We leave the gorgeous greenery of Schwarzwald this morning, following the scenic drive recommended in our old school map. And by old school, I mean paper. Endlessly frustrating for not showing you exactly where you are with a convenient moving blue dot! Give me Google maps any day.
The forest is so peaceful on this stretch of road broken only by an occasional village or lake.
I’d happily abandon the drive, hike til twilight, then perch silently, binoculars in hand, waiting for creatures to appear. One of our happiest overnight stays was at the edge of a forest. Not only we were lucky to see wild deer grazing at twilight, but also a fabulously frisky hare. Furry bliss.
Our destination is Konstanz, on the bank of Lake Constance. Edged by Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and fed by the Rhine, its 63km span makes it Europe’s largest fresh water lake.
The harbour is guarded by this rather fierce but scantily dressed sculpture. I’m not quite sure what her story is, but I wouldn’t want to mess with her. Those two dudes she’s holding look like they didn’t do so well.
And of course it’s busy…you’d never know that autumn is set to arrive in 10 days – the sun is absolutely belting down.
We arrive mid afternoon and settle. Not the most fabulous of sites, busy, hot and nowhere to relax outside, but it is right next to the old centre, and not too far from the water. On the water would have been ideal, but Koblenz has unusual layout – the water’s edge in the old town has become a rail and of course, ferry hub. An odd use for prime real estate, I would have thought. Ferries, of course, but rail? Not so much.
The old centre is very well presented, but whilst the buildings are old, most have been renovated expertly so many times, they look almost new.
Still, there are occasional old world charmers, many with painted facades depicting day to day life, historic or forest scenes.
The Rathaus (town hall) which dates back to 1600s is particularly lovely.
There’s a rich modern sculptural presence too – the animals integrated into them add a cheeky sense of fun.
Bunnies feature prominently, and look at this little witch’s cat at the base of a brass fountain.
His little nose has been rubbed so often it gleams. If you look closely, you’ll see a wee mousey between his feet.
We explore the old centre, spot the ancient Roman ruins, pop into the cathedral with its magnificently carved doors,
check out the ferry connections for tomorrow, then settle for a drink in one of the many squares. The gorgeously mild weather we’ve been enjoying over the past week has turned to outright heat by late afternoon and explored out, we head back.
But not before I spy and purchase the world’s cutest apron – all my favourite woodland creatures!
It’s here, once we return, that the day degenerates. And it’s not Chris this time, it’s me. The motorhome is hot from being in the sun all day and for once there’s no outside seating area to escape to. I’m the first to admit, I’m not great in the heat, and been trapped inside with no escape has me exceedingly ratty* in record time. Whilst Koblenz is lovely, it’s not quite the idyllic lakeside setting I’d pictured spending tomorrow in. And that’s not helping my mood either. Let’s hope for a better outlook tomorrow.
*Ratty = run for the hills, she’s going to blow. Hissy and scratchy. That kind of ratty. Not being my best self. By a long shot.