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Friday, July 12, 2019

June 15th: Neuhausen to Konstanz

Bowen and Boen woke up well before the 8:00am breakfast, so I took both of them down to the falls once again, this time getting views from the stairs. In the fashion of little kids, they soon decided that the funnest part of the area were the multi-stage elevators that let you skip the walk they had to take the day before directly to the train station. We couldn't have used that elevator yesterday because it wasn't big enough for the triplet, and sending kids up an unknown elevator wasn't something that even I would condone.

After breakfast, we headed up the river towards Stein Am Rhein. Soon, we hit a town where folks were practicing crossing the river with rowboats, timed by coaches who would make them repeat. Riding across the river, we discovered that the bike path signs had uncharacteristically disappeared, but after turning around a few times discovered that they'd been obscured by signs announcing that the main road through town had been closed to motor traffic due to a festival. Once past the festival, we made it to Stein Am Rhein, which had some sort of market through downtown.

Last time I visited Stein Am Rhein I was very impressed and thought it was the cutest little town, but my wife wasn't easily impressed, and so we ended up eating a quick lunch and then decamping to the campground. My friend Jennie Chen from Lausaunne was planning to join us, and it was a Saturday, so we booked a hotel in Konstanz after noticing the Meersburg on the other side of the ferry crossing was a lot more expensive. In my excitement, however, I'd neglected to see that the hotel we'd reserved had only one room left, and so Jennie had to scramble to find another hotel with openings.

The day was becoming quite warm, and when the bike path turned away from the river and started to climb into the hills to bypass the main road, I said “screw that!” and rode along the main road at speed. On a bike path next to the railroad tracks, however, Boen fell asleep on a set of rollers, forcing us to stop. He woke up after about 3 minutes off the bike, however, so we could proceed.

After all the climbing, the ride onto the Bodensee was a welcome relief: flat and smooth, with beautiful views throughout. We even stopped for photos. Once in Konstanz, it was a chore to find the hotel, as it was in the center of the pedestrian zone and the afternoon traffic made it so that we had to route around it. The hotel turned out to be a good deal, however, as it was a 3 room suite with separate bedrooms and a living room area. The towel dryers even worked, and the restaurant attached to the hotel was highly rated.

Jennie and her family had checked in and ridden over before I was done with the laundry, but after we were gathered together, we had dinner and discussed our plans the next day. My suggestion was that they ride over the ferry with us, and then rode over to Fredrickshafen, where a ferry could take them back to  the other side of the Bodensee, so they could leave their car at Konstanz.

We had ice cream, caught up on the years since we'd last met when Bowen was still in mommy's womb. We'd had plenty to catch up on, and the kids got ice cream as part of the bargain. We agreed to sync up again the next morning.

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