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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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