Known in English as Lake Constance, the Bodensee is about 65 km (40 miles) long and 15 km (9 miles) wide, making it second in size in Switzerland only to Lac LĂ©man (Lake Geneva). The strong German flavor of the towns on its Swiss edge is seasoned with a resort-village mellowness; palm trees fringe the waterfront. This isn't the Mediterranean, though; as the lake is not protected by mountains, it can be windy in spring and fall and quite humid in summer. European vacationers come here during the warmer months for swimming, windsurfing, and fishing. Small vacation homes alternate with opulent villas along the lakefront.

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