Stage set for Carmen on the lake at Bregenz

Round the north side of the lake today, stopping first at the amazing stage in the lake where they perform the concerts and opera for the Bregenz summer festival. The stage set for Carmen looked stunning. I couldn’t get a good angle for a photo to show how the stage is fully in the lake but the effect is dramatic when you are there. The summer festival is something you might enjoy another year, Janet, if you are reading this?

The whole area round Lake Constance is a popular tourist destination. We added a couple more to the thousands out enjoying the sunshine round the lake, about half of us on bicycles. It’s not quite the bike mayhem of Amsterdam, but it’s certainly not quiet – and there are all the complications of cyclists and pedestrians and drivers trying to navigate the narrow and often cobbled streets of lovely, old town centres. The towns are lovely but I was missing the peace of the Alps, where there were certainly many of us tourists but we were spread out enough not to crowd each other. 

We had coffee on the island of Lindau (it has causeways – no amphibious cycling required) and lunch at Friedrichshafen.  We sadly abandoned the idea of visiting the Zeppelin Museum, which looked very busy, in favour of trying to get to Konstanz ahead of a threatened thunderstorm, and to give me a chance to rest and try to get rid of this wretched cold which is still plaguing me. I’m not sure if that was a good decision. We might well have to come back and see the Zeppelin Museum another day. They now make modern Zeppelins and we saw one gliding over the lake earlier in the day. 

There was a surprising amount of undulation for a route round a lake. No significant climbs, but path or road rises every time it turns inland from the lake, and as this is a built up area, we were not following the water’s edge. In the intense heat of the late afternoon I was tired of coming round a corner and having to pedal uphill yet again, but it certainly kept the route interesting. Lots of little rivers run into the lake, so there were also opportunities to admire different designs of bridge – the civil engineering tour of Lake Constance!

A short trip on a car ferry brought us from Meersburg to Konstanz, and from the harbour it was only 4km or so ato tonight’s hotel. Tomorrow off to Schaffhausen and the Rhine Falls – which we have visited before but I am really looking forward to seeing again.

The lion and the lighthouse guarding Lindau harbour
One of many bridges
A suspension bridge, with a familiar figure