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Posts Tagged ‘Konstanz’

As the train rolled into the station at Konstanz, I finished reading the last page of the Terry Pratchett book that I was reading on my Kindle. Yes! I was about to embark upon my very first week-long bicycle trip in Europe – from Konstanz, on the edge of the beautiful Bodensee, where Germany rub shoulders with Switzerland, right to the other corner of Germany, where it touches Austria. Why? Simply because I had the exact amount of necessary time, a bicycle, and the required amount of Wanderlust.

In case my finishing a book at the exact moment of arrival at Konstanz Hauptbahnhof might seem like a wonderful auspice, I should introduce in the narrative two facts as counterpoint: 1) it was raining. 2) I had the chance of getting off at Singen (Hohentwiel) – I even considered this, but then again … what would be the point of traveling all this distance and then NOT seeing Konstanz or  NOT cycling?

Stupid mistake.

Except for about 20 minutes, the rain came pouring down the full 34,67km to the youth hostel. The little that I saw of Konstanz, though, was worth it – so too the road along which I cycled to get to Singen, although I had to stop intermittently and check my position on Google Maps to avoid cycling more than I have to in the wet cold. (This had to be done crouching with my upper body over my phone so as not to get it soaking wet.)

Still – I was there! I was finally doing it! Just me and my bicycle, fitted with panniers and a campus laptop bag (that doubles here in Germany as my … well, just about any use you can think of for a bag). The air was ablaze with promise – and, did I mention the rain yet?

I was thoroughly DRENCHED when I arrived at the youth hostel. By this time, I was pretty much transfixed by the water spouting up from my front wheel, which was visible in the glare of my bike’s lamp, hoping that there were no potholes in the road, which was not visible. My waterproof jacket was holding up pretty good; my waterproof shoes – well, they were waterproof, true, but they were filled up from the inside by the water streaming in through my socks, which pretty much served as water conduits. Moving around was pretty much accompanied by a slosh-slosh-slosh sound. The challenge now would be to get the water out of them:

Luckily, I had the whole room in the youth hostel to myself – so I could fully unpack everything. At least everything was in plastic bags – I did at least beforehand contemplate the idea that it could rain. By the way, this is what I took along:

Still, if this was going to be as wet a trip as this day would suggest, I was pretty sure to bail out. 30km isn’t that bad – but the next day, the plan was to do 70km. More about that in the following post!

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