Bicycle Tour Posted by on Aug 17, 2010 in Culture, Holidays

Some months ago I posted an article about Lake Constance (Bodensee), the biggest See (lake) in Germany. Maybe some of you remember. Due to my long summer holidays, now I had the chance to experience the lake another way as gewöhnlich (usual): Spontaneously my wife and I decided to circle the lake by bike! So about a week ago we packed our bike trailer (that is usually for kids) with a Zelt (tent) and camping stuff and went to Friedrichshafen which is situated on the northern Ufer (shore) of the lake.

We decided to circle the lake im Uhrzeigersinn (clockwise) so first we headed east through some nice villages like Langenargen, Kressbronn and Wasserburg. In the background there was always the beautiful scenery of the Austrian Alpen (alps) and despite the horrible summer this year, the sun was shining and put a Lächeln (smile) on our faces. Some kilometers after we passed the beautiful city of Lindau, that has a nice and historic city center situated on an Insel (island) on Lake Constance, we reached the border of Austria and the city of Bregenz. Bregenz is famous for its theater, music and art festivals and its stage that is build on the lake.  It could even be seen in the James Bond Movie “Quantum of solace”. We didn´t start früh (early) this day and our physical shape was not the best, so after approximately 45 km we decided to camp in Bregenz and enjoy the warm evening  with pizza and beer. Good plan! 😉

The second day was still sunny and after packing our equipment we continued to cycle…though our booties were already hurting. After erreichen (reaching) the most eastern point of the lake, we turned west and passed through the delta of the Rhine. The landscape was full of Schilf (reed) and Vögel (birds). And only every once in a while you could see the actual lake.

The mountains in our back were getting a little bit lower and suddenly, without noticing, we reached the first city in Switzerland. So in fact we passed an invisible Grenze (border). It was quite similar in Austria by the way. The funny thing about this is, that immediately after you change countries, people sound completely different. They all speak German but in totally different accents. Also street signs and architecture change with the boarders and though it is one lake and one region, it feels pretty international. In Switzerland you even have a different Währung (currency). After 65 km we were done and by chance we passed a farm where it was allowed to some people to camp on a meadow close to their yard. We passed a beautiful evening cooking spaghetti…but during the night it started to regnen (rain).

The morning was grey and cold. Right after packing our tent it started to rain cats and dogs. So it was not enjoyable to start cycling. Anyway we did… After a few kilometers I noticed that my rain clothes didn´t work but fortunately we passed the city of Constance after a while and I could get some new Hosen (trousers) and a rain coat.

From that moment on, I didn´t really care about the weather anymore because I was trocken (dry) again. Later that day we passed Stein am Rhein, the most western point of the lake and because of the geographical situation the way was a little more up and down like the days before. And due to the trailer behind me it wasn´t fun though the landscape was extraordinary and very calm. Again after approximately 60 km, we decided to rest and stay for the Nacht (night) on a campsite close to Radolfzell. I forgot to mention that we already passed the German border again!

The next day we cheated a little by taking a boat on the Überlinger Lake which is the northern tail of Lake Constance. The way seemed to be very steil (steep) so we decided to let this small part out. This way we missed about 30 or 40 km but in the end it was a good Entscheidung (decision). Muscle ache, rainy weather and the Anhänger (trailer) didn´t encourage us to carry on through the mountains. And Lake Constance by boat is very enjoyable as well 🙂

On the last day we had only 15 km to go and after 250 km of cycling and camping we reached Friedrichshafen again. Now we really know almost every place around the lake and see it with different eyes. What a beautiful trip!

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About the Author: jan

My name is Jan and I live in the south west of Germany. My profession is being a project manager at a company that creates digital media (first of all internet related things). This is my job since over a decade so I´m quite familiar with the web and its tools. Whereat today almost every school kid does. But that´s one of the main reasons why nowadays there are quasi no more limits in the internet and so it can be used for all imaginable types of things. For example learning languages! And that´s where we are at the moment. I first got in touch with Transparent Language when my family and I used to live in France a couple of years ago. I just had a break from work and by coincidence I produced some cultural videos in French. A few months later the whole blogging thing came up and I was lucky to be a part of it. So now my (second) job is to feed you with information, exercises, vocabulary, grammar and stories about Germany and German language. For being a passionate videographer I´m trying to do this more and more by videos. If you have any wishes or needs of topics that should be treated here, please don´t hesitate to contact me via a comment field. I´m open to your suggestions (as long as they are not too individual) and will try to satisfy your needs.


  1. tomas:

    Nice blog Jan. I was around half of the Bodensee last October. It was my parents 50th anniversary so we went to where my mother grew up just northeast of the Bodensee. After a visit there we drove to Friedrichshafen and then drove on the north side of the lake then headed to Villingen to see more family. Your pictures, or moreso the weather in your pictures, look a lot better than mine did. Last October was cold and dreary most days.

  2. cvnunavik:

    Are you sure about BOARDER for Grenze ????
    Keepup the good work…Claude

  3. Colin Rees:

    Loved this description of the journey. Despite some rain, it sounded a magic journey. Thank you for sharing it. Colin

  4. John Morgan:

    Hi, Jan!
    Thanks for the interesting emails that you have been sending.
    I did get an “O” level pass in German in 1979, and I find the translations that you enter into these emails are very helpful.
    However, (and I am sure you won’t mind), can I point out that the word you are using for “Grenze” in English is border, and not boarder!
    A boarder is a tenant in someone’s house.
    Good luck!

  5. jan:

    Hi everybody and thanks for your comments! of course it is “border”…sorry for the mistake! stay tuned!

  6. Hazem Khalaf:

    I envy you………..nice journey Jan .. I wish if I could be there with you…

    Good Luck !!