Monday, 24 September 2012


Although our stay in Switzerland was short and sweet, we did enjoy it and one day when we have plenty of money we will return!
But we are again on a mission to head back into Germany and make our way to the Danube and head for Austria.
We soon were back in familiar surrounds as far as the lovely German buildings:
And although Switzerland had their own cycle sign system it could not really compete with the German one.
This was a variation on the usual though!

Dave is very observant and likes to pick up on the unusual or different - this little fella was quite a long way up the trunk of a large tree.....
We made our way to the Ille river and as usual there was a lovely cycle path for us to ride on.
We have had such good weather since we crossed the channel that a little rain does not worry us greatly, that is unless we are trying to cook our dinner, but Dave remedied that by putting up the basher and we didn't get a soggy meal!!

we have traveled through so many woods and forests on this trip, and through a lot of bush at home, but sometimes it is just good to stop and really absorb the beauty that is a tree ( some more brilliant than others!!)
As we are so much fitter and stronger these days and able to cover more territory each day ( the flat terrain helps)  it seemed no time at all when we reached the intersection of the Ille and the danube..or Donau as it is locally known..

As with the Rhine they have markers to show the distances - - this is how far it is to the mouth of the River where it enters the Black Sea.....
The first large town we headed towards was called Ulm and we encountered this bridge on our way there:

It would be interesting to know the history behind all these structures and what has happened here over the centuries.....especially with sections like this:
The city square like so many towns was the home of a magnificent large that we could not get to a vantage point to fit in the whole structure.
You could literally spend hours just looking at the exterior of these buildings.  The detail in the statues and ornate decorations.  I was fascinated always by the gargoyles.  Sometimes every few feet there would be one and often times no two were the same with faces of people, monsters, animals, fish or birds, and thatis without even getting to the inside.... Just the entrance of this particular church was pretty special.
We went to a bookshop to try and buy a cycle guide to the Danube and were very surprised when we were told that they are now printed in English!!!!  WOW that's going to make it a whole lot easier!!!  BUT the only thing was she did not have one in stock and we would have to wait - - - - - until 9am next day.  It was 4.30pm by this time.  We were stunned by the fast delivery so in view of that decided to treat ourselves toa real bed for the night.
this was one of a growing number of cheap hotels that are created in a modular fashion and duplicated.  the bathrooms are all plastic and installed as a unit.  But for all that it was clean and relatively comfortable and you can see that we soon made ourselves at home....  The bikes even got a room of their own.
Before we leave Ulm I just have to add one more of the beautiful buildings - we have taken so many building pics, but they are just....welll.....look:
I think this may have been the Rathause ( local city council)
We rode out of Ulm along yet another city wall ... still pretty solid after centuries.....

Then all of a sudden ancient meets modern.....a bit unusual and we have no idea what it representes but it was quite striking!!!
As we drew away from the towns and traveled through woodlands and forests we came across a lot of little boxes up in the trees, often numbered, but never found out if they were for birds or squirrels....

Never really found out what this was for either,  but we sort of

Dave has become quite proficient at taking photos as he's riding and every so often I catch him trying to catch me out.....
Lots more towns along the route and lots more buildings... I couldn't help thinking that they looked like a Disneyland set,  almost too pretty

And there were the funny things.......

But generally the towns were just so pretty and colorful....

We came across more of these insect houses which I have since learned are called beneficial bug houses, and are constructed to encourage all the good bugs to come and stay so that they will naturally take care of (KILL) all the bad bugs........This one was pretty high end real estate for bugs.......

As we enter a lot of towns it is hard to know exactly where we are as not all have signage on the roads that we take leading in, but this one we could not miss...

And to add to the wonderfully artistic town sign, we have added this picture postcard view....
How could you not just love a view like this!

Then as we were out in the countryside we saw this sight through the trees.......looks interesting..........

Then we got closer.......and right out in the middle of nowhere.......was this......

It was a private residence, no idea who lived here but pretty interesting....

We couldn't resist - so we went up to the front door.......and

took a photo of the dates!!!    The mystique of the place was enough..................
and the buildings seemed to go on forever....
as do our cycle trails.....
and us.......
See you on the flip side!!!

Monday, 17 September 2012


We finally arrived at our destination and found a camping ground on the side of Lake Zurich.  We were shocked when they told us the cost to camp as it was three times the price we had paid elsewhere....... Luckily we only had to stay one night though.   It was a very warm day and once we had set up camp, Dave decided to brave the waters of the lake -
The following day we had just a short ride to our home for the next few days with some members of our family who are living there.  It was lovely to have a bed, washing machine, and cold drinks!!
The view from their place on the edge of the lake wasn't too hard on the eyes either.
The nighttime view was pretty good as well....
As we were riding along through the suburbs we suddenly smelled something wonderful  and very mouthwatering - it was a suprise to find we were staying very near the Lindt chocolate factory.  Apparently it smells even better in the middle of winter when it's freezing and you pass by.  And of course we all like to support our local industries......
We were treated to a wonderful day when we were taken up to the alps - by car - thank goodness.  Can't imagine how they would look coated in snow, but they were pretty incredible in their green state.
The views on the way were pretty good.
Gradually getting higher and higher up the mountains...

And the roads were all pretty good....lots of tunnels through mountains, and Dave would have loved to be riding the '9 on some of the winding mountain roads -
And we encountered typical Swiss housing on the mountains.
One thing that was hard to believe were the cyclists that we saw on the road as we were driving up the mountain.  Crazy Bastards!!!  We are certainly a lot fitter and stronger than when we started but there is NO WAY we were going to ride up these!!!
But many people must as this was one of the signs at the top of the mountain!!!!
We took the chair lift up the I am not a great lover of heights and the trip was a lot longer than I anticipated, but I was holding it together quite well until 3/4 of the way up - the lift stopped!!!
It's OK - I can handle this! Then Dave started!!!!  What if it won't start again? And then he thought it might just be funny to rock the carriage - NOT FUNNY DAVE!!!!
 See  - we were pretty high!!!!
When we finally  got to the top Dave & Andy were checking the views while I was coming back to earth and anticipating the return journey!!
These mountains seem to be pretty busy even when there is no snow around - plenty of hiking trails, and some of the little kids that are doing them with their parents amazed us!!

There were quite a few tourists at the top of the mountain - managed to get a shot of a a couple of typical tourist types - - - - - 

And the unusual signs continued!!!
After experiencing the mountains, we decided to check out the city sights.  The trip across the lake to Zurich was pretty good and there was a lovely fountain as we arrived in the city precinct.
The city area was nice in the older areas with lots of canals.

While we were there we did have a bit of excitement when there were a group of people demonstrating against the arrest of Pussy riots and took their displeasure to great heights!!!

Although we found Zurich interesting, it was like most cities and super busy and tell the truth we much prefer all the little villages and towns that we travel through.

We did find a beautiful old paddle steamer as we caught the ferry home again.
We ended up staying an extra day or so in Zurich as we had news from Australia that something very exciting was about to happen..........
 And we leave you with the result of our nervous wait - -  introducing JACKSON  our very first Grandson - With great thanks to the manufacturers - Stacey & Frank!!!!!