3 countries in one day – a whirlwind trip

Our nightcap the previous night didn’t really help us sleep well.  There was a big storm in the Bodensee, which cooled the air down, however, we had to keep the curtains closed to prevent mosquitoes from coming in.  There was no air-conditioning which meant the room was rather stuffy and warm. 

So a lie-in on Day 2 was not really an option, and we had a quick breakfast in the hotel before setting off for some sight-seeing.  We were keen to visit Lindau, an island on the Bodensee, which was about 36km or so from the hotel.   The traffic was rather slow, but there was plenty to see, and we kept catching glimpses of the lake.  The area surrounding the Bodensee is full of orchards and vineyards which made for a pretty landscape.

The drive took just under 40 minutes, and we parked the car in a shopping mall 2.5km away from the island.  It was another glorious day, the temperature was fast approaching 28 degrees and it was only 11am.   The walk was a pleasant one, and we were crossing the bridge over to the island within 15 minutes.   The views on either side of the bridge was breathtaking – you could even see the Swiss Alps in the distance.  There were lots of tourists around, a number of them on bicycles, which is a great way to see the island although I much prefer walking. 

The town itself is mostly cobble-stoned.  There is a yacht club, lots of cafes and bars, a port, as well as a train station.  This is the view of the port – you could get a ferry to Konstanz, which stops at several ports on the way as well.  We decided to give the ferries as miss – after all, we had the car. 

The area around the port was very busy and we decided to stop for a drink when I spotted the train station.   We had enquired about tours at one of the tourist counters earlier, but were told that most of the excursions started first thing in the mornings.   I asked Hubby if he fancied a trip on the train.   I had read about day trips to Switzerland from Lindau on Tripadvisor and had made sure to bring along our passports to Lindau.  I enquired at the ticket counter and was told that we could go to St Gallen in Switzerland – the only catch was the 1 hour journey would entail 2 changes.   We were both up for an adventure and decided to have lunch in St Gallen.  The trip cost €31 for the 2 of us for Zone 1 which included up to 4 kinders.  I brought along a teddy so he was covered as well, I guess.

We were given a travel itinerary at Lindau showing station and platform changes.   Our first change was in Bregenz, Austria.  We had 4 minutes to swap trains.   The train was very punctual, air-conditioned and extremely comfortable.  The journey to St Margrethen, the station for our next change took about 15 minutes.   We passed by beautiful houses with charming back gardens and I suffered severe garden envy.   We swapped trains for the final leg of our journey to St Gallen which took about 25 minutes or so.   Germany – Austria – Switzerland, all within an hour.   That’s awesome.

We were starving and made a beeline for what looked like the old town.  We found a charming little cafe with the world’s nicest waitress who even looked up on her iPhone to translate a word for us.  

We both ordered paninis, beer and some sparkling water.  I forgot to take photos as we devoured our lunch as soon as we were served.  The bill came to the equivalent of €23 which was decent for lunch. 

We went for a walk (not to burn off lunch, but to work up an appetite for coffee and cake) and found the St Gallen Abbey which is a UNESCO World Heritage site.   The are covered was large – we went into the cathedral (photo below, structure on the right) and it was huge.  I don’t normally take photos inside churches (this trip being no exception).

It was almost 3.30pm, and we stopped at a cafe for coffee and cake.  Hubby ordered a rhubarb and apple cake and a creamy pastry.  I had a taste of both and preferred the cake as am not a big fan of dairy.  Hubby enjoyed both, as well as the stop for coffee. 

We arrived in St Gallen at 1.30pm and after having spent the afternoon here, we were ready to head back as we had a long journey ahead, being:  St Gallen-St Margrethen-Bregenz-Lindau – 15 minutes walk to car park – 40 minute drive to Immenstaad am Bodensee. 

By the time we arrived back in Lindau, the crowd had cleared and we took one last photo of the port.

We were both wrecked, but chuffed with the little adventure had.  An absolutely cracking trip on the eve of my birthday.

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3 thoughts on “3 countries in one day – a whirlwind trip

  1. Pingback: Lake Constance to Fussen | Chronicles of a cookbookworm

  2. Great little day trip, found it when I was looking for travel info from Lindau to St Margarethen, as I’d like to go back there at some point. When I was in the RAF two friends and I took a train down to Lindau from Moenchengladbach. We then walked around the lake to Switzerland, and took a train to Apenzell where we camped up a mountain. Lindau was pretty and full of cuckoo clock shops I recall. Austria was very rural and we stopped for a wonderful beer at a guest house it was so sunny. Only briefly saw St Gallen on our return trip. This was mid-1980’s and they still had trolley buses in the town. My culinary exposure wasn’t as good as yours in StG though, I bought a bottle of milk before boarding our train to Lindau, just to find it was unpasteurised. The taste was yoghurty let’s say.

    • Thanks for commenting. I do hope you get to retrace your steps again, and possibly enjoy the local cuisine (yoghurt and all 🙂 )

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