Wants to swim through the whole Lake Constance: Bruno Dobelmann

Today`s weather is fine? You are at Lake Constance? Well, don`t be confused if you see a huge man swimming in the middle of the lake. Swimmer Bruno Dobelmann (who is also called “orca” and if you see him you immediately know why he is called this!) is going to swim the whole length of Lake Constance: he wants to swim from Bodman (located at the “Überlinger See”) to Bregenz what are about 64 kilometres and he will start at 7 o`clock (in the morning, of course).

He tried to do this (without wearing a wetsuit, by the way) six weeks ago but this experiment had to be stopped due to healthy reasons. By now the water has become warmer, so: next try! Good luck, Bruno!


Just three days at Lake Constance

Some days ago I was asked what to do at Lake Constance when you have only three days left there. Okay, three days don`t last too long: if it`s your first trip to Lake Constance I would recommend to stay at least one week there. But nevertheless, maybe you are doing a roundtrip to discover Europe so that a three-day-stay at one region already is a long-stay.

So what to do during just three days at Lake Constance? (First I think you should buy a Lake Constance Experience Card, “Seebären”-version, for three days. If you rent a car: the "Landratten"-version will work, too.)

My tipps for a short trip:


Monopoly Lake Constance: best souvenir ever?!

Monopoly – Is there anyone who doesn`t know it? It`s one of the most popular table games and, especially in Germany, a very special edition is being offered: “Monopoly Lake Constance” and I hardly can imagine a better souvenir.

“Monopoly Lake Constance” is still like the “Monopoly” we all are used to but the design has changed a bit: instead of streets or avenues you buy and sell some much-loved cities and villages that are located at the lake. There are no railway stations but ports and, of course, the Bodensee Airport. You aren`t Sandra Bullock so you don`t talk German? Doesnt`t matter because as I said the game is still the same and it contains a German and an English introduction. So you really don`t have to worry! 

It`s just magnificent – and a souvenir that is both: useful and fun!


Transnational flea market Konstanz/Kreuzlingen

Next weekend there is a transnational peddlers market in Konstanz and Kreuzlingen (Saturday evening till Sunday evening; 24 hours non-stop!). I have never been there before  although this peddlers market takes place annually since eight years. But guess who is going there this year; yes: it`s me and I am already quite excited!

Tomorrow we are going to Unteruhldingen where we gonna stay for one week. We plan to take a ship to Konstanz on Sunday morning where we want to visit the peddlers market. There is also a special flea market referring to my husband`s passion:  model railroads… I hope I don`t expect too much but some fragrant hand-made cosmetics and handcrafts would be great.

At any rate I`m looking forward to having a great trip, watching interesting things and great offers, shopping around, meeting many nice people… Hoping the weather will be fine. If not: hoping someone offers some nice raincoats


Packing the bags

photo source: berlin-pics / pixelio.de
The big bag was broken: after often being used for international business travels our suitcase didn`t work anymore. The wheels wouldn`t roll anymore (stumbling thing!), the grasp went off… Definitely time to replace!

With the new case I feel like I was in heaven: no problems with rolling and additionally the small wheels are really silent. Why didn`t we actually buy a new suitcase before the old one was finally broken?

You want to go on vacation? You are needing a good case in all case.


Festival season: James Morrison in concert at Lake Constance! (Dick Brave, too!)

During the last weeks many British people visited this blog: most of them wanted to know what the weather at Lake Constance will be like in June. As we all know, Lake Constance is surrounded by Germany, Switzerland and Austria. I`m living in Switzerland but in the middle of June my husband and I are going to spend one week at Lake Constance`s German side. I wouldn`t be surprised if we would be the only German-speaking people at the lake and be surrounded just by British people. ;)

A quite famous British man who is at Lake Constance in June (at least for one day) is James Morrison. At the beginning of June, right at the 3rd, there is a James Morrison concert (supported as a special guest: Marit Larsen) in Salem.


Weekend trip tip: Count`s Island Festival / Mainau

Ascension Day is a legal holiday in Germany (and in Austria and Switzerland as well); Germans and Austrians call it “Christi Himmelfahrt”, Swiss people name it “Auffahrt”. This week`s Thursday (17th May, 2012): that`s this year`s Ascension Day.  

Around this long weekend around Ascension Day the annual Count`s Island Festival takes place at Mainau Island: this is quite nice event. When I visited this festival for the last time it was quite familiar there and yes, if you are spending this weekend at Lake Constance you shouldn`t miss to visit the Count`s Island Festival (“Gräfliches Inselfest” in German)!


What will the weather be like in June?

During the last few days quite a lot of people entered this blog because they wanted to know what the weather at Lake Constance will be like in June. Well…. So you have decided to go on a Lake Constance vacation in June? Good choice! (Me and my husband will spend one week of June there, too.)

Lake Constance: June`s weather? 


Lake Constance: Is there a train or a bus or a ferry between here and there?

You wanna know if there is a bus, train, ferry… between two cities at Lake Constance? In this case please have a look at bahn.de, the website of German Railways. In the upper right corner you are able to change the website`s language: just change it from “Deutschland” to “Germany”.

Although the company (and also its website, of course) is from Germany, you can also ask for information about connections in other countries. What you can`t do is pre-booking tickets for rail tours in foreign countries. It also isn`t just about trains: busses and ferries are also shown. 

I live in Switzerland but when I`m travelling around Lake Constance I also use this information offered by bahn.de because in my opinion it`s much clearer than the website of SBB (Swiss railways).


Lake Constance "Flottensternfahrt" 2012

On Saturday (April, 28th) the famous “Flottensternfahrt” of Lake Constance`s shipping companies takes place. “Flottensternfahrt” means that several ships will come out of all directions and meet at one place so it looks as if the ships were building a star.


Best places to go for families with (younger) children

You have decided to go to Lake Constance for family vacation? Great choice! Let me introduce you some nice places around there that are especially loved by children. You shouldn`t miss a trip to some of them!

One week = seven days = so here are seven tips where to go to with your family when you are staying at Lake Constance.


Lake Constance picnic

photo source: löwenzahn / pixelio.de

A few days ago I was asked: „Hey, what about having picnic at Lake Constance?“ Well, that`s absolutely no problem!

How to have a Lake Constance picnic


Where to stay?

You are from far, far away? Nevertheless, you should have a look at pure flight prices: sometimes it`s cheaper to book just a flight and then to book a hotel, bed & breakfast inn… on your own, too. Compare the prices!

There are several hotels around Lake Constance but there are also many, many, many… bed & breakfasts. In German “bed & breakfast” is often called Gästehaus or Frühstückspension. The difference betweem them? Usually, a “Gästehaus” is a bigger bed & breakfast while a “Frühstückspension” is a little smaller and more private: in many houses owned by a family there is a special floor or a separated section that is used for some guestrooms. So these families are managing their own bed & breakfast.

You can also find many holiday apartments (“Ferienwohnungen”) around the lake.

But, with only little exceptions, only the hotels appear in the programs of the tourist agencies. If you prefer to stay at a holiday flat or a bed and breakfast: book it yourself!


Lake Constance: Season 2012 out now!

In many parts of Germany, Switzerland and Austria the two weeks around Easter (the week before, the week after) mean mainly one thing: Easter vacation! Many people don`t want to spend the Easter holidays at home so they travel around and in spring some people like to spend a short holiday at Lake Constance.

So let the season begin!

The season is young: yesterday Lake Constance`s season 2012 was opened and some passenger ships did their first trips...  

What`s up at Lake Constance just now? Feel free to have a look at the diverse Lake Constance webcams!


Feeding German monkeys

Have you already heard of Affenberg, the “mountain of monkeys”? You can find it in Salem, a few kilometers away from Lake Constance. Affenberg: that is an open-air enclosure where Barbary apes are living. At the entrance visitors can get special popcorn to feed the apes with!

Next to the outdoor enclosure there are some barns where you can buy souvenirs and drinks and snacks are also offered. Additionally, there is a bigger playground.

Most children love it to go there…

At Affenberg you can also watch some stork`s nests. Storks and apes: great place!

If you are a Lake Constance tourist attended by children you shouldn`t miss to go there with your children!


Reading about Lake Constance

Unfortunately, there are just a few tourist guides about Lake Constance that are written in English (like “Journey around Lake Constance”). Most of them are published in German only. (But just to say: often those German guide books aren`t that helpful, too.)
But there are several guides to Germany that introduce the whole country, including the Lake Constance area.

You speak German? Let me tell you that “DuMont`s Reiseführer Bodensee im Taschenbuch-Format” is one of the best and most informative guide books.
It doesn`t matter if you don`t live in Germany. All the books can be bought at bol.de where deliveries to some foreign countries (like Great Britain, the USA or Canada) are possible, too.

Reading at Lake Constance

Do you know public bookshelves? Around Lake Constance you can find some of them. Public bookshelves are like outdoor libraries without staff. Okay, that sounds strange. So how does it work?


Swimming at Lake Constance: simple thing

You want to know if you can swim in the lake? Of course you can! Lake Constance is just a lake, this isn`t a dangerous sea full of sharks. In contrary: there is not one shark! The only place at Lake Constance where you are able to face sharks is Sea Life Konstanz.

Around Lake Constance there are many bigger lidos where you have to pay an entrance fee. (If you are the proud owner of a “Bodensee Erlebniskarte” [Lake Constance Experience Card] you can visit some of them for free.]


Not to forget: sun protection!

I am loving the products of “SunDance”. That is one of the home brands of the German retail chain “dm”. dm - that is a chemist resp. a drugstore. (Attention: regular pharmaceuticals can only be bought in pharmacies in Germany, Austria and Switzerland although in Switzerland there you can find some drugstore-pharmacy-combinations, too!)

“Rossmann” (at Lake Constance only in Radolfszell in Germany) and “dm” (there is no “dm”-market in Switzerland and the Austrian “dm”-markets are a little bit in the hinterland so that there are “dm”s only at the German side of Lake Constance, too: for example in Konstanz, Überlingen, Friedrichshafen, Radolfzell) are the most popular chemists. Well, so “Sundance” is an own brand of “dm”. “Sundance” contains just products (~ 2-5€) referring to solar protection.

The products are very low in price but the quality is outstanding! I often buy products from “Sundance” when I`m in Germany and as a said: I love them. Last year I tried some sun blocker from “Aldi”, the discount store: the products from there were also cheap and good.


Weather as usual: which kind of clothes to take with?

From spring to autumn Lake Constance is a very popular tourist attraction. Many people even compare it to the Italian Riviera, due to the similar climate. During winter the weather is cold, cloudy and foggy but in the summer time it`s really lovely. Of course, sometimes there are also still rainy days but the sun is definitely on the march!
For some more precise information about the weather at Lake Constance, please click here: Lake Constance`s weather conditions.


I need which currency at Lake Constance?

photo source: Dieter Schütz / pixelio.de
The currency of Germany and Austria is €uro, the currency of Switzerland is Swiss franc. Lake Constance is surrounded by Switzerland, Germany and Austria: do you need two different currencies when you go there? No… of course it`s easier to pay in €uro when you are in Germany or Austria and to pay with Swiss francs when you are in Switzerland. But most attractions around there accept both so you only need some peanuts for such things like snacks and drinks because at smaller kiosks and stores only the currency of their respective countries is being accepted. But you don`t need two big wallets!


Bad-Weather-Days at Lake Constance: what to do?

There are many museums and also thermal baths at Lake Constance. You got a Bodensee Erlebniskarte (Lake Constance Experience Card)? Even better!

But be aware: if the weather isn`t fine, many people long to do indoor activities. Last year I went to some museums when it was really hot and sunny. In the museums were nearly no visitors so I was able to enjoy all expositions (and the air conditions while most of the other people were sweating outside). So if you are really interested in a museum: don`t go there on cloudy days!


Bodensee Erlebniskarte: Lake Constance Experience Card - for your adventures!

My advice if it`s your first visit at Lake Constance and if you want to experience a lot: buy a Bodensee Erlebniskarte (okay, let`s call it LCEC = Lake Constance Experience Card)!
There are three versions of it: LCEC for Landratten (landsmen), for Seebären (shellbacks) and for Sparfüchse (scrimpers). Let me tell you in just a few words about the differences between them:


Birnau - what a wonderful church!

When I was just a little girl I told my mother: "Mom, when I`m adult and want to marry: I will do it here in this church!" Fortunately, I really found someone who wanted to marry me when I was grown up. Unfortunately, for different reasons it was another church where our wedding took place... 

But I`m still of the opinion that the Birnau (that`s the name of this wonderful church) is one of the most beautiful places in the whole world where you can marry. 
Additionally: When you stand in front of the church and look towards the lake the view is absolutely amazing!

The Birnau sometimes is called the "Queen of the lake" because on the one hand it`s such a majestic building and on the other hand the church is located above the lake, surrounded by wineyards: The people (Lake Constance) is waving to the Queen (Birnau). 
You should take a picnic basket with you and have a yummy picnic in the wineyards below the Birnau where you can watch the lake or look up at this impressing church - romantic moments guaranteed! You want to ask your girlfriend if she is willing to marry you? If I were you, I would do it here, right in the front of Birnau.


On the way to Lake Constance... how to get there?

photo source: Lisa Schwarz / pixelio.de
You have to get to Germany... There`s no doubt: Naturally, the nearest airport to Lake Constance is the "Bodensee Airport" in Friedrichshafen. Friedrichshafen is one of the bigger towns located at Lake Constance. Of course, the airport is a little bit out-of-town but there are busses and trains from airport to city/port and these trips don`t last too long (5 minutes by train, 20 minutes by bus).

The airport is quite small and I think it`s quite impossible to get lost there. You can mainly fly to Friedrichshafen from some bigger German towns like Berlin, Frankfurt, Cologne...

Okay, you don`t have to go to Germany... You can also take a plane that brings you to Zürich, Switzerland. The airport of Zürich is the largest airport in vicinity of Lake Constance.
photo source: Paul-Georg Meister / pixelio.de
Here you can rent a car and go to Lake Constance on your own. But there are also trains interconnecting Zurich Airport and Kreuzlingen respectively Romanshorn. Both, Kreuzlingen and Romanshorn, are situated at the Swiss side of Lake Constance: there is a (car) ferry between Romanshorn and Friedrichshafen in Germany. Kreuzlingen is a direct neighbour to Konstanz (that`s the German name of "Constance"): but Konstanz is a German town (plus, by the way, the largest town at Lake Constance) so there is a national border between Kreuzlingen and Konstanz (Constance).
But, just to say: if this border was taken away, you wouldn`t say that these are two cities because it looks as if a border is separating only one town.
The port of Konstanz is very centrally located: from here you can easily get to nearly every town at Lake Constance. Furthermore, there is a second (car) ferry interconnecting Konstanz and opposite Meersburg [this one is shown at the picture above].
Attention: you don`t need a car if you want to use one of the ferries: those can be used by everyone!

photo source: Anguane / pixelio.de
You want to take your vacation in Austria? In this case I would say that first you better get to Germany`s Bodensee Airport or Switzerland`s Zurich Airport where you can easily get on a train towards Austria!

Of course, there are several smaller rail stations in many of Lake Constance`s cities and villages. There are also main-line stations, for example in Lindau (a Bavarian town near Austria) or Konstanz...

And after you have arrived at Lake Constance: enjoy your vacation and appreciate all days of your stay!