The Beautiful Bodensee

Stuart is a massive fan of Germany. He loves the culture, the language, the people, the scenery but I can take it or leave it. In a desperate attempt to find a part of Germany that I’ll fall in love with he’s brought me to the Bodensee or Lake Konstanz as us Brits call it. Lake Konstanz is at the very southern point of Germany so it’s situated on the border with Switzerland and Austria. The snow topped mountains of the Alps can be seen in the distance and the views are absolutely stunning. Even on the journey from Zurich to Konstanz we were treated to the most gorgeous views from the train window.

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It was early evening by the time we arrived at Hotel Halm Konstanz yesterday so we quickly unpacked and headed out in search of food. We made the classic mistake of not consulting Trip Advisor when we had wifi at the hotel and instead wandered aimlessly for half an hour as I got increasingly more ‘hangry’. ‘Hanger’, for those of you who are unfamiliar with this dangerous state, is anger brought on by being hungry. I partly blame my curvy figure on this debilitating condition and my conscious efforts to keep the ‘hanger’ at bay… that and the fact that I’m a massive fan of cake. Another hindrance to us finding a restaurant is the fact that I hate German food. I like to experience all the different aspects of a new culture but basically the only German cuisine I have found that I like is pretzels. Pretzels are yummy. Other than that I really struggle. Stuart happily performs dissections of various parts of pigs over lunch or licks his lips as he munches on a horse steak but these are really not my idea of a delicious meal. We finally found an Italian restaurant that we both agreed on and enjoyed our dinner until the bill came and we had been charged for additional drinks that we never received. I thought we were going to have a row in the restaurant as the waiter furiously search through all the receipts of the drinks we’d ordered but in the end we paid for the beer we didn’t have and in protest didn’t leave a tip.

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The weather is unseasonable hot and sunny for April so of course we had to make the most of it. This morning after a coffee (me) and a beer (Stuart) by the waters edge in Konstanz we decided to take a boat trip to the nearby island of Mainau. The boats are fairly easy to work out here with a massive board listing departure times/locations and numbered docks so it was pretty simple to get there. The scenery on the boat ride was stunning made even better by the fact that there were hardly any people on the boat so we could wander around and take pictures without getting in everyone’s way.

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We had done very little research so had no idea what was at Mainau so we were happy to find what was basically a really beautiful park on an island. The gardens were kept really well and there were brightly coloured flowers in every direction. We spent a pleasant couple of hours wandering around and soaking up the sunshine and the views.

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We headed back to the dock about 20 minutes before the boat was due and it was lucky we did as we were the first in what turned into an enormous queue. We got a good spot up on deck but by this time my Clinique daily moisturiser with SPF20 was proving no match for the sunshine. There was only one thing for it and that was to use my umbrella as a makeshift parasol. There were a few funny looks but I put that down to everyone being envious of the shade provided by my umbrella parasol rather than the fact that I looked ridiculous.

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As it turns out the umbrella was too little too late as my nose is the most sunburnt it’s ever been. As is my forehead, chin and forearms. Thankfully my eyes are still whiter than snow thanks to my enormous sunglasses so I look like an inverted panda.

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