Lake Constance (Bodensee)
CAMPING AROUND BODENSEE : LAKE OF THREE NATIONS
End of the summer was near so as the question: where to travel? My intention wasn’t some organized and comfortable journey with all expenses paid in advance. I wanted totally unplanned adventure, directed by myself. My boyfriend was thinking the same, so we decided to try camping. Since we both work as kids entertainers, basking in Europe for an indefinite period was a exciting idea and a suitable method for paying our traveling costs. Even better, lake Constance sounded really nice and that was a good replacement for a holiday on the sea.
Lake Constance (Bodensee) is situated on the river Rhine and its shorelines lie in three states: Switzerland, Austria and Germany. Interesting location of the lake would provide us to visit more than one country so we decided to start with Germany that offers a rich cultural content and many art festivals in which we can participate and learn about people and culture.
We traveled by bus, by train, hitchhiking etc. Our first stop was Friedrichshafen (Germany), cause at that time, end of July, there was a busker festival named Kulturufer. When we arrived, the first thing I saw was big zeppellin flying over the crystal blue water of the Bodensee. I was amazed and later I visited the famous zeppellin museum, which contains some of the oldest models. Don’t miss to get educated about the structure and history of magnificent airships.
Beautiful promenade in Friedrichshafen was crowdy and lively,the atmospfere was full of different languages, all sorts of music genres and pretty voices of street singers. On every corner there were people amused by a lot of crazy and fun street shows like : artists walking on high wires, driving big unicycle, dance on the silk or running up and down using the huge ladder. Lake shore was stage for acrobats, jugglers, stand up comedians, clowns, ring dancers, magicians…Festival space included a few big circus tent, open air cinema, theatre, big grassy space with many fun and educative activities for kids. I was thrilled by the sweet Puppet show, couple of small handmade puppets operated by one young man while older women beside him was playing famous classic musical pieces on something that looked like saw. It was strange, unique and magical.
Very polite and friendly people at the information desk told us how to find a camping place that they provide. Soon our tent was set up so we could go back and continue to enjoy in festival program.
In the evening, picture of Kulturufer is totally different , you can see people dancing with live music, drinking not so cheap draft beer, eating tradicional German sausages, having fun and waiting for fire shows to start. This type of street shows has always left me breathless. I had an awesome time here and made unforgettable pictures in my mind to remember forever.
After a few days, when the festival was over, we had to find another camp. Since it was the middle of the season and everything was full, I found one camping place in Lindau (Bavarian region), on the lake shore near the border with Austria. We used train to get there. The main train station was at Lindau island. It was already evening so we put our tent in big nice park space and spend the night by the lake with a little group of street artists.
Lindau old town is a story in itself. The most remarkable thing on the island is the harbour entrance with a statue of a Bavarian lion from one side and old spectacular lighthouse from another. It has a lovely promenade where you get the impression like time has stopped in the Renaissance era. The area is small but full of tourists walking on old cobblestones or enjoying in luxury restaurants with peaceful atmosphere. Inside the island, the streets are wider with picturesque old buildings whose walls have stunning art murals.
Early in the morning, we took a bus and drove off this wonderful island. Soon we arrived at Park Camping Lindau am See. Staff at the reception was friendly, professional and helpful. Luckily, there were vacant space and price was 13 euros per night (one person), but I always recommend to check first with all campsites. I was amazed how campsite looked like a small town, it was very nice and clean space with grocery shop, restaurant, coffee shop, kitchen, tv room and a nice beach. We stayed there till end of august. Nearest city was Bregenz (Austria) ,just one train station away, so most of the time we spend there swimming, sightseeing, hiking, working and visiting nearby cities.
Bregenz is a city located on the west of Austria with a long, pleasant promenade and lovely big park . The things you definitely don’t miss to visit is fascinating Seebuehne, floating stage on the water of lake Constance with a massive open air amphitheater with 7000 seats. This spectacular object left me speechless. It’s the place where, every july and august, Bregenzer festival (Festspiele) puts on many different art performances, orchestral pieces and operas. This august on the festival program was Turandot, one of the most famous arias composed by Puccini. The stage looked unreal ; army of Terracotta soldiers on the stage and in the water and the great wall of China at their back.
At the time of Bregenzer Festspiele, city promenade is the liveliest and full of tourists and locals. Since we spend a little bit more time in Bregenz than in other places I learn a lot about habitants. Austrians are a bit restrained but very pleasant and polite people. They really care about art and cultural content. I am a big fan of bicycling so I like that you can ride mostly everywhere, even from one town to another using nice cycling trails. There is not to much traffic cause everybody is active and spend a lot of time outside, which is a great way to stay vital and healthy and that’s what you can see on their faces. The coolest thing is – all people ride everything that has wheels : scoters, skateboards, longboards, hoverboard etc. Speaking about food, I recommend Wirtshaus am See, an old school restaurant with adorable view of the lake, tasty and big portions of Austrian dishes at affordable prices. After a long sunny day at the Bregenz beaches, treat yourself with a big scoop of ice cream at Eispavillion am See or with nice espresso, or both.
In the area of old town, you should visit Maritinstrum tower. This beautiful place contains small museum and offers a wonderful view of the town. You can just go for a walk and see the St. Martin tower, which bring the magic and shows Bregenz from the medieval era.
Our last day in Austria was reserved town Dornbirn where one interesting street festival called Urbikuss was maintained . The quickest way to get there is 10 minutes by train. The city has beautiful architecture, buildings are truly little pieces of art with murals, wooden windows and a lot of flowers around them. Most likeable to me were streets full of kids running around and small passages between buildings where magicians, kids entertainers and comedians were waiting for their little audience.
We spend hours in Inatura museum of nature, science and technology. The museum contains never-ending halls and rooms where you can see stuffed wild animals, water creatures and flora and fauna of Austria. You can try many interesting electric machines at technology section. One whole floor is dedicated to learning about the human body, all the organs and their functions. Believe me, this is fascinating and unique experience.
I am happy to have the opportunity to see the shore of divine lake Constance, but my journey is not ended. This lake has one more state on his shores, and maybe next year I’ll continue my traveling. Anyway, i am grateful for all the good friends I made there, for the unforgettable impressions and most important,I appreciate all the good stories I have to share.
za STV Jelena Ćirić
foto : Jelena Ćirić