Tag Archives: Vorarlberg

What a view …

Winter is slowly coming to an end … but there are still great days of skiing or other winter sports activity ahead. Here you can find one of my favorite pictures of the mountains in Winter in my region.

I hope you like as much as I do …

 

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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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Lech from above – amazing video

Beautiful video of Lech am Arlberg from above – enjoy!

Lech from above – click me!

I was thinking this video as I just recently wrote a guest post at World Adventure Travel about “Heli-Skiing in Austria for Newbies” and the Arlberg is the place to go for Heli-Skiing.

In the next weeks and months I will try to show you more of these amazing videos, whenever they fit my articles. Unfortunately WordPress.com does not allow iframes – therefore you have to follow the link 😦

Are there any computer geeks out there, who can tell me how to make iframes work at this place?

Have to go again – its the last day of Carnival and we are invited to some friends place.

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5 architectural highlights in Vorarlberg

Today I have an article published over at http://www.whatsdoto.in – it is about “Vorarlberg – a must see for lovers of good architecture

To accompany that article I would love to highlight 5 buildings in my region, that I like especially:

Kunsthaus Bregenz

Bregenz Kunsthaus...Kind of Blue

This is one of Vorarlbergs best architectural building – planned by Peter Zumthor, who won the Pritzker Prize for this building and the Therme Vals (click here for more about that), this is a must see for all architecture fans. As a plus you might find some architectural exhibitions inside the building, as it houses the Museum for Modern Art of Vorarlberg. Do not forget to take a coffee afterwards in the Museum café as this is a good example for good interior architecture.

 Festspielhaus Bregenz

Bregenz Festspielhaus

Bregenz Festspielhaus (Photo credit: digital cat )

A short walk from the Kunsthaus Bregenz next to Lake Konstanz takes you to the Festspielhaus Bregenz. This building was planned by Dietrich-Untertrifaller, a architectural company from Vorarlberg. This building might look familiar to you, there were parts of “James Bond – Quantum of Solace” shot in this building. Every summer there are the Bregenzer Festspiele – an opera festival, with one opera being staged on the  lake arena. Its one opera for two years, and every two years the whole stage is completely rebuild – do not miss out on this.

Nordwesthaus and office building, Hafen Rohner, Fussach

Deutsch: Das "Nordwesthaus" ist ein ...

Image via Wikipedia

In Fussach, a small village at the Lake Konstanz you can see this two great buildings by Baumschlager-Eberle. One, looking a little bit like a gun, is an office building, the other one, with its crystalline structur is a place for events and exhibitions – they both are parts of the “Hafen Rohner” (Port Rohner).

 Angelika Kauffmann Museum, Schwarzenberg

This museum offers something different, to the other buildings. Dietrich Untertrifaller, the architects of this building, had the task to take a 500 year old house and adapt it to a modern museum. Here you can see a mixture of old traditional architecture with modern Vorarlberger wood-architecture. The museum itself is great to see as well – Angelika Kauffmann was one of Austrias most famous neoclassical painters.

 Schneggarei, Lech

At this stop you will not only see great architecture, you can also have great food and an impressive landscape. Looking like a typical ski hut, this building offers a lot for people, who love the “hidden details” of houses.

You can find details to all mentioned buildings by clicking on their name. Unfortunately they are in german – but I believe the pictures give you a good idea about the buildings.

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March skiing will be great!

It’s snowing again – after weeks of arctic coldness temperature has risen to about zero degree Celsius (32 degree Fahrenheit) and at the moment it is snowing. According to the weather report this won’t stop until tomorrow, and there should be another 50 – 80 cm snow up in the mountains! are great news for people who consider to go skiing in March. This year you will be guaranteed loads of Snow.

View from Brandnertal Skiing resort

great days ahead - March 2012 will be a great month for skiers

March is one of the best times for skiing in my opinion – the high season is already over, meaning less people and lower prizes, its getting warmer already and the days are longer. Sadly in the last year snow was a problem in March – but this is just taken care of.

 

So if you have not booked your skiing holidays already, or are still considering whether to book, or not: Go for it! This March will be great!

Links to Austrian Skiing resorts:

 

 

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Traveling through Austria by Train

Today I would love to introduce you to a very convenient way to travel Austria – by railway. A lot of the major cities, in Austria are connected that way.

ÖBB tracksI just recently wrote a guest article at Voyage Articles – Three Cities to visit in Austria. There I wrote a short review about the three major Cities, tourists visit in Austria. The nice thing about Vienna, Salzburg and Innsbruck is, that they are very well connected – not only by car, but also by train. They are all part of the Westbahn-Trasse, which connects Bregenz (Vorarlberg) to Vienna – this route is one of the backbones of the Austrian railway system. This way you can go from Vienna to Salzburg in approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes. Innsbruck – Salzburg are another 2 hours and to go to Vorarlberg you will need another 2 hours. But it is well worth the way, as the railway tracks between Innsbruck and Vorarlberg run over high bridges and through narrow alpine valleys.

A lot of trains are on international routes – there are a lot of trains from Vienna to Zurich (via Feldkirch, Innsbruck, Salzburg); there are trains from Munich to Rome (via Innsbruck) and from Munich to Vienna (via Salzburg) – others run from Bregenz to Budapest (via Innsbruck, Salzburg, Vienna).

There is a second major route – the SĂźdbahn. It takes you from Vienna to Carinthia (via Graz) and connects to Venice.

Visiting Europe by train is a very good alternative, as it is convenient, safe and gives you a lot of opportunities to see rural Europe. I love to travel by train, as it gives me time to read, to meet people or to work (I prefer it to flying – check out this article) There are international train tickets for Tourists who want to use the railway system in different countries – you can find information for international visitors at Eurails Homepage – European Travelers can use the Interrail System.

Deutsch: Panoramablick vom Kapuzinerberg auf d...

Image via Wikipedia

Other important links:

ÖBB (Austrian railways) Route planner: click here

Westbahn (private operator from Vienna to Salzburg): click here

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Valentines Day Special – the perfect romantic Hot-Spot!

the "BlĂźtenschloss"

The BlĂźtenschloss

Hotel Gams in Bezau, Vorarlberg is the romantic hotspot for some special days with your partner. This hotel was built around the idea to give couples a perfect time out from the daily hassles. I have a lot of friends, who visited it once with their girlfriend (or wife) and now they have to go back there over and over again, as their partner believes this to be the perfect present.

I visited Hotel Gams two years ago with my then girlfriend (now wife) and we had some excellent days. After receiving a welcome drink, we were shown our romantic suite – it had a lot of space, a feature fire place, and it was spacious. The spa area of the hotel was my favorite place – it is buried into the ground and offers everything I could ask for. Hotel Gams also offers delicious food (15 points, 2 hauben in Gault Millau) with an excellent choice of Austrian and international top-wines. The building itself consists of the original Hotel Gams, build in a very traditional way, and a modern extension, in which the Suites are located (called BlĂźtenschloss). Over all the hotel offers, what it promises – a perfect place for couples, who want to find a break out from busy daily life and enjoy some very special days.

If you are still looking for a very special Valentine present or you want to surprise your partner with something very special, you should definitely have a look at this romantic place.

Homepage Hotel Gams – click here!

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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 Ăźberdacht”. 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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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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Great skiing resorts in Tyrol and Vorarlberg

A fellow blogger, Maia from “BoundforAdventure” , is currently staying in Stuttgart, Germany and asked for some tipps for good skiing or snow boarding.

I thought about it for some time and then came up with this list … I added the approx. driving time (as stated by ViaMichelin) from Stuttgart, to give some idea about the distances.

I only included Skiing resorts I have visited … some big ones of Tyrol (e.g. Zillertal, SĂślden) or Switzerland are missing – although they are in reachable (up to 4 hours drive) distance from Stuttgart. Other ones – especially in Salzburg and eastwards have been excluded as they are too far away.

Tyrol:

KitzbĂźhel – one of the most prestigious skiing resorts in the Alpes. Some really great runs – it is not too high up the mountains, therefore it is not really a Spring destination. Rather expensive, but that is part of the deal. In the same valley there is also the “Skiwelt Wilder Kaiser” – which offers a huge area and is connected to a lot of villages in the region – so you can get great money for value.

Stuttgart – KitzbĂźhl – 3 hours 40 minutes

Ischgl – famous for wild parties, this skiing resort has a much more to offer. With lifts up to 2872 Meters it is ideal for spring skiing and it is also connected to Samnaun in Switzerland: you actually ski in Austria AND Switzerland. The runs are great – once you have left the partying crowds at the Idalp you have plenty of options for great skiing and boarding. Most people from the skiing resort I worked in, went there to ski after the season was over … that’s a real recommendation! If you want to avoid noisy Ischgl – stay in GaltĂźr (the next village), but ski in Ischgl … it is great skiing.

Stuttgart – Ischgl: 3 hours 40 minutes

St. Anton am Arlberg – the cradle of skiing at the Arlberg: this is a hot spot for free-skiers and snow boarders who look for off-piste fun. It is also a hotspot to meet fellow english-speaking people: Good runs, great off-piste and a lot of party are guaranteed at St. Anton.

Stuttgart – St. Anton: 3 hours 15 minutes

Vorarlberg:

ZĂźrs-Lech – the Vorarlberg part of the Arlberg skiing region is another hot spot for VIPs and the super rich. But it is also a fantastic skiing resort. Great pistes are guaranteed and going out might be a tad expensive, but it is also great fun. Here is the only place in Austria, where you can go Heli-Skiing. Moreover this year you might encounter Anthony Gourmleys “Horizon Field” – a art project on exactly 2.039 m above sea level.

Stuttgart – Lech: 3 hours 10 minutes

Sonnenkopf – this is a insider tipp for off-piste fans. Located in the Klostertal, this small resorts belong to the Bergbahnen St. Anton am Arlberg. The resort has now artificial snow at all, but they do not need it. They are blessed with loads of snow and a real power paradise. As only few people consider this resort, you might even get some “fresh” powder action, when the powder has vanished everywhere else.

Stuttgart – KlĂśsterle: 2 hours 55 minutes

Montafon – this valley offers a lot of different skiing resorts. From the huge “Silvretta-Montafon”, over powder and spring skiing paradise Gargellen to the Golm, which is a nice family skiing resort … Great skiing, good party and good money for value.

Stuttgart – Montafon (Schruns): 2 hour 55 minutes

Brandnertal– this is the region I was responsible for for a couple of years. A rather small skiing resort, which has still got a lot to offer. It´s definitely a must go for families, but if you want to have some great skiing this might be a good choice, too. Especially during peak season – you might get stuck in a huge traffic jam heading towards the Arlberg or the Montafon and the Brandnertal has its own Autobahn exit, just where the jam usually starts. Great fun, very nice people, good pistes and great huts in the resort …

Stuttgart – Brand: 2 hours 45 minutes

Brandnertal

Finally some other good resorts that should be worth a visit and are in good distance from Stuttgart

SWITZERLAND:

Jungfrau-Region (about 3 hours 45 minutes) – one of the most fascinating alpine areas … breathtaking views and apparently good skiing, too

Laax (3 hours 25 minutes) – known for its Snowboarding and Free-Skier Scene

LIECHTENSTEIN

Malbun (3 hours 15 minutes) – rather small, but for the bragging rights

GERMANY

Garmisch-Partenkirchen (2 hours 50 minutes) – best choice in Germany

AUSTRIA

Riezlern (2 hours 30 minutes) – very close to Stuttgart, never heard any complaints about this one

DamĂźls-Mellau (2 hours 45minutes) – I really loved DamĂźls when it was a small insider skiing resort – since they connected it to Mellau it got way bigger – have not skied there since, but this should be really good (+ great food in the Bregenzer Wald)

… plus various resorts in Tyrol (Zillertal, Ötztal, Stubaital …)

Updates:

SALZBURG:
I added some skiing resorts in Salzburg in another post – you can read this here

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