Category Archives: Hidden Gems

Lindau – a picture perfect city at Lake Constance

Lindau is one of the most beautiful places at Lake Constance. This city belongs to Bavaria and is located on the North-Eastern side of the lake. The medieval City Centre is located on a small island in Lake Constance which is connected to the mainland through a bridge.

English: View overlooking Lindau, Lake Constan...

Lindaus existence was first mentioned 882, in a document of a monk from nearby St. Gallen. Later first churches and a monastery was founded and 1274/75 Lindau became an Imperial Free City in the Holy Roman Empire. In 1804 it became part of the Austrian Empire (for one year) and since then it belongs to Bavaria.

Lindaus great location and its rich history make it a perfect place to visit. In summer you can reach it by boat service, as there are several regular boat lines that connect all the cities at Lake Constance. This is one of the first great places to take pictures, too. The entrance to the harbour is guarded by a light tower on one side and a statue of the Bavarian Lion on the other.

Harbor entrance with Bavarian Lion and New Lig...

Image via Wikipedia

There are nice restaurants and you can enjoy the view from Lindau over the lake towards Bregenz (Austria).

But you should enter the medieval centre of the city, too, as there are lots of beautiful houses to be seen. Especially nice is the Maximillian-Strasse in the centre, it features colonnades and you will be amazed by the many details that can be found. The old city hall is also very impressive, its front side features a painting which tells the history of Lindau. There are still parts of the old city wall existing and the remaining towers will provide a great background for commemorative pictures.

As Lindau is part of Bavaria you should not miss out to taste some Bavarian “Weiss-Wurst” (sausage)  – it is traditionally accompanied by White Beer – and I strongly recommend you to follow this tradition. Vegetarians could swap the Sausage for a “Obatzter” (cheese-spread)

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Reality Check – Sonnenkopf

great view from one of the restaurants

“The Sonnenkopf is Arlbergs hidden powder paradise. Lech am Arlberg and St. Anton may be a lot more prestigious, but this smaller resort deserves some recognition, too!” This is what I told a lot of people over and over again, and for that reason I included the Sonnenkopf into my ski-resort list (link at end of text). But I believe to advise people about places you have to know them – and even if you know them, you have to put them to test over and over again. This is what I did today.

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Filed under Hidden Gems, Winter

The Top 5 Picture Perfect Villages in Cornwall

Today I present you a guest blog entry by Laura, it gives us some insight about picture perfect villages to visit in Cornwall. I hope you like it as much as I did!

Sometimes the best way to really experience a new place during a holiday is to simply get lost.  Too often, travelers spend all of their time seeing new places, but not really experiencing them.  Cornwall is one of those places that has so much to offer its holiday visitors, but you can’t just stick to what the hotel travel brochures suggest.  Cornwall is a beautiful place hiding all kinds of treasures; start with this list of perfectly picturesque villages and see where you end up.

Kingsand and Cawsand

Villages that remain practically unaltered by time, Kingsand and Cawsand are located on the Rame peninsula and are actually quite popular among tourists.  Once you’ve gotten over the initial sight of these incredible villages, you might be intrigued to learn a little bit about their past filled with fishing and smuggling.  Frequent winners of the “Best Kept Village” award, Kingsand and Cawsand are perfect to the last detail and have pubs, restaurants, shops, and beaches that will have you wanting to extend your holiday.

St Mawgan

This pretty little village could easily be called the prettiest.  It may be a good place to start since it is located quite close to Newquay airport but is still hidden away where most do not see it.  You can spend hours taking in all that St Mawgan has to offer.  There are amazing places to simply walk and take in the views, a beautiful ford to paddle your feet in, and a rather out-of-place bonsai nursery.  When you need a rest, you can visit the Falcon Inn for a pint of authentic ale, delicious food, and a Cornish style welcome.

Port Isaac

If you’re a fan (or have ever heard of) the hit television series “Doc Martin,” it’s filming location of Port Isaac may be a fun place for you to visit.  It’s completely authentic look and feel make it the perfect location for many television and movie productions looking for that “Old Cornwall” touch.  The classic 18th and 19th century cottages are nestled snuggly inside of a sheltered valley and the long and winding streets between shops, houses, and other locations give it that extra special something.

Mevagissey

A traditional 14th-century fishing village, Mevagissey can only be described with one word; magical.  You’ll be able to take it all in as you wander the streets and in and out of craft shops, gift shops, or while stopping for some of the best fish and chips to ever tantalize your taste buds.  There are sightseeing trips available, and daring tourists can even test their fishing skills.  Rent a cottage right inside the village and spend a few days to really give Mevagissey the time and attention it deserves.

Fowey

If it’s history dating back to the Middle Ages doesn’t immediately draw you in, then the first glimpse of it will.  Fowey is so picture-perfect that it seems like you have just jumped right into a picture on a postcard.  Fowey is one village that has continued to grow and expand as the years have gone by and is still a working harbor.  From the pastel, terraced homes to the endless number of galleries, restaurants, and shopping; Fowey should definitely top your list of must-see places in Cornwall.

Photo courtesy of Karen Roe

If you are thinking about visiting Cornwall England check out the Owner’s Direct website before you travel.  With a wide selection of Cornish cottages available for rent you can make your experience truly traditional.

 

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Stein am Rhein – where Lake Constance becomes Rhine (again)

In my last post „The Rhine Falls – an amazing place to see“ I told you, that the Rhine Falls take about half a day to visit. My suggestion to go afterward (or before) is Stein am Rhein. This small city is famous for its very well preserved historical houses. When walking through Stein am Rhein there are lots of things to discover. Almost every building has a story to tell (and most have signs outside, which tell you this story) and there are dozens of details at every house, which wait to be discovered.

The City is set at “the end” of Lake Constance – the Rhine flows into Lake Constance and then leaves the lake again at Stein am Rhein. You can spot this near the Monastery of St. George.


When you linger through Stein am Rhein you should not restrict yourself to the main streets – every narrow alley has its own impressive buildings and you might discover a hidden restaurant or bar to have a break.

If you are having dinner or lunch in Stein am Rhein I suggest you try some “Bodenseefelchen” – this is a local form of ciscoes. In the main street (towards the town hall) you can find a lot of ice cream parlours, which offer delicious ice.

Stein am Rhein combined with the Rhine Falls makes a great day with impressive sightings – do not miss out on this two highlights.

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Filed under Hidden Gems, random pictures from great places, Traveling in Europe

A swiss gem

Summer days in Stein am Rhein, Switzerland

Stein am Rhein is one of my favorite swiss towns in the area – great place to visit old houses, enjoy some ice cream and discover narrow alleys!

You want to know more about Stein am Rhein – read this post: Stein am Rhein – where Lake Constance becomes Rhine again!

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HISTORYcal.Feldkirch & great ideas

Today I discovered a great city guide of my hometown for english speaking people. It is called HISTORYcal.Feldkirch and shows 22 places in Feldkirchs medieval Center which are all also connected to legends.

I believe this is a great way to discover Feldkirch and I will check this out myself soon.

Here you can find this very informative brochure – HYSTORYcal.Feldkirch

I found out about this great tool for visitors, as I was looking for information about “Yes, you can WCs” – this is an initiative by 10 restaurants in the centre, which allow visitors of Feldkirch to use their restrooms, without having to order something. I believe this is a great idea, as we all know how terrible it is, to visit a city and then you just cannot find a public restroom. Especially families have problems with that. I hope that all 10 restaurants stay with this idea and am sure that this is a great thing to do, not only from a human but also a marketing perspective. Because after all your sightseeing, you will also look for a place to have lunch or dinner, or just a drink – and then you might remember the restaurant, that provided you in times of trouble.

Another idea developed by Feldkirch City Marketing together with shops and restaurants is “Feldkirch überdacht”. We all know the situation – its morning, weather looks great and you visit a city for sightseeing or shopping. Suddenly weather changes and its raining cats and dogs. In Feldkirch they found a solution to keep their guests dry – in all shops and restaurants you can get an orange umbrella – free of charge. As soon as the sun comes out again, you can drop it in any of the participating shops (or you just leave it in your hotel or appartment, they will return it”).

I really love small ideas like this, who give people an added value for free.

Can you think of ideas like that in your region? I would be happy to hear about them!

To get some impressions from Feldkirch, you can also read this blog entry “It´s cold outside…”, which shows some pictures of Feldkirch I took some days ago.

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Filed under Hidden Gems, Talking about Tourism

It´s cold outside …

After some milder Winters in the recent years, this year Jack Frost is having a unexpected comeback. Europe is currently suffering from a long period of coldness. In Feldkirch, where I live, we have -20 degree (Celsius) during nights and -10 during day-time (this translates into -4 to +14 degree Fahrenheit).

As it was way to cold for skiing and we still felt like getting out at least for some time, we made some hikes on the surrounding hills of Feldkirch. You can get some impressions from the pictures.

The pictures were taken on Saturday and Sunday – Saturday was rather cloudy, Sunday very sunny – but both days were equally cold. The deer-park is set up on Ardetzenberg and is one of the best recreational areas of the city (and its free, too).

Feldkirch is one of Vorarlbergs 5 cities – it was first mentioned 842, and was mentioned as a city 1218. The Schattenburg was the castle of the Montfort family, which ruled over Feldkirch until 1390 (and were also the Rulers of Bregenz (Vorarlbergs capital) and Tettnang in Southern Germany). Their coat of arms was later used as coat of arms of Vorarlberg. After 1390 the Habsburger ruled over Feldkirch – until the collapse of the Habsburg Empire in 1918 (there was a brief spell as part of Bavaria, during the Napoleonic wars).

Feldkirch is home to 32.000 people, and is famous for its great medieval city center, the castle Schattenburg and for a lot of activities, that are spread over the year. From the annual wine festival, to the indie-music poolbar Festival, there is a huge span of events. So make sure to check out what events are scheduled, when you consider to visit Feldkirch.

UPDATE:
If you are looking for a good brochure (in English) to visit Feldkirch and its most “legendary” places – you will find it in another blog entry – “HISTORYcal.Feldkirch”

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Filed under Hidden Gems, Winter