A Travellerspoint blog

Lake Konstanz

Could there be a more beautiful place?

Thursday the 24th of July Todtnau - Konstanz

Compared to our neighbors we were late starters (surprise surprise) as when we opened the shutters the car park was empty of trucks and starting to fill up with regular drivers stopping for a fuel or snack.

German Services

German Services

We were delighted to find that our surroundings were utterly gorgeous and immensly picturesque. We were bounded by the most beautiful green pastures and as a trump card, there was the most fabulous playground right at the services. We were all delighted and decided to have breakie on the big picnic tables while the boys played.

large_IMG_0671.jpglarge_IMG_0680.jpg
large_IMG_0673.jpgIMG_0674.jpgIMG_0672.jpgIMG_0670.jpgStory time!

Story time!

270_39D811E3F150B11959047EA2793AFC93.jpg

IMG_0681.jpg

By around 11am we were Konstanz bound and arrived in time for lunch. Jeremy made a brilliant call to exit the motorway and we were rewarded with proximity to the lake, parking by the "Lago (sports) Centre". it was a real buzz to see the lake up close and indeed personal with Jeremy taking a dip followed by lunch on the banks, surrounded by locals which made us feel like locals.

large_IMG_0682.jpgIMG_0689.jpgIMG_0691.jpg

Anohter big milestone for the day was our wedding in one month times - YIKES!!! WE wanted to got out for the occasion so prioritized on quick camping at a Steilplatz just on ther perimeter of the town so that we could enjoy an afternoon and evening in Konstanz.

It was simple but had water and electricity which meant we had all we needed.

IMG_0700.jpgEvery day brings new excitement!

Every day brings new excitement!

IMG_0695.jpg

Happy 18 year anniversary!

Happy 18 year anniversary!

Friday 25th July

Our explorations yesterday afternoon and evening revealed Konstanz to be a stunning town so we spent the morning seeing the sites.

IMG_0711.jpgIMG_0713.jpglarge_270_IMG_0721.jpgIMG_0724.jpgIMG_0729.jpgOur possie

Our possie

After chocka morning we had intended to drive to Lindau but we passed a fabulous looking campground on the edge of the lake and couldn't resist stopping for some down time. We settled into "Campingplatz Schachenhorn" and immediately relaxed into the tranquil, easy surroundings.

Saturday 26th of July

We awoke to the most gorgeous campground which we absorbed as much as we could. It was a stunning setting right on the waters edge and it felt brilliant to be able to mess around in the water without any other destination in mind.

large_IMG_0782.jpglarge_IMG_0780.jpglarge_270_IMG_0751.jpglarge_270_IMG_0748.jpgIMG_0747.jpgIMG_0745.jpgIMG_0742.jpgIMG_0738.jpg90_IMG_0737.jpg

In the evening there was a fantastic concert with a local percussion group. It brought such a wonderful atmosphere and we all loved it.

IMG_0756.jpgIMG_0759.jpg

Sunday 27th of July

Happy birthday to me!! Jeremy made is amazing Pancakes which was the perfect start to the day :-)

large_IMG_0773.jpg
IMG_0774.jpg

We got back on the road and in true celebratory (and perhaps celebrity?) style we decided to spend my birthday in Lindau! For those not familiar with NZ wine, Lindau is our classy drop of fizz. No claims to Champagne but it is delicious all the same and while the town may not be the product of the grapes used in our "local" beverage, we could not miss the chance to visit.

It was a BRILLIANT day spent in a truly awesome spot. Lindau is a traditional Bavarian town, oozing with culture and beauty and atmosphere. We pushed our bikes along the cobbled streets and to the harbour entrance which was guarded by the most AWESOME lion statue - utterly breathtaking.

large_270_IMG_0796.jpglarge_IMG_0793.jpglarge_IMG_0784.jpgIMG_0801.jpg

IMG_0804.jpgIMG_0808.jpglarge_IMG_0811.jpg

After taking in the sights we stopped for cake and fizz, an absolute MUST for a birthday :-) I am not sure if I have ever had Apple Strudel as my birthday cake before but this was most certainly the perfect setting, with bavarian cream OF COURSE! Happy girl :-)

large_IMG_0813.jpgExcited anticipation of cake!

Excited anticipation of cake!

IMG_0817.jpg

Posted by bywaterbyland 02:08 Archived in Germany Comments (1)

Wash it all out with a friggen awesome wasserfall!

FINALLY on the morning of the 23rd we were told that Maddy was all fixed with a brand new computer and that we could get on the road once more. OH THE RELIEF!!! We decided to celebrate our reuinion by visiting one of Germany's "hochter naturwasserfalls" in Todtnau.

large_IMG_0576.jpgIMG_0577.jpgIMG_0581.jpglarge_270_IMG_0591.jpgIMG_0592.jpgIMG_0593.jpg

It was an absolutely incredible experience, coming from New Zealand we have seen some pretty awesome falls but this one was utterly awesome. It came down such a HUGE distance and the sound of the pouding water was literally deafening. The sheer power of nature was pretty scary and totally humbling. If we look like we are happy in these pics it is because we really were. SUCH a relief to be back on the road with our wonderful Maddy.

large_IMG_0600.jpglarge_IMG_0609.jpgIMG_0615.jpgIMG_0619.jpglarge_IMG_0623.jpgIMG_0628.jpglarge_270_IMG_0630.jpgIMG_0639.jpg

After another late getaway we got the boys ready for bed on the road and headed toward late Konstanz. We were both pretty shattered so tried our chances at a rest stop called "Rasthaus Im Hegau". In an odd way it was kind of thrilling a) becuase it was free and b) because we despite a very scenic trip here, nightime had long fallen so we had no idea what scenes surrounded us. Our rest stop was literally a services area similar to those in the UK but much cleaner, nicer and better equipped with showers, food and drink 24/7 and, as I learned from chatting to a trucky, a regular and enjoyed spot for him and many of his colleagues hauling goods for many many miles each day. By the time we were ready for bed we were surrounded by huge, pimped up trucks and for that night we felt part of their community.

Posted by bywaterbyland 02:06 Archived in Germany Comments (1)

A change in plan - Hello Freiburg!

Sickness for Mylo and Maddy

Since Mehring, some suspicious spots had been plaguing Mylo and by the time we left Triberg the spots had multiplied significantly and we suspected that he had come down with Chicken Pox. We wanted to get him to a Dr as soon as possible, particularly becuase a spot had emerged in his eye which we were both very concerned about. Being in the middle of the Black Forest is not the most ideal of places to be when you need medical attention and after a trip to a local town to seek out a Dr proved fruitless we trekked on to the city of Frieberg. A visit to a foreign A&E dep was not on our bucket list but we were relived that Mylo could be seen and even more relieved to hear that while he did have chicken pox, the spot in his eye was not major cause for concern. We were utterly shattered after the drive, the drama and the lack of a decent meal so ended up camping in the hospital car park all set for a fresh start the next day.

IMG_0569.jpg

Monday the 21st of July

About 5 minutes after leaving the hospital Maddy hiccuped and stalled in the middle of some road works at a set of lights.

large_IMG_6919.jpglarge_IMG_6920.jpg

Try as we could we were not able to get her started and we had no choice but to call for recovery. It took around 2 hours for the team to come to us which was an awful, exhausting, stressful weight with our poor wee Mylo all worn out from the Pox, a shattered wee Felix and both Jeremy and I having no idea if we would actually be able to make it to our wedding! When recovery finally did arrive we were towed to a centre which was completely closed so I fed the boys in the carpark while Jeremy got a lift to a car hire place so that we could get to a hotel.

large_5AAE1DEC08494CC1E5EA35E51C6EF831.jpg

It utterly sucked to be out of the van without any idea of what was wrong but the amenities of a hotel room, while simple, felt like luxury as we soaked in the hot shower and sunk into a proper bed.

VERY happy to be in a proper bed!

VERY happy to be in a proper bed!

90_IMG_6927.jpgLittle Rascals!

Little Rascals!

2 agonising days were spent waiting for a diagnosis on Maddy and praying that she could be fixed. We used the time to get online and try to sort out our broken hard drive with all of our "wedmin" and photo's from the first part of our trip, none of which could be recovered but it was a relief to be able to get online so that we could make the necessary contacts. We took advantage of the hotel's laundry service which was embarrassingly one of my most satisfied moments!

We had a lovely meal out at a traditional restaurant in Gundelfingen and we were rather impressed at the selection of booze at the local post office!

IMG_6934.jpgBooze at the post office! Tempting....

Booze at the post office! Tempting....

Posted by bywaterbyland 02:05 Archived in Germany Comments (1)

From the Mosel river to the Black Forest

Friday the 18th July
I have no idea how it takes so long to get things packed up but it does. We spent the morning getting things ready for the next leg of our journey to the black forest while Mylo spent several hour with Luceane and Jacques which he relished. We said our goodbyes, with the hope of seeing them again, possibly in Portugal where they spend the winter, and after filling our shoe rack (our wine box is full!) with our hosts wine we set on the road to Baden Baden. We chose Baden Baden for no reason other than the name! It looked to be in the general region of where we wanted to be so we thought that would be a good start! The drive or around 3.5 hrs was shorter than we expected and despite the heat (low 30s) it was a lovely journey with gorgeous views from the motorway and without incident although an icecream stop was voted for by all.

Icecream stop!

Icecream stop!

Soon after arriving in Baden Baden we found a campsite that had a small but expensive pitch available which we took as were desperate to get off the road .No Wifi here either unfortunately, I think we have been around a week offline?!

IMG_0468.jpgIMG_0469.jpglarge_IMG_0470.jpg

Saturday the 19th July
We ate our breakie in the field next to our pitch which gave us lovely views of the thick black forest behind. It was another scorcher of a day so spent until the early afternoon swimming and relaxing by a lake 5 minutes from the campsite and enjoyed a picnic on a carpet of thick moss.

IMG_0474.jpgIMG_0477.jpgIMG_0481.jpg

We drove South, starting high up looking down into the valleys and then drove down into the valleys so that we could look up high. The different views were breathtaking but I loved being down in the villages as it gave a glimpse of what living here would be like. Even the cows seemed particularly chilled out, standing in the creeks to cool down from the heat.

IMG_0487.jpgIMG_0489.jpgIMG_0494.jpgIMG_0496.jpg

We stopped in Wolfach, a gorgeous town with cobbled streets and a natural foot “spa” that was ICY cold.

IMG_0499.jpglarge_IMG_0501.jpgIMG_0507.jpgIMG_0511.jpg270_IMG_0514.jpg270_IMG_0516.jpg

We had a traditional meal at a local restaurant before figuring out where to stay for the night. All of the local camping spots in our guidebook were prohibitively expensive (one was 30E per night without electricity!) so we thought we’d try our luck with another stellplatz. We ended up finding a site that was not only perfect in location, being right by a stream with a little waterfall, but was also free!! The sound of the stream behind me while I right this would have been worth payment alone so we’re feeling pretty chuffed 

270_IMG_0526.jpgIMG_0520.jpg

As we were officially in the "Schwarzwald" it only seemed right that we should try some Black Forest Gateaux, and so we did :-)

IMG_0524.jpg

Sunday the 20th of July

We had camped very close to Triberg so spent the day exploring this Black Forest town that is renown for it's Cuckoo clocks.

IMG_0536.jpg

Posted by bywaterbyland 02:04 Archived in Germany Comments (1)

To the Mosel

Beauty, sunshine, grapes, grapes and more grapes ...

From Cologne, our journey along the banks of the Mosel was utterly and completely breathtaking. On either side of the river are steep, high banks, some completely covered with Riesling grape vines, the wine from which the area is famous. Scattered along the length of the river are little towns that are so picture perfect they look to be straight out of a fairy tale. The castles that stood tall in many of the towns looked like those from storybook illustrations and reminded me so much of a children’s castle cake that they looked almost edible. We were so delighted to be here, it felt like we had stumbled across an amazing little secret and could not wait to explore. We had booked into a site just outside Burgen at the “Knaus camping park” which was about an hour along the river from Koblenz and overlooked a castle. They had a traditional restaurant onsite where we all had dinner and had a German feast (with schnitzel of course) and a MASSIVE beer

IMG_0233.jpg270_IMG_0234.jpgIMG_0238.jpgOur front yard

Our front yard

IMG_0241.jpgSampling the flavors of the region :-)

Sampling the flavors of the region :-)

View from our site

View from our site

Mylo making yet another friend

Mylo making yet another friend

The weather on Saturday morning was damp and drizzly but we wacked a jacket on Mylo and a poncho on Felix and cycled into the local village which was less than 10 minutes on the bikes. It started to pour so we hurried into an Italian restaurant which was rather convenient as Mylo had just said he felt like spaghetti; we were impressed at how good Italian food was in Germany! After cycling through the little town we ended up having a pretty relaxed day as the rain kept threatening to pour but thankfully we stayed mostly dry and enjoyed a dry, quiet evening with some local wine.

large_IMG_0222.jpglarge_IMG_0223.jpgMamma Mia!

Mamma Mia!

270_IMG_0231.jpgCC00CD8C089C4A0D3862B6D75EEA774F.jpg270_CC026A20FEBD64AC544EA4E610D0CCDF.jpg270_IMG_0237.jpg

Sunday the 13th July
We had heard that “Burg Eltz” was well worth a visit so we packed up the van and headed about half an hour inland. From the car park it was a steep walk down a hill, so much so that we had to wind the buggy from left to right in fear of it running away on us! The castle was such an incredible site, completely hidden from view among the surrounding hills until all of a sudden it just appeared, huge and proud and magnificent. We joined an English tour around the inside after which we grabbed lunch before walking down to the river beside the castle where Mylo had a paddle.

large_270_IMG_0265.jpg270_CC4A2B6799080692ED331C19D3AE5637.jpgRoyal lunch

Royal lunch

270_CC4CE665E2EBDACC4B95B4547513C276.jpgTesting the water

Testing the water

Some cyclists that we spoke to while sheltering from the rain in Burgen had suggested Bernkastel Kues as a good spot so we headed back along the river, past countless beautiful villages and towns and some of the most gorgeous scenery I have ever seen before arriving at our site.

Grapes anyone?

Grapes anyone?

We had a great plot, just behind the playground which Mylo was delighted with, and grabbed some dinner before heading to bed.

Monday the 14th. Bernkastel Kues
After almost a week of grey mornings we woke to gorgeous sunshine. Mylo immediately made friends with a Dutch boy called Thom who spoke no English but they played together for hours, “chatting” away over Mylo’s train set. Our plot was right under a cherry tree so we gobbled more cherries than we perhaps should have but they were too good to resist, the small dark, super juicy type which literally drip when you bite into them.

Our site

Our site

Cherries!

Cherries!

Our campsite was right on the Mosel so in the afternoon we enjoyed a fantastic bike ride along the riverbank into Bernkastel Kues. The town is absolutely breathtaking, the square in which we had dinner was simply perfect with an amazing double faced fountain and buildings painted in vibrant colours. We splashed out on a restaurant meal and a bottle of local wine, all of which was divine. When we got back I jumped in the pool which overlooked row upon row of vineyards on the opposite bank of the Mosel and I felt pretty darn privileged to be here.

Views of the Mosel

Views of the Mosel

I loved this fountain

I loved this fountain

Gorgeous square

Gorgeous square

view from our table

view from our table

AMAZING afternoon and evening in Bernkastel Kues

AMAZING afternoon and evening in Bernkastel Kues

Tuesday the 15th July
Jeremy make pancakes for breakie and we managed to forage some blackberries to have with them  Mylo was super excited to have a turn on Thom’s PROPER bike!! We wanted to see more of Bernkastle Kues so headed back in, this time on the other side of the river which gave an entirely different but equally beautiful view. We walked around the streets for hours and enjoyed ice creams in the sunshine before sampling some local wine. When we got back Jeremy and Mylo had a swim while Felix and I snoozed. Today was a perfect day.

Lovely buddies :-)

Lovely buddies :-)

Mylo and Thom

Mylo and Thom

Foraging for breakfast :-)

Foraging for breakfast :-)

IMG_0327.jpgIMG_0334.jpgIMG_0336.jpgIMG_0342.jpgIMG_0343.jpgIMG_0344.jpg270_IMG_0348.jpg

IMG_0351.jpgIMG_0352.jpgIMG_0354.jpglarge_270_IMG_0361.jpg270_IMG_0367.jpgIMG_0368.jpglarge_IMG_0371.jpgIMG_0372.jpgIMG_0373.jpg270_IMG_0374.jpglarge_IMG_0376.jpg270_IMG_0383.jpg270_IMG_0386.jpg270_IMG_0388.jpgIMG_0389.jpgIMG_0392.jpgIMG_0393.jpg270_IMG_0398.jpglarge_270_IMG_0399.jpg

New friends

New friends

Wednesday the 16th July
We said our farewells to Thom and his parents, Arian and Heidi and made our way, upon a recommendation, to a water park that was aptly named “Panorama Bad”. Access was via a long, steep winding hill that climbed tall above the towns of Leiwen and Trittenheim. The view was utterly breathtaking and well worth the nail biting corners upon the approach.

large_IMG_0410.jpglarge_IMG_0414.jpg

The water park was just what we needed as it was a scorcher of a day and while the boys were too small for the big water slide and diving boards Jeremy and I made up for it, messing about like the majority of teenagers that surrounded us  We took turns splashing about with the boys in the kiddie pool, a really fun little area with its own water slide which Mylo loved after initial trepidation. Both boys shared an inflatable seat that was the same as one Mylo had borrowed from Thom yesterday and had proven to be a brilliant piece of kit.

90_IMG_6908.jpg90_IMG_6911.jpglarge_IMG_6910.jpg

After a few hours of fun in the water we headed toward a “Stellplatz” in Mehring, around 20km from Trier, that had been recommended to Jeremy by another traveler. We had heard about Stellplatz sites before, from Claudia and Mike, as a site that is a lot more basic and informal than a campsite in that there are fewer facilities but with the possible option of water, electric and perhaps a WC. I am sure there is a huge variation in the Steilplatz scale and that we lucked out with this one. The location was simply unbeatable. Literally RIGHT on the Mosel with just a cycling path between the front row of campers and the river. Not only was the location phenomenal but site was also home to a vineyard with the wine, harvested from grapes surrounding us, sold for the ridiculous price of between 5E and 10E per bottle and E1.50 per glass! Needless to say that soon after arrival we sampled a bottle along with some delicious (and cheap!) food from their restaurant while listening to our host sing along to traditional German music.

IMG_0420.jpgIMG_0421.jpg

Thursday the 17th July

As we were three rows back from the water we decided to take our breakie to the waters edge and make the most of this incredible location.

IMG_0427.jpglarge_IMG_0433.jpglarge_IMG_0434.jpglarge_IMG_0437.jpglarge_IMG_0440.jpgBreakfast on the Mosel

Breakfast on the Mosel

We were beside a lovely Dutch couple with their son who we had chatted to last night and who said that they were moving on so we could take their spot if we chose to. They had prime position of front row right at the end which couldn’t be beaten or refused so we moved our van and now we really were in heaven. Our new neighbours were a lovely Belgian couple, Luceane and Jacques, who Mylo immediately made friends with and paved the way for another bonding. We decided to head into Trier via bus so that we didn’t need to deal with the drama of finding a park. While Trier was lovely, the journey there and back was a mission to say the least so after returning after 10pm we quickly bathed the boys to rid them of the hot, sticky day, and as soon as they were in bed we bought a bottle of the local fizz which was insanely good and chilled out, by candlelight, in front of the river until bedtime.

IMG_0446.jpglarge_IMG_0447.jpgIMG_0455.jpglarge_IMG_0456.jpg

Posted by bywaterbyland 02:04 Archived in Germany Comments (0)

(Entries 36 - 40 of 44) « Page .. 3 4 5 6 7 [8] 9 »