Rhine Cycle Route – Day 5 – Lindau to Meersburg

The sunshine returned at dawn. Awesome.

Thanks to the involuntary kilometres completed the day before we knew the day’s ride would be a short one. No matter. The extra time would be well spent poking around little shops and eating chocolate.

After an awesome breakfast at the hotel we returned to our bikes to find them in a sorrowful state. Dirt and grit everywhere! Riding in the rain sure has a way of helping grit find its way into every nook and cranny on a bike. Hoping to nurse some liveliness back into our machines we spent our first fifteen minutes checking everything over and cleaning and lubing our chains.

Leaving the hotel we headed straight downhill to rejoin the water’s edge and the route, stopping only briefly so that #1 could mail his box of LPs home. Back at the shore, we rode right out onto the island that is accessible by bridge from Lindau’s shoreline. Beautifully developed, this island is home to numerous shops and market places. Very worth the visit. A highlight of the stop: The stunning ceiling and courtyard of Münster Unserer Lieben Frau:

A town square with a fountain at its centre.
The lovely town square that sits immediately in front of Münster Unserer Lieben Frau. Lindau, Germany – May 8, 2014.
A beautifully painted church interior with a vast painting on the ceiling taken at Münster Unserer Lieben Frau in Lindau, Germany.
My best attempt at photographing the beauty to be found within Münster Unserer Lieben Frau. A pocket camera really has no hope of doing it justice. Worth the stop. Lindau, Germany – May 8, 2014.

Leaving the island and Lindau itself, the route began to climb slightly back into the hills as we wound through small towns bordering the lake. It was a beautiful day and spirits were high. Having done another 10 kilometres or so, we stop again to eat cheese and sausage before continuing.

The scenery on that part of the ride was very good. Lots of vineyards and farms. Absolutely perfect for riding, and after just a few more small towns, Friedrichschafen came into view.

Though a city of reasonable size, the route skirts nicely through Friedrichschafen by mostly adhering to a bike route that follows near the water’s edge. Distance was covered very quickly, and before long we found ourselves in front of the Zeppelin Museum.

Among other things, Friedrichschafen is known for being the location Ferdinand von Zeppelin established his factory to produce Zeppelin airships. The museum contains a great collection of exhibits and stories about the Zeppelin company and Germany’s contributions to airship technology. It’s a very interesting place and a must stop for anyone interested in aeronautics.

A wide shot of the white exterior of the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichschafen, Germany.
A snapshot of the exterior of the Zeppelin Museum in Friedrichschafen, Germany. This small museum is right on the Rhine route and is worth a stop for anyone interested in flight. Many interesting items and stories within. Friedrichschafen, Germany – May 8, 2014.

Thank goodness we had a short day of riding, because we spent far longer in the Zeppelin museum than planned.

Back on the bikes, the route continued to track within sight of the water as it wound through the remainder of Friedrichschafen and back into the countryside.

More vineyard, more small climbs, more stops for snacks. I was loving the scenery. And importantly, I was falling more and more in love with my bike each day. The Surly steel frame was always completely comfortable. Thanks, Surly!

Putting the countryside behind us once more, Meersburg castle popped into view as we coasted down a tree-lined gentle decline into Meersburg. Glancing at my cycle computer, I took note that we had only done just over 50 kilometres; a short day in terms of distance, but filled by all we had seen. Gotta love Europe: So much to see!

Colorful buildings with a large castle in the background in Meersburg, Germany.
A shot from waters edge up into the centre of Meersburg with Burg Meersburg prominently visible. This beautiful castle is still inhabited and a great tour is available. Meersburg is very pretty and the castle is no exception. Meersburg, Germany – May 8, 2014.

The simple fact of the matter is that the Rhine holds such a vast array of treasures that it would be impossible to ride this route too slowly. At no point on our trip did we find ourselves wanting for more things to see. The distance covered on Day 5 could have been easily dispatched in two hours of leisurely riding, but it took us all day. When I go back, I think I’ll ride the route even slower.

Meersburg, for the record, is a beautiful town, like many others that we saw. Home to a still inhabited and well-maintained castle, this touristy medieval town is home to many cute streets and great food.

Colorful buildings lining a quiet pedestrian street in Meersburg, Germany.
A quick snapshot of a typical street in Meersburg, Germany. Slightly touristy, this small German town is bursting with character and charm. We greatly enjoyed walking these streets, and a restaurant here served what was easily among the top 3 best meals we had on the trip. A perfect place for an overnight halt. Meersburg, Germany – May 8, 2014.
A wide shot looking out of a large lake with a decorative tree in the foreground taken in Meersburg, Germany.
A view out into Lake Constance from the water’s edge in Meersburg. This turned out to be a great place to watch the sunset and catch a few quiet moments before dinner. The entire town and the views of the surrounding area are all very scenic. Meersburg, Germany – May 8, 2014.

I knew were were going to love Germany, but at that moment we were also excited to start the next day which would see us take a ferry across the lake to ride on Swiss soil for a few more days. Perfect. I was missing those cow bells.

Day’s stats

Distance ridden: 51.2km
max speed: 39.2 km/h
Average speed: 17.7 km/h
Seat time: 2:53
Total distance: 313km

4 thoughts on “Rhine Cycle Route – Day 5 – Lindau to Meersburg”

  1. Thanks for taking the time to write these posts. They are very encouraging. We are making the same trip this September. I really like comments on the logistics. It’s good to know that putting your bike together at the airport is possible. It would be nice to know more about your accommodations. Thanks.

    1. No problem.

      I’ll be adding more soon. I have a lot of notes, but haven’t had the desired time to type them all up.

      1. I’m glad to hear that you are alive and kicking. We are leaving for our trip in September and are questioning the sanity of riding half way across Europe. I’m sure you can relate. Did you make reservations for the Alps section? Did you stay in hostels or hotels? Thanks!

        1. We only pre-booked our accommodation for our first two stops, Andermatt and Disentis, our rest stop, Strasbourg, and our pack-up day in Rotterdam. The rest of the time we just stayed wherever we could. We stayed in hotels and bed and breakfasts, focusing on smaller places where possible.

          Don’t question your sanity. It’s a wonderful experience.

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