From Austria to Germany

As we left site today we noticed this German camper van demonstrating how it should be done, spotlessly clean with full-width awning and ground cover, bikes carefully positioned one side and a barbecue the other. They even have a beer crate for empty bottles.

Only 150 miles covered today and we managed to make it last 7 hours. John was determined to enjoy the drive by avoiding motorways. We did and the drive would have been even more stunning if the skies had cleared.

It started with Google taking us an unexpected route out of Natterer See, we thought there was only one way in and out so this was a surprise.

We followed the D171 Tiroler Straße through pretty Tyrolean villages and past the Stams ski jump.

Followed by the D189 which was fine other than rocks the size of footballs started rolling down the hillside into the road. Luckily we were able to avoid them but it was rather a shock.

Elevenses was at a remote mountain top restaurant in Biberwier, overlooking Blindsee, where a cup of tea was eyewateringly expensive. There was a chance for an atmospheric photo though

Past Ehrenberg Castle and it’s 400m footbridge suspended across the gorge. The footbridge was an amazing site as we drove under it and we were too surprised to take a photo, sorry.

We arrived in Friedrichshafen to visit the Zeppelin Museum. We’d failed to do so last year having been spooked by low bridges and unable to find anywhere to park last year’s monster van. No such problem this year with Kim’s new friend, the Campercontact App.

The museum was fascinating, charting airship history from early 18th century with the first powered flight taking place in 1852.

Scale replica models accompanied the history and it was interesting to see how airships were further advanced than aeroplanes of the same era.

Sections of omega shaped aluminium were still being riveted together by hand until the 1990’s although the latest airships now use carbon fibre.

During WW2 the Zeppelin factory was used to produce V-2 rocket propellant tanks resulting in the town of Friedrichshafen being heavily bombed by allied forces. It seemed surreal looking at photographs of damage to the town we had inflicted.

Our next couple of nights are at Hagnau on the Bodensee. Hagnau’s a 15 minute walk along the lakeside and is very pretty. We have high hopes of some sunshine.

More about Lindau

We felt we didn’t do it justice yesterday and, as we’re in a traffic jam trying to get to Friedrichshafen to visit the Zeppelin Museum, we thought we’d give you a bit of history!

The Mangturm, with its colourful roof, dates back to the 12th century and was built as part of the town’s medieval fortifications. It served as lighthouse until 1856 and is currently used for storytelling events.

The harbour is guarded by the Bavarian Lion and the ‘new’ Lighthouse. The harbour used to be owned by Deutsche Bahn before being sold to the town of Konstanz in Baden-Wurttemberg. It was only returned to Bavaria in 2010, after a long dispute. Can you imagine a German row over a harbour?

We’re aiming for Saverne in Alsace, fingers crossed we get there before Reception closes at 5:30. Only 180 miles to go after Friedrichshafen!

A day by the Bodensee and then there were 8

We cycled into Bregenz this morning. It was only 4.5km but some of the signage along the way was a little alarming.

You’ll be relieved to know that we arrived unscathed and headed for the cable car which took us to the top of Mount Pfander. The views were stunning and we were treated to a Zeppelin Air-Ship flying past. Can you spot the sea plane?

We were back down in Bregenz for the 12:30 ferry to Lindau and look who we bumped into as we waited to board.

In typical German style the ferry was looking its best…..

…… and the approach into Lindau harbour was very pretty

We abandoned the bikes, and our friends, and found a little bakerei for lunch and decided it would be the healthy option

Well, apples and apricots were involved so it must be healthy!

We cycled around the island and then back to the campsite and suddenly six became 8. Jacky and Ken’s friends, Sue and John, joined us for the night on their way home to Datchworth from Malaga

The problem with John and Sue arriving was they brought this with them…

At just under 6m long, with everything you would need, we all had motorhome envy. This was shortly followed by bike envy as we all took turns to ride around the campsite on their electric bikes, very impressive – another new experience to add to the list.

Off to Saverne in France tomorrow, the end of the trip is fast approaching. It’s a shame we can’t stay here longer, there’s so much to see and do.

Next stop Germany…

As we prepared to leave the land of magical showers and amazing views, Google Maps gave us an alternative route. Only an extra 35 minutes on our journey and it looked far more interesting than a run up the motorway.

The message on the caravan says it all. Surprisingly no-one else wanted to join us….. some people have no sense of adventure!

We had a fantastic drive through the Austrian Tirol. The roads were a joy, even in a Fiat motorhome, and snow capped mountains kept us company.

Sorry about the quality of photos through the bug splattered windscreen!

We arrived at Lindau am See, on the shore of Bodensee late afternoon with just enough time to rent some bikes and cycle to Lindau Islet.