A bike ride round Lake Constance 2 Stein am Rhein to Uberlingen

A very full breakfast at Hotel Chlosterhof, consumed with views over the mist-shrouded river Rhine, then off into the subterranean garage to retrieve our bikes. Our route this day took us over the river and back into Konstanz riding through Swiss countryside until, at Konstanz, we returned to Germany. The current bridge was built in 1971 and is on the site of a Roman stone bridge replaced in 1250 by a wooden one that was burnt in 1799 by French troops. It is a one way bridge controlled by traffic lights and bikes need to get a speed up to get over before the lights change.

Once again we rode for a considerable distance by the side of the railway line. It was misty or cloudy almost all morning and quite autumnal with a chill in the air. The cycleway for much of the way was freshly laid tarmac which made the occasional stony paths seem a rough and unwelcome intrusion. We passed lots of orchards with very laden apple and pear trees, some of which were being harvested. Views across the lake were limited by the mist.

View across lake from just after village of Eschenz

View across lake from just after village of Eschenz

We arrived at Steckborn just after 10 and took the opportunity of looking round this attractive village, apparently home of Bernina sewing machines. We walked along the shore front with its water spout (one of several around Constance)

and wondered at the Turmhof museum on the shore of the lake.img_20160922_101705749

Finally, we walked through the archway and appreciated the Town Hall.


By © Wikipedia User: Samschtig / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31615737

By © Wikipedia User: Samschtig / Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31615737

Back on our bikes, we rode through more orchards and villages before crossing a large polder-like agricultural area on the outskirts of Kreuzlingen. There was a great deal of harvesting going on there; crowds of people down on their hands and knees slowly moving across the fields. Shortly after, we crossed the border into Germany and Konstanz. It was quite a shock to suddenly encounter a motorway bridge and the hustle and bustle of crowds.

We joined the stream of pedestrians and bikes crossing the motor-free bridge over the Rhine in Konstanz and promptly lost track of our correct route. There was no shortage of cycleway signs. It was just that we were not sure which one we should take. While we were pondering at different crossings and junctions we kept being asked by fellow cyclists if they could assist and in this way we found our way out of Konstanz and up along the coast towards Insel Mainau.

Mainau Island seemed to be a real tourist honeypot.  There were large car parks, luggage lockers, bike racks and souvenir stalls and crowds of people. No doubt the Island is impressive but we really did not have the time to do it justice so did not visit. I think it really needs half a day at least to walk around. Bikes or cars are not allowed, and we needed to catch a ferry and wanted some time at the end of the day to look around Uberlingen. So, after a brief stop we were on our way to Wallhausen our ferry station and looked back towards Mainau and the causeway that takes you there.

Insel Mainau from Litzenstetten

Insel Mainau from Litzenstetten

In the right hand side, middle of this picture you might just make out a solar powered robot lawnmower one of many we saw during our trip.

At Wallhausen we had about thirty minutes to wait for our ferry. By this time the mist and cloud had long gone so we sat in the sun and ate some energy bars and admired the views.

Wallhausen Marina and ferry port

Wallhausen Marina and ferry port

It was a 15 minute boat journey on the ferry Seegold, with about 30 passengers and a dozen cycles. At Uberlingen we had only a few hundred metres to reach our hotel, the quite grand Bad-hotel und Villa Seeburg. Our bikes were stored in their own lockup garage and we were treated to a welcome glass of bubbly ‘Kress’ and given keys to our quite ancient but extremely comfortable room.img_20160922_182106904

After a shower etc. we were off to explore the attractive town (and to accidentally lose my sunglasses somewhere along the way!). A visit to the tourist office ensured we were equipped with a local map and we used this to tour the old city. There are still remnants of fortifications dating back to the 16th century in the form of round defensive towers.img_20160922_162320573_hdr

Once up the steps the views over the lake were spectacular.

View over Uberlingen old town

View over Uberlingen old town

We also visited the cathedral (Munster St Nikolaus) with its very sumptuous interior, the small harbour area, and strolled along the busy Seepromenade where the ferries landed and people sat around consuming drinks and food at the many outlets. We decided to eat at our hotel that evening. We approached it from the lake looking very impressive

Bad Hotel Villa Seeburg

Bad Hotel Villa Seeburg

and walked back there through its attractive gardens.img_20160922_181920700_hdr

The evening meal ‘special’ featured fish from the lake, excellent with a bottle of local white wine. A very good way to end a lovely day.

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