Day 7: Konstanz to Moos - Grampies Track the Tortes (2019) - CycleBlaze

March 25, 2019

Day 7: Konstanz to Moos

Reichenau - the 3 church island

The warm and sunny past few days took a dip now into cooler and slightly unsettled weather. Our start temperature was 9.5, still very pleasant, but we definitely had to dig out our long gloves.

The cooler weather and the weekday had chased the fairweather humans from the harbour, but at least some residents were still feeling the love.

Does anyone know what these guys are?
Heart 2 Comment 5
Scott AndersonGreat crested grebes, I think. For once, I’ve gotten here before Bill.
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Scott AndersonThat is what Dodie said they were, but I figure check with the experts.
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Steve Miller/GrampiesPretty sure I’m right here, but perhaps they’re flamingos.
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Bill ShaneyfeltAgreed! Good work.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_crested_grebe
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Laurie MarczakThey're very cool!
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Konstanz to Moos, with a spin on Reichenau
Heart 0 Comment 0

As beautiful as Konstanz is, it is a given that any modern town needs an area for car repair shops, transport depots, gyms, and big grocery stores. We quickly found ourselves negotiating an area like that. But this being Germany, it did not mean we were also battling traffic. Rather, as always, a safe way was provided for bicycles.

It may not be pretty, but it's bike-able.
Heart 0 Comment 0

We followed the signs for the towns we were headed for, rather than the GPS track we had brought. That track was clearly outdated, and there seemed to be no path at all, where Bikeline's material was directing us. At one point, reluctant to give up on our electronic toys, we were stopped - gazing hopefully but ineffectually at the screen. That automatically drew a passing cyclist, who quickly directed a right and a left, that put us on a straight run bike path all the way to Reichenau.

Reichenau is an island in the arm of the Bodensee where the lake is getting ready to narrow and become the Rhein again. The island is about 5 km in length, and is joined to joined to the mainland by a short causeway. The bike path led us directly to the causeway, which runs through a small nature preserve.  The causeway, of course, also has a bike way, leaving us free to enjoy the tall grasses and trees on the way to the island.

Bikes on the causeway have about as much room as cars.
Heart 4 Comment 0
The gentle nature preserve on the way to Reichenau
Heart 1 Comment 0

Reichenau has UNESCO world heritage status, for three Romanesque churches, that were built from the 9th to the 11th century. These were spawned by a major Benedictine abbey in the centre of the island. This was founded in 724, a was one of the most important monasteries in southern Germany. 

The other big thing about Reichenau for us is the fact that it has a huge number of greenhouses. Clearly, a little later in the season it is a big producer of salad and other vegetables. In addition to greenhouses, we also noticed crops being grown under perforated plastic sheeting. That seemed interesting, except that we know in our hands material like that would turn into a mess. 

Reichenau has many greenhouses like this
Heart 0 Comment 2
Scott AndersonGood luck with your sticky lens cover. Years ago I lost nearly an entire tour’s worth of photos for this, back in the days when you didn’t know what you’d shot until you got home and developed the film.
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Scott AndersonI seem to experience this problem often with various cameras. So much so that I know the main electronics chains in most western European countries. This trip Dodie brought a working back up camera, just in case.
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Crops under plastic
Heart 0 Comment 0
Lots of greens here
Heart 1 Comment 0
Reichenau's three churches are at the south, middle, and top end.
Heart 0 Comment 0

Each of the three churches feature extensive frescoes, now much faded after 1500 years. The first church up for us was St. Georg, in the south. We found out that it is often closed, but we were fortunate and were able to go inside.

The church of St. Georg, from 896 a.d.
Heart 0 Comment 0

A plaque outside gives the capsule history of the church. Despite the glass reflections, the photo is still readable, so have a look:

Heart 0 Comment 0
Frescoes inside St. Georg
Heart 1 Comment 0
The images are very faded.
Heart 1 Comment 0
The crypt was closed, so we could not check out the head of George. But here he is with his famous dragon. (Seems more like a pet dragon.)
Heart 0 Comment 0

The monastery occupies a major spot in the centre of the island, and has many large buildings. When we think of three churches on the island, we are counting the monastery as one. In fact, the monastery itself had a church, the church of St. Mary and St. Mark. This is an active church today, whereas the monastery was dissolves in 1803.

Dodie is a big fan of Benedictine monasteries, because she has read all the Brother Cadfael mystery novels, many times. Brother Cadfael was a herbalist, so it the the herb gardens that are of most interest. The monastery has a great example of such a garden, and we enjoyed just sitting in it. Each bed is well labelled, so we also enjoyed strolling among them, saying "Oh yeah, I knew that".

The monastery, with herb beds
Heart 1 Comment 0
Herb bed info
Heart 0 Comment 0
We liked this support structure
Heart 0 Comment 0

As all over this region, there are many beautiful and unique houses. Several stood in the vicinity of the monastery. We rather liked this one:

Heart 3 Comment 1
Laurie MarczakI’d live in this one too...
Reply to this comment
2 months ago

Inside the monastery church, things were really quite bare. But the inner chapel was decorated in the manner of the other island churches, like this:

Heart 0 Comment 0
Heart 0 Comment 0

The temperature climbed briefly to about 15 and then dove again, always with a stiff, cool breeze. So by 11, the idea of an indoors coffee break was very appealing. We followed a kaffee und kuchen sign into the restaurant of a hotel. They were just clearing up from their own elaborate buffet breakfast, but greeted us warmly and put forward a rhubarb kuchen, coffee and hot chocolate. We took advantage of the break and their free wifi to do some emails and reply to some blog comments. We also took advantage of their washrooms, and both of us remarked on the cleanliness and decoration of these. We thought, it's fun trekking through Mexico and suchlike places, but for astounding cleanliness, order, and quality, where we are is supreme.

We put back on our warm stuff and continued to the final church, St Peter and St Paul. As we entered we found a man playing an antique form of flute:

I asked the man if he had heard of Paul Horn, who had played flute in many acoustically interesting places, like the Taj Mahal. But no.

This anyway put me in mind of a young woman I had found on Youtube - Malinda Reese) singing O Come O Come Emmanuel in a church. (The church is located in Montefrio, Spain.  It's Iglesia de la Encarnacion and  was built between 1786 and 1802. It's  modeled after the Pantheon of Agrippa in Rome, hence its circular shape and amazing results.)

Our plan had been to take the little ferry from mid-island back over to Allensbach, on the mainland. But it was too early in the season for that to be running, so we backtracked to the causeway and crawled back north west again from there. We could see how Bikeline might not be up to date about the track, since there had been a lot of construction. However, that construction had meant an even better bikeway.

The way to Allensbach
Heart 0 Comment 0
Allensbach is another lovely town.
Heart 3 Comment 0

With the continued cold wind, Dodie proposed finding a hot meal side, instead of choosing a cold bench for our leftover breakfast items. We randomly chose the xxx. It was a lucky choice. 8.50 brought salad, a main dish, and desert, and as it happened each of these was a little masterpiece. The salad was very fresh and with a nicely balanced mustard dressing.  My pork medallions came in a delicious sauce, and Dodie had spaghetti in a heavily garlic-ed sauce with many shrimps (all of which I got!). Desert was a top quality raspberry eis, swimming in a yogurt "sauce".  Ice cream in yoghurt is a little trick we will have to try at home. But we do not expect to find top quality eis, like this was.

Soon we were in Redolfzell, which again has a lovely old town and a cathedral. This time we dutifully circled the thing, but were getting too beat, or rather, cold, to do it justice.

The Radolfzell cathedral, is either crooked, or I am.
Heart 0 Comment 0
A street in Radolfzell
Heart 0 Comment 0

After our quick Radolfzell tour we headed out along the lake again, toward Moos. 

The lake shore on the way to Moos
Heart 2 Comment 0

Moos is where Dodie had found a guesthouse - no so cheap, but at least available. It's called Gasthaus Schiff, and featured the ultimate in fast check in. In fact we have yet to see a human associated with the place. We just punched a code on a machine and our key popped out. Our room is again super - on the ground floor, large enough to easily swallow the bikes, with a terrasse, and extra fluffy quilts. It's part of a complex with at least three separately named buildings and a restaurant. Tomorrow, we assume, the restaurant will supply the included breakfast.

The weather forecast is calling for deteriorating conditions, and we know we are also entering hills now as we join Eurovelo 6 and head for the Donau. But after some days of loafing around the lake, we should be ready to step it up a notch. Before then, though, we're off to check out those extra fluffy quilts!

Today's ride: 48 km (30 miles)
Total: 154 km (96 miles)

Rate this entry's writing Heart 12
Comment on this entry Comment 4
Scott AndersonHey, We’ve been to Montefrio! Really an amazing place to bike up to.

Mostly though, I like today’s post for what isn’t here (like the dog that didn’t bark in the night): any mention of Dotie’s knees. Very endouraging.
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesTo Scott AndersonKnees are holding up quite well. Walking and cycling are pain free. Also, we are not sick any more!!!
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Marvin PaxmanWe had a check in like that in Strasbourg where we just checked in on a machine outside the office door. Others who didn't have reservations had to wait around for the office to open an hour later :)
Reply to this comment
2 months ago
Sue PriceSo, back to the bathrooms. Are you saying that EVERY bathroom has a toilet seat? And you don't have to pay extra for the tp? What a concept!
Reply to this comment
2 months ago