Published 17 June 2010 by Jessica Riccò

Lindau at Lake Constance: A quick survival guide

Lindau at Lake Constance – a name that promises pure adventure. Yet before you, temerarious young researcher oder you, fearless journalist or you, wise Nobel Laureate travel to reach the Swabian countryside, you should consider the following five security references:

1. Pack the beekeeper’s suit.

Or protect yourself in a different way from hungry midges. Lindau is located next to Lake Constance and the conference venue is right next to the water. Last year I left the conference after five days with the legs of the elephant man, after a midge family drank my blood until they were well-fed. I recommend skin creams for children – they smell nice and are usually even cheaper than midge preservatives for adults. In case you want to go hiking in the forest, you should also be aware of ticks – the Lake Constance region is part of the high-risk areas for tick-borne encephalitis!

2. Reassure yourself if you have hay fever

If so, remember to pack enough handkerchiefs. Next to the lake the pollination is not as strong, but the hotels in which we will be accomodated may be a little further into the countryside. By the end of june there will be still be grasses and rye pollen in the air and from there they might reach your nose. And eyes. And that’s annoying.

3. Get a twitter account

Allegedly there have been conference participants who were forced to raise a mortgage on their homes after the meeting due to ridiculously high phone bills. Even the quickest phone call will cost a fortune if you call other participants who might be on non-German phone networks. This year we expect 683 participants from more than 70 countries and it is recommended to stay in contact via wifi rather than mobile phone. At you will always be updated with the latest news.

4. Always carry a towel with yourself!

And that for various reasons. Most importantly of course in honour of Douglas Adams. Furthermore because Lake Constance invites to get tanned in the sun or go swimming. Please don’t swim to far out – although Lake Constance looks so lovely and harmless but in a storm it may develop waves up to three metres. And it would be a shame to see you, temerarious young researcher or you, fearless journalist oder you, wise Nobel Laureate drown in the floods.

By the way: Many hotels in Lindau will not provide air condition, so a towel soaked up with cold water is also an excellent way to cool down your fainting body.

5. Don’t go for lunch at rush hour

There is really no reason for jealousy about food – the lunch break lasts two hours and it is recommended to use all of that time. That means, that it is convenient not to race towards the buffet while drooling, since then there will be already 27.897 further hungry scientists waiting. If you wait another 30 minutes, there will be enough food left.

One last advice: It’s worthwhile bringing your bike. It is a great way to explore Lindau and the fresh breeze along on your matutinal way to the conference venue is a marvellous way to start the day!

And here’s another few advices from Beatrice – she posted them as comments under my article and since they are just as useful, I don’t want to conceal them to our English readers:

Since the sun can really burn merciless – especially on the boat trip – you absolutely have to bring sunblocker and/or a hat.

At least one fancy suit/dress for the kick off and illustrious evenings.

Consider this: In Germany shops are closed on sundays and in the evening. If you travel lightly you should not leave your toothbrush or contact lense solution at home (we had such a case last year…)

Since Lindau is close to the mountains and the steamy air from the Lake directly arises, tempests go off unexpectedly quick. Therefore keep an umbrella in your bag.

Jessica Riccò