Tag Archives: Central Europe

Mothersday 2012

Its Mothersday here in Central Europe and I want to wish all Mothers out there a great day. Enjoy yourself …

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Austrian Cuisine – Classical Soups

One of the greatest things in Austria, in my oppinion is food. Due to Austrias history a lot of dishes from countries all over Central Europe have been incorporated and adapted a lot of regional dishes from Italy, Bohemia, Hungary and other countries into the Austrian Cuisine.

I want to start a new “series” in this blog where I will introduce you to a lot of Austrian Food. I will start today with some soups, that you will find in almost every Austrian restaurant.

English: Tiroler Speckknödelsuppe is soup with...

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  • Frittaten-Suppe: this is a beef soup, which has stripes of pancakes in it.
  • Tiroler-Knödel-Suppe: this is a beef soup with dumplings made out of bread and bacon (Speck) in it. The tyroleans therefore call it Speck-Knödel-Suppe, but the more reknown name is Tiroler Knödel Suppe.
  • Leber-Knödel-Suppe: this is a beef soup with dumplings with Liver in it. You might also get it as Leber-Spätzle-Suppe, with way smaller dumplings in it. For some reason I love the Knödel but cannot stand the Spätzle, but I guess thats just me.
  • Griessnockerl-Suppe: another beef soup – this time with small dumplings made of Semolina. An absolut classic, which I stronly recommend.
  • Wiener Festtagssuppe: another beef soup, which can be taken as a main course, too. It has noodles, some pieces of beef and some vegetables in it. Continue reading

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Piazza Sordello, Mantua

Piazza Sordello, MantovaMantua is a city that is often overlooked, but this town deserves a lot of credit. This picture of Piazza Sordello is one of my favorite pictures from my last trip to this exquisite northern Italian city.

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Going to England – where to get the best rates on your flights

This week there was a guest blog article on this blog. It was themed around “picture perfect places to visit in Cornwall”. This blog normally concentrates on stories about visiting Central Europe, as this is the region I live in and have great knowledge of. But I believe that many visitors from overseas also want to see other regions of Europe and I want to show some places that are worth visiting outside my region, too.

I chose Cornwall as first example, as it is quite easy and affordable to get to England from my region and vice versa. Today I would like to give some advice on how to combine England with Central Europe.

Getting to England from Western Central Europe is quite easy. There are dozens of airlines which connect to London and other major English cities. I want to point out some of the connections I use, for my visits to England.

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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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The Rhine Falls – an amazing place to see!

One of the most impressive natural wonder in Central Europe are the Rhine Falls.  They are 150m wide and 23m high. The average water flow changes over the year. In Winter its going down to around 250m3/s and in Summer it averages at 700m3/s – and the more water runs the more impressive the Rhine Falls get. This year should become a pretty good year – there are loads of snow in the Mountains and when this snow starts melting in Spring and early Summer, the Rhine will receive a lot of water.

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Visiting the Rhine Falls is always fun – but its best in summer when its hot and the water filled air refreshes you. There are a lot of boat tours – you can just cross the Rhine beneath the falls (going from the one Swiss province (Zurich) to another (Schaffhausen), you can take a ride towards the falls (these boats get pretty close) and there is on trip that takes you to a rock inside the falls, which can be climbed up (via stairs) and will provide you with the best views of the spectacle.

On both sides of the rivers are Castles – Schloss Wörth on the Schaffhausen side (featuring a restaurant) and Schloss Laufen on the Zurich side (with a museum about the falls in it).

The Rhine Falls were one of the first places in Europe that were visited regularly by Tourists. In my opinion it is still an absolute highlight and no one should miss out on that.

Visiting the Rhine Falls will take about half a day – afterwards you could visit the picturesque town of Stein am Rhein – more on that later!

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Vals – a great place for relaxation

At the moment it is freezing cold in Vorarlberg and there would be nothing better than a couple of days of relaxing in a beautiful Spa – and one of my favorite Spas lies in the heart of Switzerland. Vals is a small Walser-community in Graubünden, which lies in a beautiful valley, formed by the Valser Rhine. The village is famous for its thermal spring and it´s typical Walser Architecture.

The thermal spring is used for the production of bottled water – Valser Wasser is one of Switzerlands leading mineral water brands. But they use it also for their spa. It was planned by Peter Zumthor, Prizker price winner 2009, and the building is simply breathtaking. It is built out of Valser quarzite slabs and on top of it there is grass, which gives the cubic building a  look as if it has been there for ages (it was build in the 90ies).

Inside the spa is as minimalistic as outside, but the different pools and treatment areas offer anything you can ask for. A day inside this spa is simply incredible relaxing. Moreover there is a very nice restaurant in the Hotel, which belongs to the spa – so everything is set for a perfect day. But when you visit Vals you should also have a look at the Village – a short stroll through the village gives you the feeling of going back in time, as the houses are build in a very traditional way. You can also have great views of the village, when you do one of the hikes up the surrounding hills, which are not too steep at the beginning. And if you love the mountains you get plenty of opportunities to do longer hikes up on one of the surrounding mountains.

The Valser Valley is not too easy to be reached – the next village is a couple of miles down a winding road – but this is probably the reason, why the village kept so much of its historical charm. Whenever you get into this region, you should treat yourself with a great day at Vals – a hidden gem inside the Alps.

 

More information about Therme Vals on their website: http://www.therme-vals.ch/en

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