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February 18, 2019

Germany: Lindau (Bodensee)

Filed under: Architecture, Dog, Europe, Germany, Photography, Travel, Travel, Writing — Tags: , , , , , — anotherheader @ 9:21 pm

 

 

Lindau Germany

Due to circumstances not entirely within our control, 2018 turned out to be for us a year for European road journeys. In September we hit the highways for our fourth and final road long trip of the year. From our base in Saint Jean de Losne France we headed east. Our first stop was Lindau.

The German island of Lindau sits on Lake Constance, a body of water that forms part of the border between Germany and Switzerland.

Germany neighbors France so you’d think that the fastest road route from Saint Jean de Losne France to Lindau would involve driving though just two countries, Germany and France, with one border crossing. But this was not the case. The quickest route from Burgundy France to Lindau Germany crosses an international border four times: The French/German border near Basel, the German/Swiss border also near Basel, the Swiss/Austrian border near St. Margrethen Switzerland, and the Austrian/German border near Lindau.

Our hotel in Lindau is just behind and to the left of the tower.

A lake ferry heads out onto Lake Constance.

This day we were big fans of the Schengen Agreement. If there were no Schengen we would have suffered long delays getting our passports stamped as we went through customs and immigration repeatedly.

Lindau has history going back to at least Roman times. Past the Romans, significant development on the island occurred in the Middle Ages when it was the site of a nunnery and a monastery. Today the island’s religious role has diminished and it has evolved into a popular tourist destination.

The historic core of Lindau has been pedestrianized and there are several green park areas. Lake Constance beckons and lakefront walks, boat tours, and swimming are popular activities for the visitors. Several of Lindau’s historical buildings can be toured. Among the attractions are numerous bars, restaurants, and spas.

In Lindau we stayed at Hotel Helvetia. Hotel Helvetia translates as “Hotel Swiss”. That seems odd, as Switzerland is in sight a few miles away across Lake Constance from hotel. There doesn’t seem to be a big need for the authentic Swiss experience when the real Switzerland is only a few miles away as the crow flies. But that’s the way it is.

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Hotel Helvetia is a spa hotel. In practice this meant that check-in came with an explanation of the hotel’s extensive pools, saunas, and other spa facilities. Since it is Germany the description also came with a detailed explanation of which areas guests are expected to be wearing clothing and which areas where they aren’t. Add in the details of the women-only clothing-prohibited time blocks for some of the facilities and we left the reception desk confused and a tad nervous. Would we be caught out wearing clothes where we were supposed to be naked? Or would we be naked where we were supposed to be clothed?

Fortunately the next morning Becky and I guessed properly. We decided to wear clothes when we went down to breakfast. We relieved to discover that this was the correct choice as everyone else in the restaurant was fully clothed too.

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