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Monday, July 15, 2019

June 16th: Konstanz to Lindau

We woke up finally, almost un-jet-lagged, except for Xiaoqin, whose sleep was constantly interrupted by Boen's demands. I took both kids down to breakfast, and Jennie's family who were unencumbered by the need to pack and get ready, had already arrived at our hotel by the time I was rolling the bike out of storage. A thunderstorm had passed through the night before, leaving the roads wet, but the forecast called for a sunny afternoon, so we'd opted to ride anyway.

Garmin routed us on beautiful bike paths through Konstanz to get to the ferry, though at one point I balked at the dirt bike path which had become muddy, and opted to ride on pavement instead. We arrived at the ferry terminal expecting to have to buy tickets before boarding, but the sign said “buy tickets on the ferry.” To our surprise, the bike carriage on these car ferries on the Bodensee was to just roll on ahead of the cars and then park by the side of the ferry! Since the ferry ran about every 30 minutes, we basically were assured of an almost immediate crossing. The ferry could only take cash, but we'd crossed over into Germany at Konstanz (with no notification whatsoever on the bike path), so now I could use the Euros left over from my Spainish trip in April.

The ferry crossing was smooth as can be, but we felt a raindrop or two as we rolled off the ferry after the cars were let out. I promised Bowen that we could visit the Zeppelin museum in Frederickshafen, and wanted to make it to the museum before it started raining, so we started off at a furious pace. Jennie's family were unladen, but their bicycles were not as suited for paved riding as ours, so except for their oldest boy who had a fancy mountain bike, Jennie and her daughter had to struggle, since the bike path from Meersburg to Fredrickshafen was not flat.

In Fredichshafen we had lunch, and bid goodbye to Jennie, who'd declined to visit the museum, seeing that they had a drive back to Lausanne after the ferry took them back to Konstanz. The Zeppelin museum was small, and had less kid-friendly stuff than I expected, though there was a replica of the inside of a replica gondola as it was in the hey-day of airships.  I reflected that if the world got serious about reducing carbon emissions there might be a place for airships again, trading a slower transit time for better fuel efficiency, though there's also a concern that in a warming atmosphere winds might become so strong that what you can fit onto an airship might not be enough to fight any headwinds.

Bowen was disappointed by the Zeppelin museum, so we rode on towards Lindau. It being a Sunday I didn't expect there to be competition for lodging, so we didn't make reservations until after we'd stopped at a fruit stand and bought some amazingly delicious strawberries. Xiaoqin made the call to stay at a run AirBnB-type accommodation which to my surprise wasn't on the island of Lindau proper (which would have cost a lot more). We got to Lindau and were surprised that we had to climb to get to our lodging, and then I realized that the new town of Lindau (as oppose to the train station and old town) was in a different location.

We arrived late and were greeted. Unlike a hotel, there was no sheltered parking  for bikes nor a place to charge the e-bike, so I had to figure out how to extract the battery from the e-bike so we could charge it in our room. The owner of the place immediately told us that the garden was off-limits because of our kids. It was quite clear that she had oriented her place towards adult visitors, and didn't really like having little children on premise. We quickly took our shower, did our laundry, and walked out to the local Biergarten for dinner, having been told that she didn't take credit cards and would only take cash, we were also told where the ATM was and I made a point of going there after dinner to extract Euros. I also scouted out the two bakeries that would serve for breakfast the next day, it being a Monday.

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