Sunday, 31 August 2014

Summer Holiday Day 2: 1 Boat, 3 Countries

In an effort to be healthy I started the day with a run. Found it hard going not sure if this is the effects of beer or the effects of being at a slightly higher altitude. Would like to think it the latter but suspect it may be the former.
The effects of the run was then cancelled out by going to a local Italian place for brunch.  There was a good selection of breads, cooked meats, cheeses and fruit to start with. There was then smoked salmon and a variety of hot dishes including bacon, scrambled eggs, sausages, meat balls and chicken wings.
Having eaten our fill we then realised there wasn't a bus at the right time on a Sunday so caught the train into Lindau. Lindau is a very nice Bavarian style town, lots of old fashioned or beautifully painted buildings and cobbled streets. The street by the harbour is full of street stalls and cafes. We decided to do three countries cruise, where in theory in an hour and a half's boat trip you can see the shorelines of Germany, Switzerland and Austria. Unfortunately just before we set sail the weather closed in meaning we mainly saw rain and mist.
We had been joined on the cruise by Tim's friend Stephan and we now set of to visit some of Tim and Stephan's favourite Lindau haunts.  These included some lovely little cafes and a couple of beer halls. Stephan is a member of the brethren Church and on the way we had some theological  interesting theological debates.
Finished our tour of Lindau with dinner at a small place Tim  knew near the station. Run by one person who was chef and waiter and very friendly and recommended we try the strong beer, which did indeed taste very nice as did the food.
We then caught the train back to Friedrichshaven. There we had an hour to wait for a connecting train to Fischbach so strolled down to the waters edge, where Andrew enjoyed pointing out to us that we were looking at the lights of a successful non EU country. We had a beer in the bar at the station where  the lock on the door to the ladies didn't seem to be working right as it took three people to open it. The bar also had a a very large German shepherd.
We got the delayed train back to Fischbach, whatever happened to German efficiency?  We stopped at a place near the station, where Andrew enjoyed using his German chatting to the locals. I was beginning to feel shattered and was glad to make it back and collapse into my bed for the night.

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Summer Holiday Day 1: Planes,Trains, Boats and a BBQ

Awake at a ridiculous time this morning ready for the taxi to the airport. Taxi arrived on time, checked in and through security with no problems and ordering breakfast in Weatherspoons by 6.30am. Andrew went for a full English but I felt it was too early for that and had a  smoked salmon bagel. Flight to Munich left on time and was trouble free. Breakfast number two was a chocolate crossiant en route to Munich. Arrived in Munich with plenty of time for a drink before the flight to Zurich.
Flight left Munich slightly late. Arrived in Zurich expecting Swiss efficiency. Headed to pick up our baggage. My rucksack appeared on the carousale and we were happily reunited . However Andrew was still waiting as the crowd around the baggage carousel dissapeared, and there was no sign of his rucksack. In desperation to be reunited Andrew went to check out if his rucksack had thought they were meeting at bulky luggage. As Andrew was returning forlornly from his failed mission to bulky luggage, his backpack appeared.
Happily reunited with all our baggage we headed to the train station and despite the baggage issues arrived in plenty of time to get the train to Romanshorn. The train was a minute or so late, what is happening to that well known Swiss efficiency?
At Romanshorn transferred to the boat and set sail across Lake Constance. After all the air conditioned air ports and trains it was good to get some fresh air. We also had a sandwich and drink for lunch.
Arrived at Friederichafen hafen and jumped straight on train to the centre.  The town centre was busy so got the train to Fischbach.
Fischbach is a a very quiet suburb but has a nice semi rural feel. Met at the station by an old friend, Tim, who we are staying with for the next few days.
Tim had told  us he was staying in student accomadaton over the summer, so I wasn't expecting him to stop by a little gate with flowers growing round it, leading to a front door,leading into a lovely hall way. Tim's flat was at the top. The weather on leaving England had been cool and grey and now in Freidrichshafen we were feeling rather warm under blue skies and sun so shoes were swopped for sandals, trousers for shorts and sun hats dug out.
We then headed to the outdoor pool and bar in the local park for a quick drink. Only had time for a quick one as Tim's neighbours had invited us for a BBQ. His wife was Glaswegian and she was very excited to have another Glaswegian in the house. The house had a lovely garden and an apple orchard. Fischbach does seem to be a place with a lot of green space. The BBQ was a great night with food, beer and plenty of good conversation on a variety of topics including religion, spaghetti ships, swinging ships and Scottish independence, all discussed in a mixture of German and English.
The early start meant that we didn't stay too late and headed back quite early.