03 Jan Constance Lake: a German natural spot
Image visiting three different countries in only one day! It’s possible on Lake Constance. Called ‘The Bodensee’ in German, the lake laps at the shores of Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. Visitors have several options when exploring this area – by scenic car ride, on a relaxing cruise via ferry boat, or to really experience the area’s personality – ride the bicycle trail, stopping at each and every charming village on the route. Whatever mode of transportation is preferred, the visitor will be enchanted by the history, the atmosphere, and the breathtaking views of the snow-capped Alps.
On the Austrian side, the town of Bregenz offers tall gothic towers, onion-shaped cupolas, and castle ruins at the very top of a mountain. One wonders if the residents of this town look out of their windows and stare in awe at the sheer magnificence they live and work in each and every day. Or does the landscape become a mere backdrop – no longer overwhelming them with a deep love of the natural beauty?
On the Swiss side of the lake, Romanshorn mixes the traditional with the contemporary. It, too has adorable half-timbered houses but it also contrasts these with its modern port and many modern tourist attractions. Minigolf, swimming pools, and playgrounds give the visitor a relaxing break from the area’s history…yet still remains grounded in a time past.
There are many more little towns and larger cities along the banks of this tranquil lake, however it’s the small island of Mainau that should not be missed. No one lives on this little seven kilometer long piece of land surrounded by the waters except a count and his family, yet it feels like a secret garden of sorts. Nicknamed ‘the garden island’, Mainau bursts with almost every type of plant life imaginable. From common flowers to tropical trees, each species thrives in the unusually warm climate the island experiences. The little island is an easy ferry ride from any of the ports along the lake – a ride effortlessly enjoyed with a warm cup of cappuccino or hot chocolate.