We flew back to Sydney yesterday. We arrived in Zurich at the beginning of March for what was supposed to be a 2 1/2 month trip. 5 1/2 month laters we're back. I finished work on the 3rd August and we then went on a small cycle tour from the Bodensee to Salzburg.
On Saturday we left our serviced apartment with our bikes and small backpacks and rode to the Zurich Hauptbahnhof - that's the main train station. Our previous cycle tours have been on mountain bikes with slicks and racks with our gear in panniers. For this trip we had road bikes and so we're carrying clothes on our backs. An interesting experiment for us.
For Dear Reader's birthday I had selected a cycle tour book from the German "Bikeline" series that was around the right length for 10 days and we'd decided to start with that. It was the "Bodensee Koenigsee" ride. That's Lake Constance to a lake in Germany about 20 km from Salzburg.
Our first challenge was to get to the Bodensee. We really wanted to get to Lindau but on inquiring at the train station, because it was Saturday in the holiday season - August all the bike reservations on the direct trains were taken. Instead we caught the train to Romanshorn which has a bike carriage - childrens playground on the top level and half the carriage for bikes on the bottom level. From Romanshorn we caught ferry across the Bodensee to Friedrichshaven. Then we rode about 20km around the lake to Lindau and the start of the ride.
A friend at work in Switzerland had described riding on the Bodensee Rundweg (the path around the Bodensee) once - saying that you needed to book a slot to fit in. There were so many people riding this route it was unbelievable. Some people were out for day trips - others were riding with massive panniers and giant tents and sleeping bags on the back. Groups of friends and solo riders. Old and young. When passing through some villages there were more cyclists than anyone else. Even after being in Switzerland - it was a lot of bikes.
More exciting tails to come :-)