Cycle Tour Tour in the Alps 2013
Dag 12: Bregenz - Lindau
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Added on 25 Aug 2013
on 31 Aug 2020
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by Ottocolor on 18 Nov 2013
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Bregenz, Vorarlberg, AT (397 m NHN)
Lindau (Bodensee), Bayern, DE (400 m NHN)
10 Aug 2013
The sun is back! The whole day and perfectly shining, because lovely warm, but not hot.
Park-Camping Lindau am See
DE-88131 Lindau (Bodensee)
Nice tarmaced bike path along Lake Constance all the way to Lindau. Cycled in the traffic in Bregenz.
Sources of information
Kompass cycling- and mountainbikemap no. 3126 Bregenzerwald Vorarlberg Oberstdorf 1:70,000
Very short stage. Thence cycled to and fro on a day trip to Bregenz with a tour by cable car to the mountain of Pfander.
Already in the sleeping bag I sensed that the sun was up and warmed the tent and dried it. After the rain yesterday this was most welcome. A rooster crowed in the garden right next to the tent, so it was impossible to sleep for long. But it did not matter. The first thing I did was to hang all the wet things up, that had not been dried in the dryer yesterday. Not least our shoes. It was crowded on our tiny tent spot in Bregenz. Our tent stood under some large trees, so it was not so easy to find a place in the sun. But it would be even more crowded in Lindau. We did not know that yet, though. Before breakfast I went down to the lake to take me a morning swim. It was an enchanting splashing around in the warm waters of the big lake. The bottom was a little swampy, but it didn't mind. We bought our breakfast in the small camp store and consumed it in the sun behind the store. Actually, I had planned to leave the tent standing here in Bregenz and then go into town to make a trip up the mountain of Pfänder by cable car and then back to pick up the tent and cycle the short stage, only 6 km to Lindau. Here Simon suggested that we packed up here and first cycled to Lindau and then made a day trip to Bregenz. It sounded really good, because the distances were so short, so it could easily be done. So was the deal. An ekstra plus it later turned out to be, was that we could find a place for our tent in Lindau. Later it got very cramped on the campsite there. So after breakfast we packed the tent and our panniers together and rolled slowly on the bike path along the lake shore to Bregenz. On the way we came back past the lake scene where we had been last night. I was hoping we could get in and see the scene and the whole scene structure to the spectacle that they had on the program this summer, namely Mozart's Magic Flute. And happily it was easily accessible. So we sat in the stands in the open air and looked over the scene, which was out in the lake. The structure consisted of giant mythical creatures and the floor was a giant turtle, the shield could open up. Very monstrous and fanciful. The Magic Flute's a fairytale, so some artistic freedom is quite appropriate. But the role of the colossal big dogs of papier mache (?) In red and black, I could not guess. Although I know the opera's action quite well. Luckily signs explained the ideas behind the stage. Much of it went up in sizes, weights and measures, and that seemed a little redundant. But the story could well come to work in the evening when it was dark and the Queen of the Night and Sarastro's kingdom was conquered by Pamino and Papageno. I would of course have liked attend a performance, but Simon does not like opera, and of course it was long since sold out at high prices. And you can not do it all.
Now it was time to ride on. There were many pedestrians on the bike path, especially at the bustling port where the so-called White Fleet, the tour boats on Lake Constance dock. On the other side of the harbour the path followed the railroad on one side and the lake on the other. There was high noon of the seaside life on the beach, which consisted of small pebbles. Then followed some big hotels and bathhouses. Soon we passed the border between Austria and Germany, and then it was only a short way to Lindau campsite. The town itself was five kilometers further on, but we would save it for tomorrow. When we arrived we noticed the crowd on the tarmac. Cars and caravans in a long line, but they were all rejected and sent to Bregenz. Lake Constance is immensely popular in Germany. It is the country's largest lake and a real vacation and leisure time lake famous for sailing and swimming. There are several islands in it, including the flower island of Mainau. In addition, on the shore stand well-kept old towns like Lindau, Konstanz and Friedrichshafen with a zeppelin museum. So attractions abound. But we had only bikes and a tent and were allowed to come in, however vi had to find us a space ourselves. First we cycled down to the lake, hoping we might find a spot on the lake shore like in Schwangau. But here camping was banned because there was a public park. So we returned to the campground and became aware of its playground. Here we could put up our tent, we had been told. And so we did. Right next to the ping pong table and climbing gear for kids on the football pitch. First I sprinkled the lawn with all the wet clothing, we still had a lot of while we pitched the tent. Afterwards we were down by the lake for a swim and lunch. There was a good jetty here, and you could swim out to a small island where it was forbidden to go ashore as it was bird sanctuary. But I still sat on one of the outer stone and enjoyed the view towards the shore. After bathing we were ready to ride off into the Bregenz to take a trip up the local mountain of Pfänder, which I knew, a cable car lead up to. So we biked across the border into Austria again.
The day was perfect for getting a little up in the hills and enjoy the beautiful views of the Alps. Simon and I would part with them tomorrow, and yesterday had not exactly been for enjoying views. So we were looking forward to the ride with the funicular, which station was close to the place where we had watched football last night. It did not take long to cycle in Bregenz, but first, I was once again short of cash, so we went to town to get some. It's not a big town, but the center looks like one of a big city with its many big and posh houses. The town is sandwiched between Lake Constance and the mountain of Pfänder, we were going up now. From the cable car we could see grand villas, huddled up against the hillside. It hovered so close over them, that you could see people sit on roof terraces enjoying the sun. It must be special to live just under a funicular. It was quite empty in the gondola, so not many people had expected such nice weather today. After approx. ten minutes we were up on the large terrace at the cable car's top station. The view was absolutely breathtaking, and I took a lot of pictures, of which the best can be seen above. Below us some deer were grazing, and it was clear there was a zoo up here. Cool, we would have a look at that later. So far, we had an ice cream and just stared. Down on the town of Bregenz with the large Lake Constance in the background. One could clearly see the mouth of the Rhine, which extends far out into the lake by way of some very long dams. This was done to prevent a few fishing villages at the lake shore were cut off from the lake, as the river carried so much material that its mouth into the lake disappeared further and further outwards. At the same time the authorities wanted to cultivate valuable agricultural land, but like so many other places, it turned out to have serious negative consequences for the nature of the river delta and the water quality of Lake Constance. Later they embarked on major restoration projects and shut down a lot of farms. We could see far into Switzerland, which begins at the old Rhine's mouth a little further to the west. There was also a fine view into Austria, where we had come cycling in the rain yesterday. The mountains in the foreground were not high. Forest, Bregenzerwald it is called, was absolutely dominant in the picture but the high snowy peaks were farther south and east. After standing a long time and enjoying the view we now fancied a closer look at the animal park. It was a nice surprise, because here we saw many of the species that belong here in the Alps. The capricorn was most impressing with its long horns. You could just walk around without paying an entrance fee, and at each of the large enclosures there were explanations about the animals just like in a zoo. The only place they demanded an entrance fee was for the eagles show, but we had missed that. Instead, we got close to the red deer, which were the animals that had the most space. They had lost all shyness and seemed completely unaffected by the crowd. The last cage, we came by, was where the woodchucks lived. They were a little hard to spot, even if a marmot fills well. It seems quite overweight true. Yet they were hard to photograph. Each time I thouht one of them could be shot by my camera, it slipped away. So the photo is, as it were. Simon knew the animal as the famous 'ground hog', the animal which in the United States determines how long the winter lasts, when Punxsutawney Phil on 'ground hog day', 2 February, comes out of his cave. Can he see its own shadow, he predicts six more weeks of winter. He tends to be right... But now it was summer, and this vibrant woodchuck hopefully predicted a long and hot end of it. After the tour through the zoo, it was time for a coffee/hot chocolate break on the terrace. I also bought a few postcards that I would write and throw in the mailbox. It had to be today if they were to be home before ourselves. After the coffee break I wanted to go up on the very top of the Pfänder while Simon stayed down on the terrace. It was only a small walk up a flight of stairs, just to say I've been on the top. The view was still not better from up there, which holds a radio station with a high antenna on the roof. When I came down, Simon was keen to get down as quickly as possible, while I was thinking of staying a little longer in order to to write postcards. We made a compromise where I waited with my postcards and only looked at a large bronze panorama, where you could see what all the mountains and other points of view were called. I like place names, although I never remember much of that stuff. But shortly after we lined up for a place in a gondola for the way down to Bregenz. Now it was quite crammed in the waiting hall and afterwards in the gondola. It had been a perfect outing for Simon and me.
Upon arrival at the bottom, we took leave of each other for just a few hours. It was becoming a regular feature on the rest days that Simon and I wanted to be ourselves a little while. Simon wanted to go home to the tent and lie down and read while I would like to see a little more. In this case I wanted to to write the postcards I had bought on Pfänder, and I found a small kiosk where I bought a pen and where I could stand at a table writing. Finally i smacked on the stamps and then I had to find a mailbox here in Austria, that is before I cycled across the border to Austria. The man in the kiosk said that there was a mailbox down by the harbour. Fine, then I might look at it too. Here there were lots of people, as one of the excursion boats had just docked. When the people were gone, I figured to spot the mailbox, but I found it only on the other side of the road. There stood the general post office, so that was done.
When I arrived at the campsite in Lindau, Simon already had started to cook in the open camp kitchen in the middle of the site. This was most welcome. He had procured coins to get gas and had found two satchets of soup from our food storage in the front panniers. There were many people in the kitchen, of course, as the camp site totally stuffed. This also applied to the playground where our tent stood. It was one big chaos of tents and guy ropes. People sat cooking on open gas cookers, while children were playing around and were in constant danger of tripping over the guy ropes. As the tents stood very close, I was worried for a fire accident. I wondered going up to the reception desk to complain that the tents were allowed to stand so close. But then we probably we ourselves were been asked to move, and I did not fancy that. And one one hand it was nice of camping daddy to give as many as possible a chance to to find a spot for their tent, but you can also see it as greed. Just let the tourists pay for each spot of grass. And I wonder what the fire department had said to the jumble in the playground. It was irresponsible.
So far we just stayed away from the tentsite, bought drinks in the store and carried our food to the TV room where we ate with great appetite. Afterwards we walked down to the lake, and what a beautiful evening it was down there. There was a small bar on the beautiful seaside pier where we sat on a wall of boulders, and had respectively a wheat beer and a large ice cream. Ah, now we really relaxed as darkness fell. There were a lot of people down here, but it was still cozy and calm. I took some pictures of the lake, where the moon was coming up and illuminated excursion boats were seen on the lake surface. The town of Lindau with its harbor lighthouse also called over to us. Now it was our last night of our cycling holiday. Tomorrow night we would be on our way home. In a car. So had better enjoy freedom now. And we did. Just until we wanted to watch the sports studio from ZDF (German second channel) in the campsite TV room. There were also many others up there, and some wanted to watch a different channel, so we found a board game instead. It was called Thurn und Taxis and was about the south German noble family that had invented post- carriages or stagecoaches, and the objection fo the game was therefore to arrange postal routes between southern German and Austrian cities. Just right for Simon and me, and we played a long time until it was very late. I thought we were the last people in the very large TV room, so I turned off the TV before we went. But a man was still watching completely at the back of the room. He was very angry that I kind of turned off his program, and it was a little embarrassing. But I had not expected anybody in the room. Down at the crowded tent site everything had f ortunately calmed down. Without any accident. And thanks for that.