Lindau

lindau

It was a beautiful sunny weekend; We decided to drive to Lindau on our motorboat. Lindau is a major town and an island on the eastern side of Lake Constance, bordered by Austria and Switzerland.

We reached Lindau at noon. We decided not to dock the boat at the main harbor (which is usually occupied by the bigger boats) and instead chose the side harbor to moor. (Docking costs around €11 per night, which also includes WC/ Bath).

lindau-harbor-where-we-docked-our-boat

After a couple of sandwiches and a salad at the local diner, we wandered around the harbor, enjoying the picturesque views of the mountains, lake, magnificent ships and boats on one side and restaurants and shops bustling with people on the other.

The entrance to the harbor is very popular and beautiful. It is guarded by a majestic statue of a Bavarian Lion (Bayerische Löwe) and the new lighthouse (Neue Leuchtturm).The six-meter high, statue of the lion (completed in 1856) overlooking the lake is the work of a Munich Professor, Johann Halbig. It is made of sandstone and weighs about 50 tons.

the-entrance

The new lighthouse is 36 meters high and measures a base circumference of 24 meters. It is one of the few buildings of its kind that has a clock on the facade.

You can enjoy the views from the lighthouse’s observation deck at the top after climbing about 139 steps. The inner walls of the tower are decorated with amusing anecdotes and detailed information about Lindau and Lake Constance. The lighthouse is open to public depending on the weather and demand. (Admission costs € 2.10 for adults, € 0.80 for children).

I highly recommend approaching Lindau using Water transport, even if it means taking a short ferry trip for this purpose! The vistas, I’m sure, will take your breath away.

The beautiful streets of Lindau invite even the least athletic visitor to explore on foot. Lindau’s market square is lined by a series of sturdy and attractive old buildings. You’ll see many shops housed in buildings built in the 15th and 16th century.

mike-at-the-local-bookstore

The Old Town Hall (Altes Rathaus) is one of the most beautiful buildings in Lindau. This historic building took around 14 years to build and was completed in 1436. It is in Gothic style and is covered in murals on the façade. One of them depicts the time Emperor Maximilian I, held a deliberation here in 1496.

old-town-hall

The city library (Ehemals Reichsstädtische Bibliothek, ERB) is truly magnificent. It stores around 13,000 books that hold within its thick, leather book covers, adventurous travel stories, philosophical observations, detailed analysis of ailments and other stories of bygone generations. I was totally in awe of this library. Unfortunately, we couldn’t take any pictures inside.

The island of Lindau is connected to the mainland via a small bridge accessible to cars, bikes and pedestrians. There is also a train which travels from the mainland to the island. We strolled to the mainland while enjoying the surroundings and ended the evening on our boat, relishing a delicious Pizza from a local Kebab shop..

Next day, we had a lovely breakfast at a Hotel/ Restaurant called Hotel Bayerischer Hof. Our Breakfast included Omlette with onions and herbs, sauteed mushrooms on the side and bread with homemade butter. Every bite tasted heavenly! Ah! What an amazing way to spend a weekend!

a-heavenly-breakfastLove,

Madhurya.

Malta

Hello there. Remember me? Sorry for the loooong leave of absence. So many things happened to me and my small family in the past couple of months that I had no time to write! I went on a 3 week business trip to Australia, Singapore and New Zealand. Then Mike and I… wait for it, the big news… bought a new home! Yay! And we have been busy with it ever since…

But this post isn’t about my work or our home, it is about our short trip to Malta for the Easter holidays. Malta is a Southern European Island country, well-known for its historic sites. We got a good deal on Ebookers for the flight as well as the hotel. If you do a pre-booking online for a rental car, you will expect someone from the Rental Company waiting for you at your arrival, with all the documents, as the airport is quite small to accommodate offices for rental companies inside.  We had booked a 4 seater Peugeot which costed us around 25 euros per day.

Mike and I

We stayed at the beautiful Corinthia hotel. It felt like we were in a medieval castle. In fact most of the buildings in Malta are built in this medieval style from special limestones found only in Malta. Something interesting to know about Malta is it is basically a lump of limestone in the Mediterranean and only covers about 300 sq.km (including the outlying islands of Gozo and Comino).  Malta has 2 types of limestone, globigerina and coralline.. The architectural style here is such that the original color of the stones are maintained on the walls of buildings, while colors like blue, red and green adorn the windows and doors adding interest.

Hotel Corinthia
Hotel Corinthia
Limestone building of Malta
Limestone building with a pop of red

After checking in at the Corinthia, we headed out to Mdina. Mdina is a small city located in the northern region of Malta. As it was Easter, the city was packed with people making their way to the churches. We even had trouble finding a parking spot. We walked around the narrow cobbled streets enjoying the baroque and medieval architecture of the houses, churches and chapels. It is also called as the silent city as no cars are allowed inside, except those of its residents.

Cobbled streets of Mdina
Cobbled streets

After enjoying delicious pasta at the restaurant Trattoria 1530, we drove back to our hotel before stopping at a small village called Dingli, where we enjoyed watching the play of Sun with the sea for a while.

Dingli
Dingli

On the second day of our trip we explored the capital city of Malta called Valletta. Valletta is a fortified city located on a hilly peninsula between two of the finest natural harbors (Marsamxett Harbor and Grand Harbor) in the Mediterranean.  Valletta contains buildings from the 16th century, built during the rule of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, also known as Knights Hospitaller.

Valletta 2
Valletta

We went to the Upper Barrakka Gardens & Saluting Battery. The Saluting Battery is located below the Barrakka gardens, overlooking the Grand Harbour and is used for ceremonial artillery firings. The beautiful views of the sea and the garden around made us wish time would simply stand still..

Saluting Batery 2
Saluting Battery
Saluting Battery
Saluting Battery

Later, we drove towards Sliema. We parked our car close to the waterfront and walked beside the beach towards another place called Saint Julian`s, a fishing village. After Mike had fun ogling at all the beautiful yachts docked at a small harbor nearby, we had our lunch at an amazing restaurant called Café Cuba, where we had the most delicious Cuban burgers.

Sliema
Sliema
Saint Julian's
Saint Julian’s

A 30 minute ride from Saint Julian`s to the south coast took us to a tiny pristine place called Blue Grotto (grotto meaning chain or a number of sea caverns). You can take a boat to visit the chain of caves located in this area. Blue Grotto is so called because of the different shades of blue of the sea seen near the caves. A 20 minute boat ride costed us Euro 8/ person. As it was high tide, it was more like a roller coaster ride for me, but we thoroughly enjoyed it.

Blue Grotto
Blue Grotto

In the evening we took a stroll inside San Anton Garden right next to the hotel where a wide range of flora from all over the world is grown. We even spotted a beautiful Peacock and Peahens strutting about.

 Wait for more about our (short) trip to Malta…

Cheers,

Madhurya.

Day trip to Lake Caumasee

After a long and tiring week, an idea popped into my head to plan a day-trip to Lake Caumasee. I’d visited this lake with my friends Manisha and Stefan last year, and had a really good time, but Mike never had, so he found this idea quite appealing. When we told our good friends Marcel and Farnaz about our little outing, they immediately agreed to join us.

Caumasee Lake

Switzerland has a number of lakes, of which, Caumasee is one. This tiny, beautiful lake is tucked in Flims, a town in the canton of Graubünden.

It is about 175 km from our home. We left early in the morning, picked our friends in Winterthur, and began our 2 hr journey. Marcel and Farnaz are a few of the closest friends we have here in Switzerland. We always enjoy hanging out with them, discussing topics like work, politics, family and travelling.

The entire journey to the lake was composed of luscious green fields, gigantic mountains, steep valleys and small lakes here and there. They were really beautiful! I kept clicking pictures all the way, as I wanted to capture nature at its best!!

It was about 10 am by the time we reached Caumasee; We decided to walk around the town before heading to the forest that leads to the Lake. After a short walk and a cup of coffee at a café, we took our bags (which had our swim clothes, towels, fruits, chips, my homemade cupcakes and some drinks) and started our short descent into the lake.

Around Flims

There are two ways to reach the lake, one is by walking down to a certain point and then taking the funicular to the entrance, and the other is walking all the way down through a Forest Trail. We chose the latter. It was a short 15 minute walk, that gave us stunning views of this beautiful freshwater mountain lake. It looked like a painting with shades of green and blue.

Lake Caumasee 2

During the summer (June to September), there is an entrance fee of CHF 9.50 and the rest of the year, it is free. You’ll find people swimming in the lake or playing beach volleyball, or sunbathing or simply lying on the shore, reading. One can even rent a rowing board or a pedalo to go around the lake. For dining, there is a restaurant, serving typical Swiss food, drinks and ice cream.

While the men swam around the lake, Farnaz and I stayed on the shore chatting and reading. Lying on the grass while soaking the sun was so relaxing.

I also practiced a few swimming strokes which Mike has been teaching me lately.  We had the fruits, chips and cupcakes that we’d packed for the trip and left the lake around 3 in the afternoon, when the sky began turning grey.

As we ended our day, I promised myself to visit all the beautiful places, big and small, in Switzerland with my family and good friends.

Cheers,

Madhurya.