Leg 6: Kreuzlingen – Flaach (75km)
One of the good things if you are travelling with the bicycle is that you have to travel light and as a result it does take hardly any time to pack in the morning. Today we did not have any starting difficulties like on the previous day so we got going early which was good as there were quite some sites on the way, which we planned to explore.
You can sense that autumn is around the corner; the mornings are foggy and chilly but usually the sky clears up around noon and it gets warm in the afternoon.
Our first pit stop of the day was Gottlieben, a romantic village at the Rhine with a beautiful castle and its famous “Hüppen” factory. The Gottlieber Hüppen are a famous delicacies in Switzerland and part of Switzerland’s culinary heritage. History tells that even the later emperor of France Louis Napoleon III, became an aficionado of the mouth-watering Gottlieber wafer rolls when he stayed in a castle nearby with his mother.
At the family-owned Swiss company directly on the idyllic branch of Lake Constance, which forms part of the Rhine, the delicate warm crepes are still individually baked and individually rolled like fine Havana cigars. This is done carefully and precisely, as if by hand. The Gottlieber Hüppen are then individually filled with either gently melting gourmet creams or Swiss chocolate and individually packaged by hand.
We visited the factory shop and got to taste the different wafer rolls, truffles and chocolates. As you can purchase the products at factory prices we got tempted and bought a selection of the Hüppen for my parents, as we planned to spend the night at their house.
If you have time you can linger for a while in lovely surroundings on the wonderful lakeside terrace. In the “Seecafé” you will find a chocolate fountain as well as a photographic exhibition with pictures and text “From Cocoa to Chocolate” and the company history of Gottlieber Spezialitäten AG from 1928 until the present day.
Off we went and continued our journey. Around lunchtime we stopped in Mammern, a beautiful village at the lake for yet another picnic. We had a nice conversation with a group of funny Canadian ladies; they were on their way to cycle around the lake in six days, a bunch of about 25 ladies in their 60-is, extremely interested, humorous and active. We hope we will be like them when we reach that age!
We did not spend too much time having lunch as there were some more attractions waiting for us. We left lake Constance behind us and cycled towards Stein am Rhein.
The town has a well-preserved medieval center, retaining the ancient street plan -the site of the city wall and the city gates are preserved, the medieval part of the town has been pedestrianised and many of the medieval buildings are painted with beautiful frescoes.
Stein am Rhein is very famous with tourists, it seems always busy no matter whether it is a weekday or a weekend. The cycling trail led through the medieval center before it took us further down the Rhine. In the afternoon we relaxed having a beer at some point, trying to take in the beauty of the surroundings. By the time it got really warm and felt like a lovely summer afternoon.
The famous Rhine Falls (in German Rheinfall), situated between the municipalities of Neuhausen am Rheinfall and Laufen-Uhwiesen, near the town of Schaffhausen, is the largest plain waterfall in Europe. They are 150 meters wide and 23 meters high. We reached them driving through the forest and it went uphill quite steeply; we could actually hear the falls before we could see them, as the water falls in a thunderous way over the cliffs.
There is so much to do around the falls; there is the magnificent rock in the middle of the powerful water masses, which you can visit by boat. Several platforms on both sides of the Rhine allow you spectacular views over the falls or you can visit the castles Laufen or Wörth. In the evenings, the Rhine Falls are illuminated. The lighting designer Charles Keller makes deliberate use of light. As dusk sets in, he brings the buildings of the area out of the darkness: the railway bridge, Schloss Laufen and industrial buildings. Soon after, the roaring masses of water appear in the limelight. The light source, six masts with LED and metal halide lamps close to the water, turns the Rhine Falls into a nightly water spectacle. The flow of water is clearly visible and it creates a very special ambiance!
We have seen this spectacle before, this time however we did not have time to stay back that long as we still had a few kilometers ahead of us. We finally reached Flaach, where we locked our bikes and retired for the day at my parents’. As usual, we had a fantastic dinner and some lovely wine! A big “thank you” to Mom and Dad!