Wunderbar

My neighbour used to call me Le Peleton. Not that he was suggesting I had any special ability. It’s just that I’ve always enjoyed cycling as a great way to get around.

So when I discovered I was on the doorstep to one of Europe’s most popular bicycle routes, it was a must do. The ride goes around the entire edge of Lake Bodensee. I’d only left Bregenz at midday but by the end of the afternoon I had cycled from Austria, through Switzerland and ended up in Germany. And that was just day one. Only in Europe!

The 200km plus path winds through delightful medieval towns, romantic villages, sleepy looking towns and through expanses of vineyards and orchards. Mostly on bike paths, the ride takes in spectacular landscape alongside the lake against a backdrop of the Alps. You could take on the challenge in a day. But let’s be sensible here. While I did it over three days, most people would stretch it over a few extra days.

Despite the very flat nature of the ride, ebikes (electric bikes) are very popular to accommodate all fitness levels. Tour companies provide pre paid packages. But with the well signed path it’s easy to do it as self guided tour. While it would be helpful, you can do it as I did without a map and the occasional use of popular app, maps.me. With many places to stop for the night, the likes of bookings.com helps add to the flexibility of finding accommodation along the way.

Riding through the little villages, I first thought, wow there’s a lot doing this tour. But while the ride is extremely popular, most of these cyclists are locals. Where as in Oz, we’d take the car to go to the likes of the market, here they take their bike.

I saw a recent documentary where they found the most liveable cities are where they minimise the use of cars and encourage more walking and riding. Less incidence of asthma from car pollution, and reduced obesity from more activity. Makes sense.

The majority of riders around the lake were mainly in the more mature age bracket. Riders vary from groups to typically couples or solo riders. I had the pleasure of teaming up with an Austrian whom I met along the way. Thanks Herbert for your enjoyable company and all your local knowledge and translation assistance!

The most challenging part was actually after the lake ride. Cycling the 25 km back home over the mountain to the village of Egg. The bier at the local tavern made it all worthwhile though!

A fantastic way to see and experience a taste of Europe.

And a note to finish up a wonderful stay in Austria. Many thanks to the warm and generous hospitality of the Hiller family. Wunderbar!

14 comments On Wunderbar

  • Beautiful photos,
    Has been great spending time with you dad! Look forward to hear of the next adventures! SI SI, take care and be safe!!!’

  • Such a prestige place.Thanks for taking us on your holiday x

  • Glad to see that you are enjoying yourself Chris. Wish I was there too. Best wishes for the rest of your trip.

  • Hi Chris
    That was a great bike ride you did, and sounds like the weather was good too. Yes, we need to reduce car travel to increase the liveability of our cities. Public transport and bikes works well when you want it to. I heard a talk by Josh Byrne (presenter on Gardening Australia) last week; he was talking about water and our drying climate, and mentioned our aversion to living in apartments. Then he showed a picture of an in-fill suburban development – lots of small houses squeezed together and almost no greenery. Said Josh, “We already have apartment living; it’s just that it is horizontal and not vertical!

  • Si Si is yes I take it! Looks great dad but I’d prefer the electric I think still a green option. Less tiring of course making more room for bier

  • Dear Chris
    Thanks for the interesting blog. We had a wonderful day as we can see on the photos. You were successful coming back to Egg, I could not find a room in Bregenz, so I went on to Feldkirch, by the way the lovelier city. I hope you enjoy your time in Austria, excuse me, in Vorarlberg of course, and I look forward to your experiences in Spain.
    Best wishes Herbert

  • Dear Chris,
    You are healthy back after your incredible year, and we are on holidays in Perth, WA! We stay with friends in Perth, go on for a campingtour to the south west and are back in Perth on Oct 14th. Perhaps there is a possibilitiy toe meet you. Now we are in Bayswat, nest week in city beach.
    Hope to see you, best wishes Herbert

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