The Rhine cleans up

The Italian flavor that permeated the first week of our trip has disappeared completely.
The Italian flavor that permeated the first week of our trip has disappeared completely.

As we left our Warm Shower hosts, Christof and Elizabeth, in Austria, our goal was to cycle the northeast side of Lake Constance up to Meersburg, Germany, take the ferry across to Konstanz, Switzerland, and then cross the Rhine into Konstanz, Germany to find our next host.

The day before we cycled mostly on top of the levees racing the Rhine toward the lake. The river itself is actually a little boring and we found that diverting into the villages and the farmland on either side was prettier and more interesting. We found no recreational use of the river above Lake Constance and no homes or villages were on its banks. It seems that the chalky load of Alp minerals, the swift flow, and the relatively shallow yet flood prone waters keep people away. The governments may have something to do with that also as they are trying to build levees to withstand a one-hundred year flood. It is a huge undertaking and they are lucky they have a hundred years to get it done.

Traffic increased as we came into the denser areas of Dornbirn and then Bregenz, Austria on Lake Constance itself. Just as suddenly, the Rhine dumps it’s minerals into the huge lake and discharges clear and inviting at Constance, about 40 miles to the north- west.

It is fun to south out actual bike trail. Sometimes it appears to be a driveway.
It is fun to seek out the  actual path of the bike trail. Sometimes it appears to be a driveway.
We were amused by the pedestrian figure leaning his bike. When it turns green, it is upright.
In Bregenz, Austria, we were amused by the pedestrian figure leaning his bike. When it turns green, it is upright.
The busy lakefront in Bregenz.
The busy lakefront in Bregenz.
After the deserted Rhine above Lake Constance, we finally see water induced recreation.
After the deserted Rhine above Lake Constance, we finally see water induced recreation.

The cycling on bike paths up to Meersburg kept us in sight of the lake most of the time. Finally, Tom could take it no more, pulled over, took off his shoes and walked into the lake. Ginny and I joined him for a refreshing swim.

The bicycle path along the north-east shore of Lake Constance.
The bicycle path along the north-east shore of Lake Constance.
We love the frescos on the buildings, this one on a plaza building on the Island of Lindau.
We love the frescoes on the buildings, this one on a plaza building on the island-town Lindau.
The famous harbor entrance at Lindau. the lake front towns seem to have a competition to create the most impressive entrances.
The famous harbor entrance at Lindau. The lake front towns seem to have a competition to create the most impressive entrances.
Frederick Von Zeppelin's museum in Friedrichshafen.
Ferdinand Von Zeppelin’s museum in Friedrichshafen.
Fresh out of the water.
Fresh out of the water.

After the ferry ride, we stayed at the apartment of Robert, a Constance University student studying physics, specifically how heat is transfered in a single molecule. We joined him and some other students for a barbecue but not before stopping in that wonderful German invention, the Beer Garden, for a liter of Polaner.

World Cup soccer fans watch the giant screen at the beer garden.
World Cup soccer fans watch the giant screen at the beer garden.

We were out with Robert’s friends a little later than we are used to because we were enjoying talking politics about the USA, Germany, and Europe. The students provided us an interesting viewpoint that is impossible to get back home.

Constance University students Sebastion, Robert, and Dennis flanked by Ginny and Tom.
Constance University students Sebastion, Robert, and Dennis flanked by Ginny and Tom.
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2 thoughts on “The Rhine cleans up”

    1. It is way more fun to be a pedestrian or cyclist in Europe. The cars actually look for you and try to give you space. Designs for pedestrian use are in the forefront. I have seen parking lots for bicycles in front of stores, and they are being heavily used.

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