A misty morning that turned into a sunny pleasant day. There was a definite feeling of autumn in the air, leaves turning colour and wet grass first thing from a dew fall. We started with an extensive buffet breakfast. I had muesli with yoghurt, bacon and egg, chocolate pain, fruit and bread and jam. Despite this ample meal we still managed to be on our bikes by about 8.30.
We rode through Uberlingen and stopped by the rather grotesque fountain in the centre of the town. It was completed in 1995 and is by Peter Lenk a local artist who also produced the large statue of Imperia that we had seen on the harbour at Konstanz.
We were close by the lake almost all day although it was often hidden behind bushes or trees. The mist never really cleared completely so although we passed many houses with names that implied views of the Alps we never caught a glimpse of them. Much of the route took us alongside a railway track often with narrow allotment plots between us and the railtrack. As always with allotments there was a wide variety of crops and a diversity of garden sheds and “summer houses”. The wild autumn crocus flowers growing in fields and by the side of the path were also quite splendid.
We passed below the impressive pilgrimage church of Birnau soon after leaving Uberlingen.
Soon after this church, and wending our way through more vineyards, we arrived at Meersburg, which had a busy port with strangely-shaped car ferries arriving to dock at great speed.
Meersburg is an attractive old town built into a steep hillside. The lower town, the only one we investigated, has a pedestrian only shopping road with many old buildings; an obvious touristic highlight. Several small lanes lead onto a lakeside promenade lined with pollarded plane trees.
Our next main town was Hagnau. Like other towns it had a mixture of very old houses like this one claiming to be from 1578 with other distinctly modernistic Bauhaus designs and some few that were crumbling neglected wooden constructions.
Our guidebook warned us that between Immenstaad and Friedrichshafen the cycle track was a 10km stretch beside a motorway and that this could be easily avoided by taking a ferry between the two. We took the recommended avoidance action. In Immenstaad we nearly missed the ferry terminal and had to turn back on ourselves. We then had a wait of just over an hour on the quayside which we spent taking a coffee, a bite to eat and a small bike tour of the town.
The ferry ride was very comfortable and it was nice to get views from out on the lake. Friedrichshafen was very busy and a bit of a disappointment. One of the “attractions” in our guidebook was the Zeppelin Museum. We were not enticed there but over the coming weekend we spotted Zeppelins doing tourist flights over the lake on many occasions. We had sailed past the castle on our way into the harbour so did not fancy a detour to visit that, and in the absence of other attractions we simply “saddled up and rode out of town”.
We stopped to look at the harbour and castle in Langenargen and ate an ice cream while watching wedding guests assemble.
Our destination that day was a hamlet called Hege, near the town of Wasserburg. Approaching the Hotel Gierer we were surprised to see lots of white towelling-clad elderly people wandering to and fro across the road in flip flops. It looked to me as though we might have strayed into some kind of asylum. Not so! It was our hotel which had apartments on one side of the road and spa facilities in the hotel on the other, and people were moving between the two. Our room was quite comfortable but there were no toweling gowns. We took a swim and, because the hotel was out of town, booked a table to eat there that evening; it was Friday night and very busy so booking seemed a good idea. We had our best meal of the trip that evening, tomato soup, salad, rosti, veal in mushroom sauce followed by pineapple ice cream with cream and a bottle of local wine – terrific and 30 Euro each with a tip for the waiter.