We were in Bregenz, Austria. The starting point for our two hundred kilometer bike ride the next day. It’s not hard to find a quaint pub. There’s not an abundance of English spoken, so it was time to draw on my German linguistic skills. Traveling around different countries, I like to think of myself as a bit of a multi linguist. Emphasis on “think” however.
Using my German, I ordered a beer and red wine. Pretty impressive I thought as the waitress promptly set off to prepare the drinks. Even my partner commented at how my language ability was so easily understood. That all suddenly changed unfortunately.
Maybe it was the Aussie accent, but what was supposed to be a red wine and a beer, served up were two beers. I explained the misunderstanding. “Oh” the waitress said, “I’ll have to cancel the meal” as out came to Austrian Shwarzbrot sausage meals. All this from just wanting a red wine and a beer! I didn’t complain about having two beers. Bron eventually got the red wine along with our unanticipated two serves of an Austrian equivalent of a couple snags with a dose of sauerkraut thrown in. All making for an enjoyable dining experience!
The next day was set with beautiful sunshine. At least Switzerland shares this touch of beauty with its neighbouring countries… Lake Constance. Undoubtedly the best way to experience its two hundred kilometers plus, is to cycle it.
Riding through mostly flat terrain in and out of some of the best of Austria, Germany and Switzerland. In addition to meandering through medieval style towns, local festivals and music provides a truly memorable cultural experience.
It’s a must do. If you’ve at least ridden a bike sometime in your life, you’re good to go. It’s actually about 260km following the full ins and outs of the lake. But don’t be put off. You are not alone. There’s more electric bikes circumnavigating this delightful experience than normal bikes. Choose what suits. I peddled a normal bike. My partner, who’d really only last rode when their kids were little around their local river, took an electric bike. Though keep in mind you still have to turn the peddles. That way, after each half day’s ride, you can feel completely justified enjoying the rest of the afternoon sipping on an aperol spritz, beer or wine and of course pickings from the local cuisine such as yummy apple strudel.
Normally there’s no need to book accommodation ahead. Just use a booking app to book as you go. After all you may like a place too much to move on in a hurry. If accommodation at reasonable prices is tight, just take a short train trip away from the lake to pick up cheaper accommodation with the bonus of a cruisy downhill ride back in the morning.
If you plan the visit for a week you can allow a couple days grace should the weather be off. No fun riding in the rain.
How would you like to enjoy this experience but not sure how to get started? I’ve enjoyed this experience twice now. I’d be keen to do it again and organize an independent style travel group for later in 2020 if there’s sufficient interest.
A warning though. You will be left with a sore bum. But that will certainly be overshadowed by the memorable experience of five days of fresh air, healthy activity, fantastic scenery, great food and wine, and good company. If you’re interested to explore this as your next exciting holiday experience, leave a comment or send a message.
An experience like no other. Cycling around Lake Constance through local music festivals and magnificent scenery…
Steeped in history, one of the features of the bike tour, staying in the same hotel where Napoleon Bonaparte set up his base in the late 1700’s with his French war campaign against the Russians…
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3 comments On A Taste of Europe on Two Wheels
Hi Chris and Bron
You are in a lovely area, Ang and I spent some time in Lake Constance with our German friends who live there.
Unlike you two we traveled by car and experienced no bum soreness. Would agree with you regarding the friendly people great bars and accommodation everywhere.
Stay safe and travel well
Glad to hear Les and Ang you also both enjoyed your time here. A lovely part of the world. But, no sore bum… did you paddle around the lake?!
Don’t know about paddling in the lake I may have piddled in the lake after a few German pints!!!
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