Constance – A Lake of Three Countries – Part 1: Austria (Bregenz)

Bregenz_Constance

The Lake Constance or as it is called Bodensee in Germany is quite constant in its ability to always stun me with the beauty of the cities or towns surrounding it.
So after a sunny autumn day in 2006, when I had made the tour of the city of Konstanz, Isle of Mainau and Reichenau in a day, here I was there again today on a nice spring day. It takes quite a while to reach there from Heidelberg by the trains but once you are there, you feel it was worth it.
Thanks to my colleague and friend C, who gives me great touristic advice, I decided to go to the lake again this time, to see the cities of Lindau(Germany) and Bregenz (Austria) which are next to each other.
On Friday, another colleague P who is also visiting Germany showed interest in the excursion. So the two of  us started at 6 am on Sunday (yes, that early!) from Heidelberg and crossing Stuttgart reached Lindau. There is this great ticket called Schönes Wochenende ticket from DB which allows unlimited travel in Germany on all the modes of transport within the local transport system from 12:00 am of one day to 3 am of next day on the weekend.Sunday was better weather wise so we chose to go then as both of us were keen on photography.Enough of the background story :).
Now once in Lindau, we were tempted to stay there and explore the area as it looked quite promising from the train window. But then agreed upon going to Bregenz first and then tour Lindau on the way back as we had to be there anyway for our return. For Bregenz, we needed to buy the tickets and the pleasant information counter lady told us that it was cheaper with the OBB machine (i.e. the train system of Austria) than the DB machine!
Upon reaching Bregenz after a fifteen minute ride, we felt it would be good to eat something first. We found an Asia imbiss (fast food place) and got ourselves fried rice in boxes.
Tummy full, we proceeded towards our destination which was Pfänderbahn hof to get a ride in the cable car to reach the top of 1000 m high mountain from where we could have a good view of the Alps and the Bodensee. It was voted as the topmost thing to do in Bregenz on tripadvisor. There were great trekking routes but due to our time constraints, we took the cable car tickets for both the way up and down.
Upon reaching the top, the view was so lovely and both of us set about taking pics like kids having been set loose in a candy shop! One side gave us the view of the Alps and the other gave Lake Constance!

View from Pfaender_WPLake Constance as seen from Pfaender
There was a small zoo there with some mountain goats, rabbits and wild boars. There were also some archaeological descriptions in German, of how the rocks were formed millions of years ago.

The mixed rock Mountain Goat
After finally being satisfied of taking pics, we returned to the valley. The spires of some churches were visible and so we thought of taking a peek there too. Found a huge one with very interesting stained glass work. It was the Sacred Heart church.

Sacred Heart Church
Then we went back to the train station to get back to Lindau. The highlights from Lindau will be in another post soon.

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