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Mini Bodensee tour

This was a fun day trip from Zurich. We drove to Kreuzlingen and from there, did a loop around a small part of Lake Constance (the Untersee). From Kreuzlingen, we crossed almost immediately into Germany and then started heading west.

As usual we had taken a picnic with us including a Pausenbrötli (like a teacake but better) and stopped off for the first of many breaks at a campsite in Allensbach. We sat by the shore enjoying the view and watching people wind-surfing.

We continued cycling towards Radolfzell, stopping off again to buy coffee in a small village with a big sail-shaped stage. Not quite sure where we were but it was a great place to stop for coffee. Somewhat surprisingly we had to pay with cash - no cards were accepted.

The bike ride around the end of lake was particularly lovely, as we took the slightly longer scenic route through the forest. At this point we were still cycling through Germany. We stopped for our picnic lunch, continued further and had yet another break to enjoy drinks from a German beer garden. Again it was cash only and we didn't have quite enough to buy both drinks. Our attempts to strike a bargain were dismissed but fortunately a kind stranger donated the 60cents we needed.

Parts of that stretch were hillier than expected, as the path moved away from the lake shore. Eventually we crossed the border back into Switzerland into the beautiful town of Stein am Rhein. It's years since I've been there but it probably hasn't changed much. The main street, crowded with tourists, is very charming, definitely worth a visit.

In total the bike ride was almost 80km with 400m of height difference taking us almost the whole day. 80km is my upper limit for cycling but I expect other riders could reel off the distance in a much shorter time. The September weather was perfect - warm enough without being too hot - and the car meet in Steckborn with loads of old racing cars was an added bonus.

Language tips

Whenever you write something, you'll probably need to edit it. Here are some of the changes I made as I was writing the post:

  • I avoided using the word 'slightly' too often by changing 'slightly surprisingly' to 'somewhat surprisingly'.

  • I changed 'beer and an apple juice from a German beer garden' to 'drinks from a beer garden' - this is more concise, and doesn't repeat the word beer.

  • Changed 'a bit hillier' to 'hillier' - again this is to make the reading more interesting. As a writer, I have a habit of using lots of filler words such as 'really', 'a bit', 'probably' and 'I think'. These words are useful in spoken language but can often be removed in writing.

  • I changed 'reel the distance off' to 'reel off the distance' - both options are correct. The one I chose is potentially clearer to readers as the particle 'off' is closer to the verb.

PS If you want to know what 'reel off' means, Google is your friend.


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