How to catch a cold in the middle of summer

Geneva, Lausanne, Bern, Zürich, Kreuzlingen Münsterlingen Spital. In 4 hours and 18 minutes you cross Switzerland diagonally from South West to North East to end up on the shores of the other big Swiss lake, the Bodensee (Lac de Constance in French). This one is shared with Germany and Austria like Lake Geneva is shared with the French.

I love train rides. It forces you out of daily life and it offers a range of things to do for which you often don’t find the time as you are caught up in the usual routine. Read, listen to music, watch the landscape pass by, write, sleep, think or, my preference, observe your fellow passengers and talk to them.

On the last train ride back from Paris we had an interesting and moving exchange with to Iranian militant refugee women and were honored to learn about their life and fight.

This train ride to my destination in Switzerland’s German part, was shared with army recruits. Fridays, camouflaged youngsters invade the trains to go on their weekend leave, guns over their shoulder. If you don’t know any better you could worry and wonder if the country is at war, but when, after a sip of a well deserved beer, the guy dozes of and snores next to you, any worries you could have had are gone.

After arriving in Münsterlingen, I had  a brief interesting encounter with some inhabitants of the psychiatric clinic. It slightly worried me, I admit, for the nights ahead in my friend’s tent which was installed in the middle of nowhere – a real camping ground would be too common 😉 (but be aware, wild camping is not allowed in Switzerland, this was “half-wild” as my friend had a special permission from the land owner).

We had a lovely swim in the lake before seeking shelter from the rain which was pouring down all night and brought a temperature drop of 15 degrees exactly my one and only camping weekend. The wind blowing hard trough the surrounding trees added to an excitingly spooky night, with no battery left in my phone and which was crowned by a fox visiting our tent to steal some bread.

Needless to say I had to stretch my bladder that night and tried to lay as still as possible to try to make it until the morning. Finally I could not take it anymore and had to give in, crawl out of the tent and find myself shivering from the cold in the middle of bushes to get some relief, when I felt some eyes staring at me. Or so I thought…I wish I could have filmed myself, pulling up my pajama trousers, running back to the tent, falling over the lines which hurt my foot and making it to my sleeping bag with a pounding heart, wondering the rest of the night if a person or the fox had watched me pee.

But if you are slightly more reasonable than me, I promise you will enjoy the Bodensee region without catching a cold and you can join other enchanted cyclists on the special paths all around the lake and even cross it to the German side using one of the ferries.

 

A few helpful links for the region:

Untersee

Vier Länder Region

Swiss Trains

 

 

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