals. I know! So today, whilst still in Germany, I gave it a go. To be honest I don’t see what the fuss is about, and missed the sight of my toes which have never known such freedom as on this tour.

Anyhow heading west meant I crossed over into Switzerland a few times. The cycle routes weren’t as well signposted, and there were less German cars, but other than that things were pretty much the same.

Heading into Switzerland! Most border crossings were not this dramatic

I also encountered and followed the Rhein on and off. It’s a big, beautiful river.

The Rhein – a very nice colour which doesn’t show in this pic. Soz.

I took a detour to visit the Rheinfalls, an impressive waterfall.

Rheinfalls. You can get to one of the islands in the middle if you don’t have a bike.

And one more painted fire hydrant for my collection:

Bizarre open jacket and brown crop top

My route was a bit snakey, no longer having a proper cycle path to follow. Anyhow it took me to a small town, Klettgau. I headed for the church because I fancied a sit down (churches always provide benches as well as, in Germany, telling the time), and the church was a modern design, built in 1964, but done really nicely in my humble opinion.


Here’s the detail of the door handles.

Not garish and tacky in real life

Also spotted on route, this novel use for 6 bales of hay:

Enough to scare the crows

Headed to a campsite in Germany for the night (so I can pay in Euros). It’s right on the Rhein. I also managed to find a supermarket so I had a meal on my stove, and now am free to finish my Zeppelin mag!

View of the Rhein from the campsite

Wahlwies to Waldshut-Tiengen, 109km. Total so far = 2,106 km.

Day 24 : Along the Bodensee coast road

I saw this picture in the hotel yesterday from times when one could land one’s plane in Lindau harbour. Looks like he’s just landed as he’s still in the cockpit. Also note the car heading out to sea.

Snow day

I’m pleased to report that the rain stopped sometime during the night and I awoke to a bright day. I made the most of the continental breakfast at the hotel then pootled around the island, before taking the coast road out.

View across Bodensee – that will be Switzerland in the distance

I found a bike shop and picked up a cheap pair of gloves. Not as much padding as the ones I had, but they will do. Even from just one day with no gloves my hands are sore. So gloves, for me at least, are an essential piece of kit.

Bodensee is famous for its apples. I cycled past lots of apple, pear and plum orchards today. I bought a kilo of local apples from a roadside kiosk, which will come in handy I’m sure.

It’s quite compelling to grab small opportunities like this when they arise. I have to travel light and enjoy taking the odd serviette, complimentary hotel toiletries etc for the journey ahead.

Apple orchard

I stopped off at a backerei in Friedrichshafen at lunchtime for a sandwich and coffee. Friedrichshafen houses a Zeppelin museum, since the original Zeppelin airships were developed here. Count Zeppelin is from Constance – a big town on the other side of Bodensee, which also gives it its English name Lake Constance.

Despite being very interested in visiting, I didn’t fancy leaving the bike and my tour belongings outside whilst I disappeared for three hours, so instead I popped into the museum shop and bought the comprehensive guide in English, which is tonight’s reading.

Zeppelin museum and child’s playground

The Zeppelin is referenced everywhere here from sculptures:

Zeppelin water feature

Through blimps..

The blimp is on the right. My thumb is on the left.

To guesthouses.. Graf Zeppelin aka LZ 127 circumnavigated the world (can you tell I’ve been reading the guidebook?)..

Sadly no references to the band anywhere

Navigation was easy today. I just followed the signs and kept the lake to my left. I happened across this mermaid painted hydrant which is a good match for the one last week.

Mermaid fire hydrant

Also grown here are grapes for wine, a glass of which I had last night with my dinner 🙂

A cool photo of a vineyard huh

At an appropriate point in the afternoon I set my satnav to find a campsite and left the coastal path. Navigation immediately took me up a long and steep hill, then onto what I think were logging roads through forest for about 3km. Tracks were rough going in places. Thanks Garmin!

This bit of track was OK. The last bit was downhill over very rough track and I was barely able to stop the bike. In equal measures enjoyable and terrifying.

Campsite just had enough room for a small tent fortunately. They didn’t have a shop, but they did offer pizza, which, after 80km of pushing my heavy bike around was once again very welcome.

House pizza

Lindau to Wahlwies, 82 km. Total so far = 1,997 km.