St Gallen to Munich

April 29th, 2012 by DC

Here’s a post on my ride from St Gallen in Switzerland to Munich in southern Germany.

So it turns out staying an extra day in St Gallen was a great decision! The day I left dawned fine and sunny with no wind and headed towards Bodensee/Lake Constance.

Heading down towards Lake Constance/Bodensee


I rode through three countries this day, including about 20km through Austria. Here’s a photo from the border.

Crossing into Austria

The whole of this day was spent riding on cycle paths, and most of it was along the lake. There were a heap of cyclists out, and the views were awesome- looking across the lake, with the big snowy mountains of the Alps in the distance.

Mountains, lake and cycle paths!

I made it to the town of Lindau for lunch. I was hoping to have a half-chicken and chips with a big beer at a beergarden/hall as my hosts in St Gallen had recommended but I couldn’t find one that was open. Lindau is a town on an island- it was pretty cool really- definitely worth the extra 5km past the cycle path!

Entrance to the harbour in Lindau

Lindau - a town on an island

Then it was onto the Bodensee-Königssee Radweg (Cycle route) which I followed to Fussen. It’s been a lot of winding paths through meadows.

Cycle path through forest and meadows

I stayed with a great Warmshowers host near the town of Gestratz. Andrea had cycled through Australia on a tandem a few years ago- with a route that’s sort of the reverse of my planned one. It was great to meet someone sane who’s actually ridden through that part of the world and really enjoyed it. I think a lot of people think I’m a bit crazy for including it in my trip plan!

It was more nice weather as I weaved through the foothills of the Alps- passing lakes etc on the route.

Taking a break

Again there were heaps of meadows and little towns.

Pretty town!

One of the things I was aware of, but have still been amazed by, is the amount of photovoltaic panels that are on so many roofs here! I believe it was a government policy that they were subsidised for households, and the rate that the power is sold to the power companies is set quite high. They’ve been most obvious on farmhouses where they usually take up most if not all of the roof. Here’s an example- the little out-buildings are covered in them too!

Photovoltaics everywhere- the whole roof of the barn is covered in them!

The mountains were pretty cool- this is the Sauling above Fussen.


I stayed at a campground in a little town just before Fussen, on a small lake. The light in the evening was great, and I sat by the lake for a while reading my Kindle,  writing in my journal, and drinking Bavarian beer!

Nice light in the evening
Here’s a photo for the surveyors- saw a guy out using some nice kit!

Surveyor with some nice kit- an RTK GNSS receiver and a robotic total station

Fussen is well known for some big castles built by King Leopold II back in the day. I didn’t head up to them, and disappointingly the light was from the wrong direction for photos. Here’s a shot of the bigger one which seems to be under restoration as it’s covered in scaffolding and netting.

Castle near Fussen - all covered in scaffolding and netting

It was another sunny day’s ride through farmland. Of interest were some frog fences that stopped the frogs getting onto the road and getting run over! I’ve seen them all over the place- quite cool. Maybe we need them on the West Coast of the South Island of NZ to help the penguins (there was a RadioNZ Our Changing World programme about it).

Frog fences (seriously)

Some very nice views along the cycleway, a lot of it was like this.

Huts in a pretty little valley

Another great Warmshowers host near Peissenberg. It was a cool German family on a farm, and we drank a decent amount of Bavarian beer (my head reported it was one too many the next morning).

Big, nice old house I stayed in with a great German family

Today was more riding through forests:

Riding through some forest

And past lakes:

Boatshed on the lake

It was all going so well! And then 20km from Munich I got a flat tire. The first day out of St Gallen I’d got 2 flats in one day, and had bought a new rim-liner. I think/thought the problem was the dodgy new wheel and some really bad taping of the rim (which you do to stop the spokes puncturing the tube). It was all over the place and there was a heap of exposed glue that I thought might be causing problems with the tube somehow. Anyway, it’d been fine for the next 2-3 days, then boom, another flat. I hadn’t fixed the punctures in my spare tubes as I was lazy, and as I went to fix it I discovered that I was out of rubber-glue to attach the patches!

Luckily, a nice German guy must’ve seen my frustration, and offered me a tube! I was very grateful. It’s not a Presta valve one, but luckily (in some way) my new wheel has the bigger hole so it still fits. Of course all the bike shops were closed this afternoon, and tomorrow’s Sunday. Luckily I’m staying in Munich until Monday morning so will pick up some new tubes and glue on my way out of town. It raises the question of what’s causing these punctures on the inside of my tubes (which implies it’s not something poking through the tire). Hmmm, I guess time will tell. I’m starting to wonder if the tire’s getting pretty worn the sidewall of the tires definitely aren’t as strong as they used to be- causing the tire to appear more squashed.


Anyway, I’m in Munich, it was 30 degrees yesterday, so I’m looking forward to finding a beer garden and enjoying another day off the bike! The riding’s been going really well, and will be in Salzburg in Austria in a few days. Still working on my route through there (due to some time constraints that are coming down the line), so I guess you’ll find out when I post about where I’ve been!

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Posted in Gear, Germany, Switzerland