Rhine Cycle Route – Day 6 – Meersburg to Flurlingen

Morning. Meersburg. A great place to wake up.

Straight away we power down the hotel breakfast and leave the bikes at the hotel to run into town to do a tour of Burg Meersburg. This lovely castle is still inhabited and is accessible by a paid tour. Not sure how much of the castle we would get to see, we bought tickets and were not sorry that we had. The tour took more than an hour to complete and gave us a good taste of the many regions within the castle walls. Highly enjoyable.

A snapshot of a well maintained castle with a huge tree in the foreground. Meersburg, Germany.
The beautiful exterior of Burg Meersburg. This castle, still inhabited, has been very well maintained and a large portion of it is viewable on a tour. Worth a visit. Meersburg, Germany – May 9, 2014.
A long hallway with a long table running down it. Light from outside beams in from the left. Walls made of stone. Photo taken inside Burg Meersburg in Meersburg, Germany.
One of the dining halls in Burg Meersburg, ideally located to allow for lots of natural light. And yes, that is a goblet made out of an animal’s foot on the table. Meersburg, Germany – May 9, 2014.

Returning to the hotel, we wasted no time in gathering up our bikes and quickly rolling into town to catch the morning market. Several vendors had set up shop allowing us to procure some more fruit, meats and vegetables. Street markets are a cyclists best friend because they enable the quick purchase of much needed sustenance. Thanks to the local high standards, the food we purchased at street market was always top quality and reasonably priced. Buying at such vendors from your bike seat is far easier than finding a place to lock up and heading inside a larger store (which are few and far between anyway).

A van with a wide array of fruit, eggs, and vegetables laid out for market in Meersburg, Germany.
A snapshot of one of the many vendors that arrived in Meersburg in time for morning shopping. Markets like this were a common scene in many of the towns we visited, and the quality of the goods they sold was always top notch. A great deal of our food came from places exactly like this. Some fruit, veggies, cheese and cured meats are perfect out on the road and keep well within a pannier. Meersburg, Germany – May 9, 2014.

Our food restocked, we rolled down the steep slope that leads away from the centre of Meersburg and located the ferry slip at the water’s edge. As Lake Constance is so large, the ferry crosses from Meersburg to the town of Konstanz. Though it would be possible to ride around the north end of the lake through Bavaria, this would almost certainly add an extra day of travel and is not part of the posted route. Perhaps I’ll try that on another trip. The ferry costs only a few dollars to take and the journey across takes mere minutes.

A large truck driving off a ferry with the lake in the background.
Waiting to board the ferry in Meersburg that would carry us to the city of Konstanz. Officially part of the route, taking the ferry negates the need to ride through Bavaria all the way around the north end of Lake Constance. Choosing not to take the ferry would likely add about a day of riding. Alternatively, it is possible to ride on the Swiss side of the lake and therefore avoid the need to take the ferry at all. This route, however, would not allow a visit to Meersburg, Friedrichshafen and the many other great towns that dot the Bavarian side of the lake. Meersburg, Germany – May 9, 2014.

Rolling onto the ferry, we note that the wind is starting to pick up; wind that would stay with us for the rest of the day.

Arriving in Konstanz, we pedaled in a surge of traffic up a hill away from the ferry slip. Nothing gets the blood pumping like a few dozen cars eager to disembark the ferry behind you. Riding uphill for a short distance, the route then turns slightly and gently descends into the heart of the altstadt (old city) of Konstanz. Though easy to ride directly through, this area is worth stopping in to see the architecture and take some pictures. The cathedral in particular is worth a look as it contains some highly intricate stonework throughout. This cathedral was unique among the others that we saw as it also allowed for limited access to the basement level which was fun to see.

Leaving the old centre of Konstanz, the route loosely followed the shoreline and railway as it plunged back into Switzerland. Back in Switzerland, the route turned sharply west and began again to wind back to the edge of the lake as it slowly narrowed back into the Rhine. Farmland slowly began to be a frequent scene again as we rode in the wind through several small Swiss towns.

Cows feeding in a small roadside field in Switzerland.
Swiss cows happily jingling their neck bells at a small farm we stopped at to buy snacks. A frequent sight in the early stages of the Rhine, cows like these fill the valley with the sounds from their neck bells. I never tired of it. The Swiss farmland was my favourite place to ride of the entire trip. Steckborn, Switzerland – May 9, 2014.
Farmland with a small town visible in the distance. Green grass flowers visible in all directions.
Swiss farmland with the town of Eschenz, Switzerland in the distance. This section of the route loosely follows the Rhine as it hops from town to town through the gentle rolling hills. Very enjoyable riding. Near Eschenz, Switzerland – May 9, 2014.

After some time, and several snack stops, we found ourselves in the town of Stein am Rhein admiring the beautifully painted buildings that line the main market street. Stopping in Stein am Rhein is very much worth the time as the buildings are decorated in such a way that you will not see as much of in any other town. A great place to take pictures, and they have a bike shop.

Buildings with beautifully painted exteriors.
A must see town along the route, Stein am Rhein is home to many buildings that have been decoratively painted similar to the ones shown. This Swiss town is also home to a bike shop and lots of places to buy provisions. A perfect place to pull up for a snack and take some pictures. We met a couple here that were completing the Rhine route with their two sons, aged about 2 and 4 years old. Parenting win! Stein am Rhein, Switzerland – May 9, 2014.

Now on the north side of the Rhine, we rode through more farmland and small towns as the wind continued. The sun shone brightly and it was otherwise a very nice day, so the wind didn’t have a negative affect on the day’s mood.

Coming away from some fields, the route turned to gravel as we ascended gently into a gorgeous forest. Our first real opportunity to ride in a thick wood, this section of the trail was a real treat and seemed to end all too soon.

A gravel road leading through large open fields basking in the sunshine.
Swiss farmland very near the Swiss / German border on the north side of the Rhine. Just a few hundred meters ahead, the Rhine river returns to view. Though rare, certain sections of the bike route do require riding on gravel roads, but this is largely uncommon and wasn’t at all unpleasant. The scenery is so spectacular, you won’t be focusing on what’s under your tires. A few kilometres outside Hemishofen, Switzerland – May 9, 2014.

Emerging on the other side, we soon found ourselves across from the town of Diessenhoffen. With daylight starting to fade, we opted not to stop and pressed on just past Schaffhausen to spend the night in Flurlingen. Weary from the wind, we ate at the hotel (which was delicious) and had an early night agreeing to backtrack a few minutes on the morrow to see Schaffhausen properly.

A small Swiss town as viewed from across the river. A covered bridge is also visible downstream.
The town of Diessenhofen, Switzerland and its covered bridge photographed from the German side of the Rhine. We weren’t able to stop here, but it looked like a very nice place to visit. I’ll make a point to stop there next time. The pathway is typical of much of the Rhine route; off street and well maintained. Diessenhofen, Switzerland- May 9, 2014.

Day’s Stats

Distance ridden: 59.09 km
Max speed: 40.9 km/h
Average speed: 16.3 km/h
Seat time: 3:36
Total distance: 425 km

2 thoughts on “Rhine Cycle Route – Day 6 – Meersburg to Flurlingen”

  1. I see nobody else has commented on this page and i just wanted to let you know there were folks out here appreciating your message in a bottle. We leave to do some parts of this ride next month so i’m getting psyched up. We’re camping!

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