Tag Archives: hidden gems

Reality Check Brandnertal – Spring Skiing

Yesterday I decided to take a day off and my wife, a friend and I went to the Brandnertal for some spring skiing. Skiing in April is tricky, as the snow will get very wet during the day. Therefore we really appreciated their offer to start the day early. The last weeks of the skiing season the lifts run from 7.30, which allows people to enjoy the sunset on the Piste and also have perfect snow conditions.

We did a lot of runs as there were only some people skiing that early. At about 10, when the pistes got more crowded, we went to the “Palüd-Hütte” for some lovely breakfast. After that, the sun disappeared and it got chilly on the mountain. Therefore we decided to call it a day and head home.

Palued-Huette

Palued-Huette

I used to work in that region as a destination manager and it is hard to be objective for me. But I still love to go there for skiing as it is perfectly fitted for me. It can be reached rather easily, the people are really nice and the skiing resort is good and others great money for value. I am a rather good skier and I would perhaps not stay there for a week long skiing holiday, but if you are not too experienced or are looking for a place to go for just one or two days the Brandnertal might be perfectly suited for you.

If you want to go on skiing holidays with your family its probably one of the best resorts in Alps, as they really are targeting families and have a lot to offer for kids and parents!

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Traditional Hay Poles in Eastern Tyrol

Hay rack

Hay Poles waiting for their use in Innervillgraten, Tyrol

Today I want to present another picture out of my archive. This shot was taken in Innervillgraten, Eastern Tyrol. It shows traditional hay poles that are waiting to be used to dry the grass into hay. You do not see them too often anymore, but in the Villgraten-Valley they still do farming in a traditional way. Here the grass is cut, dried and then put onto the poles by hand. Now the rain can only wet the outer parts of the hay … in Winter the hay will be moved to the barns using sledges.

Hay stacked on Hay poles

Hay stacked on Hay Poles in Innervillgraten

The Villgraten Valley is especially famous for its sheep farmers and if you ever happen to be there you should not miss out on the Gannerhof, probably my favorite restaurant in Austria.

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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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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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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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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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Ulm – a hidden gem in Southern Germany

I want to introduce some hidden gems in Western Central Europe, the region I work and live in. I start with Ulm, a small city at the Danube river, in Baden-Württemberg, just across the border to Bavaria.

Visiting Germany it is important to not only see the bigger cities, but also to have a look at some hidden gems. Due to Germanys inglorious history, a lot of the medieval city centres were destroyed, especially in the bigger cities. Therefore small cities, with a long history, like Ulm are very precious.

With our company we want to make people aware of this hidden gems and to point them to interesting spots off the beaten path. Ulm is a great example for one of many Cities that are perfect for a wonderful day in Germany and which may not yet feature in your travel plans.

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