GPS: gpx|google maps
A year ago we had a somewhat crazy idea of cycling from our current home town Böblingen to Lake Constance in one day. We tried the Hohenzollern bicycle route last year but had to give up because this way had many indirections instead of just leading us to the south. A few weeks ago we tried to cycle to Sigmaringen in order to test a new route. Unfortunately we had to abort the tour because of a thunderstorm.
Last Saturday we prepared everything for the next try. The bikes were saddled, the bags were packed and the GPX track was loaded onto the GPS. When we got up at 6:30am it started to rain - and didn't stop until 12:00. So again we failed. However, on Sunday we got another chance. This time the weather looked perfect. We again got up at 6:30am and started the tour. We cycled along Tuebingen, Reutlingen, Lichtenstein, Sigmaringen, Pfullendorf and finally Ueberlingen. It took us about 9 hours including breaks. When we arrived the weather was still nice and we had a lot of ice cream at the lakeside of Lake Constance 🙂 (and then a pizza!). In the evening we took the last train back to Boeblingen (we had to change twice - in Radolfzell and in Singen).
It is only a 50 minute train ride from Florence to Pisa. Having heard so much about the Leaning Tower of Pisa we decided that it is worth going there. Actually the city has not too much to offer apart from the Field of Miracles. It is the name of the place where the Pisa Cathedral, the Pisa Baptistry, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, and the Camposanto Monumentale are situated. But still it is worth going there to take a look at the tower. It was very funny to sit on the gras in front of the leaning tower and observe all the people who try to get a good picture.
In the afternoon we arrived in Florence. We stayed at hotel B&B Repubblica. The hotel is situated in the city center and therefore a good place to explore the city.
We absolutely wanted to go to the place where all the famous photos of Florence where taken. So we asked the friendly staff at the hotel and they explained to us that we have to cross the river and then go up a hill to a car park. So we crossed the bridge which has some houses and stores on it, mostly jewellery is sold there and started to walk up the hill. It is really worth going up there, because the view of the city is just great! There were many many people and also some live music. When you are there it is worth to visit the garden with lots of different roses and also the garden with irises (they only bloom a few weeks a year and we were there during the time!). In the evening we enjoyed some good pasta.
When the weather was said to be bad again for the weekend in Germany we decided to book the night train to Florence.
The train runs every night from Munich to Rome. It was another great night on the train, at 6 in the morning we arrived in Florence. After a short walk along the river Arno we took the next train to Vicchio. Apart from staying at the city we wanted to see a bit of the real Tuscany. During the train ride we saw the great landscape. For one night we booked a very nicely looking hotel called Villa Campestri Olive Oil Resort. It is about 5km away from the train station in Vicchio. Actually you can take a taxi to go up to the hotel, but it was such a nice day, therefore we decided to walk. After more than one hour we arrived at the hotel. The hotel is situated on a hill which gives you a beautiful view down to the valley. Moreover the hotel is surrounded by olive trees. Every autumn there is the olive harvest and oil is produced. During your stay you will have the opportunity to try the homemade olive oil. Also the food served in the enclosed restaurant can be recommended.
PS: One nice blog entry regarding traveling: http://www.villacampestri.com/en/blog_en?p=4738#more-4738