Eager to explore a new German city and pop into Switzerland, my friends and I (in reality our group-trip saviour Annie) organised a day trip to Lake Constance, or the Bodensee as it’s called in German.
We arrived bleary-eyed at Mannheim’s Hauptbahnhof at 7.30am, grabbed some breakfast in the form of muffins, cookies, and (naturally) pretzels from Le Crobag, a German bakery chain which labels itself as La Petite France. They sell a vegan chocolate and cherry muffin for €2 and although my friends scoffed, it was actually dreamy. It was worth getting up at 6.30 on a Saturday just for the train station breakfast.
The train took off at 7.47am sharp and after one planned change, and one unplanned change due to a broken-down carriage, we arrived in Konstanz just before midday. After a quick lunch in a Turkish restaurant, a browse of a random cake sale in the street, and a spot of sightseeing in a beautiful old church, we wandered down to the harbour to see the lake.
Lake Constance is a massive lake located at the deep south of Germany, flowing over into the borders of Switzerland and Austria. It’s a stunning expanse of blue, dotted with cute little boats and swans and surrounded by greenery. With the still water and cloud-strewn sky, it could be the backdrop of a motivational poster, and for a while we just sat on a bank, admired it, and took enough photos to make my friend Reuben want to throw us into the lake.
We also spent some time at the Swiss-German border to enjoy the novelty of being able to quite literally hop between countries, before walking into the Swiss town of Kreuzlingen. We were greeted with lots of flowers and Germanic flags which was lovely; we then walked along the lake enjoying the fresh and expensive Swiss air and of course the beautiful views. A wooden viewing-point with a rickety spiral staircase (swoon) provided an especially brilliant view of the lake and nearby scenery.
Later in the afternoon we met up with Warwick friends Poppie and Helen who are spending their years abroad studying in Konstanz. It was so lovely to see familiar faces, and they were the perfect tour guides around Konstanz’s cute little streets.
As the sun was setting over the lake, we hopped on a train back to Mannheim, arriving home as the clock struck midnight. The day trip was truly wunderbar, and the 309 photos I took are still making me smile.