Sunday, 11 December 2016

Europe Trip 🐢 #5 Lindau (and some side trips to Switzerland)

From Austria we went to Germany and based ourself in Lindau, which is a town on the eastern end of Lake Constance, which is a beautiful part of the country (and very popular with locals and tourists in the summer time). We stayed in a lovely AirBnb flat which was the attic of a home-it felt so homey and was lovely to come back to after days out exploring. A personal highlight for me was meeting up with a friend a made when I was in Belfast who is from that part of Germany. She was our personal tour guide for a day trip into Switzerland and took us to some beautiful Medieval cities (Radolfzell and Schaffhausen) and the Rheinfalls (which are the biggest (volume) waterfalls in Europe). We had beautiful weather, with clear skies and just a bit of frost on the ground, so we had glorious views of the lake from the train and then of the alps in the distance. It's cold, but we've all become used to layering up and have learned to appreciate hot chocolate in new ways! If we thought Christmas markets were everywhere in Austria, they are even more prevalent in Germany and we enjoyed some fun local food from some of the stalls.

Lindau itself doesn't offer a great deal, however the island section of the town has some pretty cobbled streets and very nice restaurants and cafés. The harbour is quite pretty though with its distinctive lighthouse and lion markers.

From Lindau we did a second trip into Switzerland, to the town of St Gallen. Unfortunately the weather was not so pleasant that day: it was incredibly foggy and frosty but we marvelled at the cathedral, drank hot chocolate and walked up to the top of the town to a small Alpine Zoo and walking trails which we enjoyed exploring.

Our favourite day trip from Lindau was to Oberstdorf where, although the gorge we had wanted to hike through was closed, we had one of our best days yet. Firstly, we found a partially frozen waterfall which was spectacular, and then we found some ski fields being prepared and so, of course, played in the snow! We slid down the hills (and were awkwardly slightly wet afterwards), made snowballs and frolicked about like children (much to the bemusement of the locals who walked past us...). Here again we had beautiful clear skies, so although it was cold, the day was spectacular and we made some very fun memories.

(those skid marks down the snow hill may have been left by us...)

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