It’s Tuesday and I’m typing this from England where Mary and I are spending a few days before our return to Canada. This truly spectacular TourMagination trip is over. Done. Finished. How did that happen?
(In our long experience leading tours, it’s always how it is with trips, especially the very best, which go by in the twinkling of an eye).
When last I wrote we were about to set out via a series of trains from Grindelwald to Germany and Lindau, and we did just that on the 10th. Train travel is so different from car travel as you are right there. Transfers at rail stations can be a bit hectic as you may have only a minute or two to transfer rail platforms, but then you enjoy peace and quiet on Swiss and German rails as the world goes by. With only one hiccup en route, we made it to the German island resort town of Lindau in time for our evening meal.
Lindau was, in its heyday, an independent imperial city on Lake Constance, and after that a must-go-to destination for Europe’s nineteenth-century elites. It still is a much-desired destination for Germans and Austrians especially, surrounded by vineyard-filled hills, the alps in the distance, a city center that is largely car-free and heavily medieval, and then those waters of Lake Constance, the Bodensee.
We went our own way for the evening meal and then gathered together the next day, the 11th, after breakfast. Once again we had a hotel close to the key points of interest. And once again we had a breakfast buffet of world-class coffee, cold cuts, cheese, fruit, breads, buns, granola, yogurt, I could go on and on. Scrumptious!
Most of us went for a walking tour of the city, moving slowly past ancient city walls, thousand-year-old lookout towers and churches and even a tower prison (why not?!), and then along cobblestone alleyway streets. It was so restful. Peaceful.
Then in the afternoon people went their own way, with more than a few talking the ferry for the twenty-minute jaunt across the lake to neighbouring Austria and the seaside resort of Bregenz where we enjoyed (again!) fabulous coffee and mid-afternoon cake/kuchen that is A1. And all the while we could look across the lake to the other shore, and the Swiss alps; the very alps we had spent such wonderful days in.
Our final evening meal followed. We got up yesterday and had breakfast buffet one last time together One of the things Mary and I so enjoy is to time our own departure as leaders at a time after everyone else has left. So it was yesterday as we managed to say our warm goodbyes to those whom we had travelled with. Most went on to Oberammergau and the Passion Play that is on today. One returned directly to Canada and three went on to the UK, unwittingly having planned to be there at the very time when the land is in official mourning for the late Queen.
So this TourMaganation tour is at an end. I know I’ve written this at the end of other tours but I was again astonished by how this travel company – one of so many in a busy marketplace – is able to bring together such amazingly compatible, joy-filled, caring travel companions. We saw some amazing sights over the past ten days and we built this warm-hearted community on the move as we did it.
So a great deep thanks from Mary and me to all of our fine fellow travellers. Thanks to TourMagination for making it all possible, and thank God for the Swiss alps especially, a certain sign of the wonder of creation.
– Len Friesen, Alpine Adventure tour