During the 2020 pandemic, my partner Tes and I spent ten days housesitting in Sonthofen in the Allgäu region at the end of May. We had eleven rescued cats to look after and visited a few places around Sonthofen. Somehow I didn’t manage to take more than five pictures in Sonthofen. But, I did take some in Lindau, Kempten, on an alpaca hike, in the Starzlachklamm and on a hike to the source of the Iller river. Since most of them are from Lindau, I have named this post after the town on Lake Constance. But first the most beautiful photo from Sonthofen im Allgäu, taken on our way to the city center.
Lindau on Lake Constance is about an hour’s drive from Sonthofen. We took a long walk on the small island and enjoyed the beautful scenery . By the way, Lindaus entire center is a listed building. The harbor entrance with the Bavarian lion and the lighthouse is a world-famous landmark and for me one of the most beautiful attractions in Germany. In addition, the island offers the Mangturm (which used to be part of the city’s fortifications), the Lindau Knowledge Trail, the old town hall, Maximilianstreet and several churches, some date back to the year 810.
We spent our time in the small alleys and boutiques and a second-hand shop. Drinking coffee with a view of the harbor and enjoyed the atmosphere.
“If all humans would be friend – be a part – 1st world peace” – I am in favour of that
Snapshots from a nursery/decoration shop:
Here it’s clean enough to stay healthy and tidy enough to feel comfy
I am not in this world to be how others would like to have me
The best thing of a family is you are never alone. The worst thing of a family is you are never alone.
If you don’t change a thing, nothing changes
The old town hall
I am simply drawn to the motif of the harbor entrance
Starzlach means roughly “Ach (river) jumping over the rocks”, or “torrent” and is an 11 km long stream in the Allgäu Alps. Its source is at an altitude of about 1550 m and it flows into the Ostrach. Over time, it has washed the Starzlachklamm (Starzlach-gorge) into the rocks, which is considered Sonthofen’s most important natural monument. It has been made available in 1932 and has been protected since 1951.
At the time, my girlfriend Tes and I wanted to visit the waterfall (The Schleierfälle) shown below, which is only a few minutes’ walk from a parking area. We were spontaneous and went there without a plan after a coffee in Sonthofen. Once we were at the waterfall, we realized that we were at the entrance to the Starzlachklamm. So, while everyone else was walking into the gorge with hiking gear, backpacks and drinks, we were in jeans and trainers. We got some funny looks that still makes me smile today (April 2021).
Schleierfälle at the entrance to the gorge
The view after the gorge
During the pandemic, the gorge was an one-way street
The way to the gorge
Paths in the Starzlachklamm
A place to ponder
After the gorge, on the way to the refreshment stop (Germans say “einkehren”)
What a view
Kempten lies on the river Iller and is one of the oldest cities in Germany (along with Speyer, Worms, Trier, Cologne and Augsburg). The city’s history dates back to 1500 BC, although at that time Kempten was called Kambodounon. We only spent a few hours in the city of 70,000 inhabitants and only wandered around the city center, near the most famous sight, the Basilica of St. Lorenz.
Basilika St. Lorenz
Thinking is like googling but blatant
We parked in Fischen and visited the squirrel forest. We were told that countless squirrels could be seen there, but we didn’t see any. Afterwards we walked along the Iller to its source. There, the Breitach, Stilllach and Trettach rivers converge to form the Iller. It is a very relaxed hike that I can recommend.
Somewhere on the way
The source of the Iller
The bronze casting “Illerursprung” by Walter Kalo, with the source of the Iller in the background
On the way back to the train that took us to Fischen again
We spent an afternoon on an alpaca hike with Allinger donkey farm. After setting an appointment by phone, we went on an one-hour hike with three alpacas and their owner. I had the white alpaca, who didn’t really like me, while every animal went crazy for Tes. In any case, I can recommend the hiking experience. The farm also offers donkey walks and has lots of other animals. Just have a look at the homepage, treat yourself and your children to such an experience or gift a voucher.
During the time in Allgäu, I noticed that I had already been to Ecuador, Puerto Rico and else where, but I hardly know my way around my home country. The things to visit and marvel at in Bavaria alone are enough for countless excursions. Accordingly, I have decided to visit more of the areas “on my doorstep”.