Hagnau to Uberlingen and back….. on a bike!

Yesterday’s sunshine continued so we stayed on at Hagnau and decided bike hire was a good idea for travelling the 7 miles to Pfahlbauten (Pile Dwellings Museum) at Unteruhldingen.

Kim and Ken opted for e-bikes – Ken had a good excuse with his bad back, Kim just dislikes hills.

John was most impressed with how the cycle hire shop organised their workbench and tools.

As we set off the owner told us to enjoy our trip as after Brexit we were unlikely to be able to return!

We managed 3 miles into Meersburg before a coffee stop was deemed necessary.

Kim was all set to stay there, when it was pointed out that she had proposed the museum. As we left the owner of the Cafe came running after us, although Ken had asked for the bill he’d forgotten to actually pay it!

Cycle routes around this part of the Bodensee are reasonably flat, wide and well signposted, they meander through pretty lakeside villages with a mixture of older established properties and crisp modern houses most with a view over the lake.

Pile dwellings on the Bodensee date back to Stone and Bronze Age times. Over 100 settlements have been discovered around the lake and the museum recreates 23 houses from 4000-800 BC.

These early farmers, who settled by the lake, often built their shelter in the water possibly for easy access to fishing and protection from wild animals.

Houses were built on stilts, which were driven 2-3m into the silt – all without the help of a JCB.

These settlements are quite astonishing when you consider how few tools were available. They also had fantastic views across the lake and would command quite a price these days.

UNESCO has declared 111 Prehistoric Pile Dwelling Settlements as part of the World Cultural Heritage of Mankind. 11 of them can be found on Lake Constance.

It was well worth the visit and we were obviously slightly lightheaded when we decided to cycle another 5 miles on to Uberlingen. It was another pretty German town with glorious views.

One thing we haven’t mentioned before are the painted trees.

We saw painted fruit trees in Italy and google told us that it’s chalk, often mixed with latex, to deter ants and boring insects. That’s insects that make holes rather than dull, dreary insects!

The fountain in Uberlingen famously depicts a 16th legend and was sculpted by Peter Lens. We were more interested in the young boy playing with the water and wondering at what point he’d fall in.

As we cycled back, the weather changed. Skies darkened, the calm lake became agitated and the wind became stronger. Beautiful Cherry blossom was blown from trees onto the ground creating pink paths.

Our cycle hire shop was a 700m climb up a steep hill which after cycling 25 miles was hard work. Kim however was suitably smug being able to cycle all the way thanks to the assistance of the e-bike, normally she would get off and push!

The Bodensee area where we are stopping is well known for fine wines and any spare piece of ground no matter how small is covered in well tended vines. John decided to visit the Hagnauer vineyard on the way back. The rest of us didn’t appreciate it was a free wine tasting and headed straight back to the campsite for a cuppa!

Rain has set in so it was a case of dining in this evening. Another banquet using up left over food found in the fridge.

Tomorrow we are off to France.

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