Postcards from the Bodensee

June 2019

(Pictures can be enlarged by clicking)

At the very start of the year my dear friend Sibylle invited me to come visit her at her home on the edge of the Black Forest in southern Germany. By the time the agreed date came around circumstances had changed for both of us but we managed to find a workable Plan B - I'd stay in a B&B and explore the town of Überlingen in the mornings, then we'd meet up and spend the rest of the day touring the surrounding area together.

Here, then, are some pictures and thoughts from my trip.

Basel underpass / bike park

Basel Badischer Bahnhof, a very German station in Switzerland

Luggage escalator, Basel station


Arriving at Basel airport led to my first interaction with (continental) European borders - something that would become a theme during my stay. While walking along one of those endless airport corridors progress slowed right down until everybody from the plane was loosely queuing, edging forward as the opportunity arose but with no explanation as to why. Eventually two Passport Control desks came into view, both processing travellers fairly promptly but still causing quite a bottleneck. Past these I collected my suitcase but then caught myself before leaving into the wrong country - it's possible to exit Basel airport into France, Germany or Switzerland. From the Swiss gateway I took an Uber to Basel Badischer Bahnhof, a Deutsche Bahn (German railway) station inside Switzerland, where I caught a train to Überlingen, my final destination. Since having my passport examined on entry it had remained in my bag while I navigated between countries & systems, a smooth but somehow vaguely unsettling feeling for an island dweller.

Fiery clouds over the lake

My guest house, Überlingen

Staircase to my room


Dock & town, Überlingen

Central town square, Überlingen


The lakeside town of Überlingen turned out to be a delightful place to wander around. The central area was filled with tall, pastel coloured buildings - many of them picturesquely timbered - with narrow streets & lanes weaving between them. The broad waterside promenade held restaurants, cafés & bars as well as lots of seats & benches for taking in the sights of the see.


Town museum, Überlingen
There were several buildings with this single slope roof style



Restaurant entrance, Überlingen

Antiques shop, Überlingen

Street art

There were great examples of public art both in Überlingen and the other places I visited, many more than I'd expect in similarly sized British towns. Many of the buildings were decorated with paintings, in traditional or modern styles, but pride of place had to go to the giant civic statue in Überlingen's waterfront plaza - a group of naked mermaids, young & old, holding aloft a tired looking man sat on a decidedly nervous looking horse. It was dramatic, bizarre and unashamedly prominent, not what I was expecting in a very conventional seeming town.

Statuary in the waterfront square, Überlingen

Electricity distribution station, Überlingen

House art, Überlingen

Watering can tree, Überlingen

Street art, Überlingen

Reading bench, Überlingen

Unexplained roof signage, Überlingen
(the house showed nothing relating to these symbols)

Street entertainer, Überlingen
He was singing Lili Marlene

I finally succumbed to a cake, Überlingen