Tag Archives: Bodensee

Baume-les-Dames, Le Doubs, Sunday 22nd July 2012




We are back in France on this lovely aire in the Department of Le Doubs river, right by the canal, with toilets and showers (for which you need a token that you can buy for €1.50 from the reception from 6pm) and all the other usual facilities: water, etc.  It has space for 38 motorhomes, but it’s very quiet and peaceful.  This was the aire of the year in 2006 and I can see why.


Motorhome aire at Baume-les-Dames












We got here just after 10.30 am after a short drive from our last night’s stop at Chavannes-sur-l’Étang in the Haut Rhine department.  Again, that was another charming, clean and tranquil stop along the way, where tours were organised from La Porte d’Alsace leaving at 8.30 am to discover the wonders and cuisine of the region.  We were also asked to complete a questionnaire about the facilities on offer at the aire itself (first time ever), so these people really care about making life comfortable and pleasant to the like of us, fellow motorhomers.














motorhome aire at Chavannes-sur-l’Etang


We just love the tranquillity and serenity of these rural areas and one can almost hear the fabulous Bethowen’s  Pastoral symphony or Delius and Vaughan Williams’ enchanting works.

Crossing the border from our final stop in Germany, however, was a bit of a nightmare.  After our stop at Füssen we went to Überlingen on the Bodensee lake, where again we were lucky to find a space in the very popular Stellplatz for €10 a night.  We cycled into the town and along the Bondensee and enjoyed a drink at one of the café/restaurants along the front.  The town was very lively getting ready for their summer festivities, which reminded us of Friedrichshafen last year.



A rare picture together at Überlingen











The next day we followed the A31 northwest to join motorway 98 southwest past Singen and Schaffhausen, which happens to be in Switzerland and where we had to buy the obligatory motorway pass for €40 (£30), but the signposts weren’t very clear and we couldn’t see the directions and exits to where we wanted to go (Waldshut-Tiengen and Laufenburg), so when we saw the sign for Germany we took that exit, which took us back north to Blumberg.  At this point we decided it would be better to use the Satnav again, which took about 5 minutes to position itself, but eventually directed us towards Titisee-Nuestadt, further north than we intended, even though it was a beautiful drive and lovely to see the Black Forest again.  We continued N.W. towards Freiburg and S.W on the 5 motorway to junction 65 at Neunberg and over the Rhine and border across to France.


Enjoying a drink at lovely cafe in Überlingen












We needed to do some shopping and when we saw a big Carrefour hypermarket outside Mulhouse, we got off the road D39, but they had put up height barriers and we just couldn’t get in.  We tried going round the road, but this took us back to the  A35 motorway heading north yet again towards Ensisheim and got stuck on it for 10km to the next junction 31 where we had to make another U-Turn.  Exasperated, we gave us on unwelcoming Carrefour and went back south to Altkirch and west to Chavannes-sur-l’Étang, just 12km east of Belfort.  We finally found a wonderful Super U – with NO height barrier – where we got some local delicacies like tuna and tomato quiche, which was utterly delicious if a bit pricy at €10 for ½ Kg, and finally arrived at the aire just before 2pm, about 2 hours later than intended!!!

At least we are enjoying a full day in the sun here at Baume-les-Dames, where we might even stop 2 nights just to make up for yesterday’s frustratingly long drive.




Gitzenweiler Hof Camping Park, Lindau, Bodensee, Tuesday 17th July 2012


Gitzenweiler Hof Reception area


This is our second and last day at this huge, very well equipped and organised campsite, excellent for young families, as they have all kinds of entertainment going on, including pony rides through the boundary woods, dancing by the swimming pool, making your own pirate hats, swords and face painting and fishing in the lake.  There is also a small supermarket, a restaurant and beautiful child-friendly washing facilities that look like a theme park!

Swimming pool at Gitzenweiler Hof


The place is immaculate, with lots of shower and washing facilities blocks, including a ‘dog wash’, the first of its kind I’ve ever seen!  I’ve taken this opportunity to do my laundry and I had a bit of a battle with the washing machine this morning, which operates on a timer rather than whether the washing cycle has finished or not.  So I put €2 in 50C. coins, as instructions indicated that for a 30°c wash, it’d take between €2 and €2.50.  The instructions also indicated to go back after given time as door would open electronically after timer was up and would shut again only to be opened with another 50C.  So I went back for my washing after 80 minutes, but cycle hadn’t finished and I had to put another 50C that would last 20 minutes.  I returned 20 minutes later, but door wouldn’t open, so I had to put another 50C and I finally got my washing out, 2 hours after I started!  Next time I’ll do my washing by hand: cheaper and quicker and a lot less hassle and time wasted waiting around.


Motorhome and caravan area at Gitzenweiler Hof


Still, it’s been a very hot and sunny day and I managed to get all my washing dry in the sun (including bedding) by lunchtime!  We also got internet access after waiting 8 hours due to the sheer amount of people using it.  So we finally got it at 7.45pm for 24 hours use, but it was very slow and frustrating, as it kept disconnecting itself.  I tried again this morning in the sitting area outside reception with a little more success, which allowed me to  post some pictures on Facebook, but when I tried Twitter it disconnected itself again and I couldn’t get it to re-connect, so I gave up on that and trying to post my blog.  Again, not very impressed with this service.


Pond with koi carp at Gitzenweiler Hof

Pond with koi carp at Gitzenweiler Hof










Considering we paid €68.80 for 2 nights, plus €3 extra charge for paying by credit card, this is by far the most expensive campsite we’ve ever been to and we don’t think it was really good value for money for us without children and we would think again before using one of these huge sites again, which are geared toward family entertainment.


Walk around pond at Gitzenweiler Hof



At least we’ve had 2 very relaxing days here, sitting in the sun and not doing very much at all other than reading, crocheting and swimming in the pool.

We are setting off again tomorrow towards Bavaria.  I am really excited about this, so hopefully nothing will go wrong.

Gitzenweiler Hof

Radolfzell aire, Sunday 15th July 2012


Radolfzell, Gnadensee, Germany

We are at a very crowded Stellplatz/car park close to the Gnadensee, about 20 km northwest of Konstanz.  We had a very interesting drive from Bad Sackingen this morning, following the Sat. Nav. directions to Lindau to begin with, through Switzerland, skirting Zurich and Winterthur, but by 11.30 we decided we needed a break and got off the motorway just east of Frauenfeld and headed north to Konstanz and west to find the aire at Reichenau, but it was full and the lake at this point was very windy, so we made the decision to back up to Konstanz again and try this one instead.

Hot enough to swim and windsurf at Radolfzell

We were really lucky to get a place at Radolfzell, as being Sunday and arriving at lunchtime, all the best places had been taken.  Not only that, but all sorts of vehicles are using it for the day, including caravans, which are not usually to be found at aires, so we squeezed in amongst the cars and other motorhomes, paid the  €8 fee, which includes electricity and emptying facilities, with another €1 to fill up with water.  We then cooled down with a beer before lunch and siesta and walked down to the lake for a swim, as it’s still quite warm (27 °C inside the van at 6 pm!)

In fact, the weather has been kinder to us in Germany than in France, as we had a very hot day in Bad Säckingen yesterday after crossing the border from Alsace.  We were very lucky too with the generous space at the Stellplatz there, where we were able to put our table and chairs out for lunch and soak up the sun for the rest of the day.



The town of Bad Säckingen itself was very pretty too, if not as stunning as Kaysersberg, but we really enjoyed a glass of the local beer in the main square by the townhall (Rathaus), just in front of the amazing church.  The big surprise was the wooden bridge over the Rhine to Switzerland, the magnificent Holzbrücke, and a very popular touristic attraction not to be missed.  So we crossed the river and took some pictures of the beautiful views and of us in Switzerland, including a Lindt chocolate shop: a temptation I managed to resist!

The Square at Bad Sackingen

I love these sunflowers in the square at Bad Sackingen











Bad Sackingen




The Holzbrucke bridge crossing to Switzerland, Bad Sackingen












the view from Holzbrucke bridge at Bad Sackingen



We finished the evening with a paella we’d bought at Leclerc, sat in the very warm evening sun at the Stellplatz and then enjoyed another episode of the ‘West Wing’ season 3.


Another Stellplatz to come back to and recommend to fellow motorhome owners, just for the price of €10, which includes electricity!

The half way line on the brdige between Germany and Switzerland


Bad Sackingen













motorhome aire at Bad Sackingen

Friedrichshafen, Tuesday 2nd August 2011


Unusual art works at Friedrichshafen


Today has been very warm and the sky’s remained blue.  We went for a walk this morning around the town and took some pictures of the promenade, with some lovely and unusual artistic contributions from the local artists.  We also did a bit of shopping and I am very chuffed with myself for managing transaction in book shops in German.  We bought an aires book, a road atlas, 4 postcards and the stamps for England.  I also asked where the post office was and understood directions.  This certainly gives me confidence to try again and in new situations!

Unusual art works at Friedrichshafen




I loved the swim in the Bodensee, as the water was really warm.  It felt quite special and surreal to be swimming amongst 4 countries with the Alps in the background: another swim with a view and the WOW factor!




Unusual art works at Friedrichshafen

Unusual art works at Friedrichshafen










After a beer near the ferry, we started back to the Stellplatz.  Bramble seems much happier and he has eaten and drunk without any problem.  Now we need to plan where we’ll go tomorrow.  I am going to try and read map as we go and find our way to our new destination, although I think we should have the tomtom as a back up just in case…

Church at Friedrichshafen


Unusual art works at Friedrichshafen












Children's ride at Friedichshafen




Ferry at Friedrichshafen

Friedrichshafen, Bodensee, Monday 1st August 2011


Friedrichshafen and Lake Konstanz


What a day it’s been!  It started off quite well, leaving campsite, which was rather expensive (€85 for 3 days) and found Lidl outside Neustadt, which was quite cheap compared to England!

Bramble, however, refused to have any breakfast or drink any water and spent a terrible  night, being sick 3 times and wanting to go to the toilet at 4 am.  So we were already tired and, although the road was quite clear and easy driving, crossing the town itself to arrive to the aire at Friedrichshafen, was quite congested and slow going.  We finally made it just after 1 pm and Bramble still refused to eat or drink.  So, after a very quick lunch with some gorgeous Black Forest wholemeal and seeds bread, we decided to take him to the vet.  We first had to find the Tourist Information Office, a 15 minute walk, where a very helpful young lady gave me the address and Sat Nav co-ordinates of her own vet just 3 miles outside town.  So back to the van we walked and drove to given address with the help of the tomtom, just a 5 minute drive.

A very helpful vet told us it was just probably something he’d eaten and gave him an injection and drops to have with water, as well as some special digestive food for the next 3 days.  We mustn’t give him anything to eat today, but he did say some fresh cheese would do him good.


Friedrichshafen and Lake Konstanz


We got back at 4 pm and I’ve just been to have a look at Lake Konstanz and taken picture of Zeppelin and the pretty town from this side of the lake.

Friedrichshafen's Zeppelin




Bramble’s just had some water with the drops at last and Adonis and I are about to go out for a beer at campsite terrace on the lake.






I was going to make a Goulash tonight, but might leave that till tomorrow and cook chicken kebabs instead.  I am looking forward to a good night-sleep tonight!

Lake Konstanz looking towards Switzerland

Travel essentials after a hard day!