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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?

*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?

Slow Travel & Food Tour Options in Vorarlberg, Western Austria.


Creative Travel, Gourmet Travel, Austria, Travel With Locals, Europe, Travel Blog , , 0

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“Vorarlberg is ‘the most urban village in Austria'”, says Hans-Peter Metzler, his warm smile betraying the pride in his voice. “The combination of a living, rural tradition and the promotion of innovation, architecture, art and culture at a high level is unique in Austria. Here, in the Bregenzerwald, I believe we have taken the right steps in time. The young people are coming back, and they bring lots of fresh ideas with them”, he smiles contentedly. On a beautiful June day, we travel with him and our host, Richard Zünd, from the Sternen Hotel Wolfurt awarded with the Austrian eco-label, enjoying many a philosophical & practical discussion about life in the “Ländle”.

 

Vorarlberg, situated in the western part of Austria, has always fascinated me. The largest lake stage in the world. The country’s only “Office for Future Questions” (that’s right!). And answers? We find many, here in the “Ländle” …

… the nickname the area beyond the Arlberg mountain lovingly takes. Answers to questions such as how a region steeped in tradition has managed to create a balance between modernity and tradition, between change and stability.? Today, I would like to introduce you to a few of these examples (and all of them reasons for your next trip to Vorarlberg!).

Wir beginnen unsere Reise in der entzückenden Kleinstadt Dornbirn ...

We start our trip discovering Dornbirn …

 

... gleich mit dem ersten Kontrasterlebnis: Der neu eröffnete Kunstraum "inatura" im gleichnamigen Museum ...

… where the natural science “inatura” museum has turned an abandoned manufacturing hall into a modern art space …

 

... ist ein Erlebnis zum Anfassen für die ganze Familie ...

… and you can find a state-of-the-art museum about life in Vorarlberg …

 

... viel Natur, und Ruhe, findet Ihr auch in der angrenzenden Rappottenschlucht ...

… there’s lots more nature to see in the adjoining Rappottenschlucht gorge, too …

 

... wir begeben uns zudem hoch hinaus, und genießen den Ausblick über Dornbirn sowie das gesamte Rheintal und den Bodensee, vom "Dornbirner Karren" aus.

… or hiking (or taking the cable car!) up the “Karren” mountain, with perfect views over the Rhine valley in Vorarlberg, as well as the cities of Dornbirn and Bregenz.

 

The best starting point for your trip to the Rhine Valley: The Sternen Hotel Wolfurt. Just like a star, you can “beam out” in all directions from here …

… and also get to know the really warm-hearted host Richard Zünd and his team, who will help you in all matters. The “Sternenhotel Wolfurt” offers yet another example of the incomparable charm of Vorarlberg between tradition and modernity: the facade of the entire hotel is covered in traditional wooden shingles, yet nevertheless boasts a solar system for energy supply on the roof. Check this out.

Ankommen und sich sofort wohlfühlen some 10 minutes' drive from Bregenz, or 20 minutes drive from Dornbirn and the Bregenzerwald: A quiet, sustainable travel option for you to check out the surrounding forest & urban areas.

Arrive and feel good in the modern hotel rooms of the Sternen Hotel Wolfurt some 10 minutes’ drive from Bregenz, or 20 minutes drive from Dornbirn and the Bregenzerwald: A quiet, sustainable travel option for you to check out the surrounding forest & urban areas.

 

Die "StarCard", so erfahren wir von Richard Zünd, zeichnet zudem besonders engagierte Mitarbeiter im "Ländle" aus und zeugt von einer weiteren Nachhaltigkeitsinitiative in der Sozialpolitik des Landes ...

Interestingly enough, they have also come up with this “Star Card”, awarding the excellence of their employees …

 

... beim Empfang erwartet uns frisches Quellwasser mit angenehmen Minzaromen am Zimmer ...

… and receiving us to the fresh mountain source waters, including a touch of mint, on our room …

 

... mit den Holzschindeln rund um das Hotel, sowie deren jahrhundertealte Verarbeitung und Tradition in Vorarlberg, "begreifen" wir zudem ein Stück Geschichte ...

… love how we get to “feel” the history by reaching out to the impeccable wooden shingle construction covering the hotel …

 

... und Moderne gleichzeitig, wie hier beim Blick auf die Solarpaneelen am Dach des Sternenhotel Wolfurt.

… yet admiring the modern-day possibilities of energy management on the rooftop of the Sternen Hotel Wolfurt.

 

Danke für den wirklich herzlichen und überaus angenehmen Aufenthalt bei Euch, lieber Richard Zünd & Team!

Thank you so much for this interesting visit, dear Richard Zünd & team!

 

And what’s a day trip to Bregenzerwald? Well. You get to travel along the “Cheese Route”, and have dinner at the Romantikhotel “Das Schiff” in Hittisau, leaving you with just one desire …

… and that is to return soon. In my heart (as well as in my savings account 😉 ), I have already set aside a (time) budget to spend at least a whole week here one day. On my own. Or, even better, together with the family & friends, as many of them would also feel just as inspired by the beautiful Bregenzerwald. Wine from home, mountain cheese from Vorarlberg because: “After all, everyone can have a wine cellar”, smiles our host Hans-Peter Metzler once more. “But to have a real cheese cellar in the hotel for our family and our guests, now that’s something.”

... hinein in den Bregenzerwald ...

Off we go diving right into the Bregenzerwald forest district …

 

... ist erwartungsgemäß vom "guten Käse gepflastert": 30.000 Laiber lagern hier im Genusszentrum Käsestraße Bregenzerwald ...

… a journey “plastered by cheese”: 30.000 loaves are stored at the main building of the cheese factory alone …

 

... innovativ auch der Blick in den "Werk.Raum", in dem junge Künstler, Kreative & Erfinder ihre Werke ausstellen ...

… a journey full of refreshing creativity, too, as seen in this exposition hall designed uniquely by young students …

 

... schließlich landen wir im Käsekeller von Hans-Peter Metzler selbst ...

… last but not least, Hans-Peter Metzler welcomes us to his cheese cellar he is particularly proud of …

 

... welcher uns anschließend als Gäste in seinem zauberhaften Romantikhotel "Das Schiff" samt angeschlossenen Restaurant begrüßt ...

… spoiling us to dinner at his Romantikhotel “Das Schiff” …

 

... und nicht irgendein Restaurant: Gesellig, herzlich, genussvoll muss es sein, das Team an Köchen steht hier im steten Austausch mit den Gästen selbst und bereitet sämtliche (frischen) Gerichte auf Wunsch "von Hand gefertigt" zu ...

… and not just any restaurant : Every dish here is handcrafted, the chef and his team in direct contact with the guests they cook for all along : It feels more like a family home than a restaurant, really …

 

... ich liebe den Geschmack der uns hier gebotenen Speisen ...

… love the taste of what we are offered here …

 

... des "Wälder Vin", der ursprünglich ...

… as well as the nice nose (and taste) of this deep, velvety red wine complimenting our cheese tasting …

 

... danke für den tollen Besuch bei Euch im Bregenzerwald!

… thank you so much for looking after us here!

 

The Festspielhaus Bregenz, finally, is particularly known for sustainable travel in Vorarlberg. As is the view from the local “Pfänder” mountain, meaning you will want to come back time after time ..!

Die Seebühne Bregenz empfängt heuer die berühmten Festspiele rund um die Oper Carmen ...

The lake stage of Bregenz, the largest of its kind in the world, is hosting “Carmen” this year …

 

... und hat sich beim Thema "KongressKulturBregenz" ganz der regionalen Nachhaltigkeit im Sinne der "Green Meetings" verschrieben ...

… and has made a point of sustainability in terms of its “Green Meetings” culture.

 

Cool, dass uns das Kunsthaus Bregenz da mit solarbetriebenen Ladegeräten für unterwegs versorgt ...

I love that they even give out solar-powered, portable power banks to us …

 

... Lade- und Genusspause im "Wirtshaus am See" direkt in Bregenz ...

… check out “Wirtshaus am See” right by the Bodensee lake in Bregenz …

 

... mit regionalen Köstlichkeiten wie den "fünf Fischen" aus dem Bodensee ...

… for their selection of grilled local Bodensee fish …

 

... zum Abschluss noch der Blick über selbigen, tiefblau und schier endlos, wie ein Meer in den Bergen ...

… finally, take the cable car up the mountain overlooking Bodensee lake …

 

... und nach Osten hin, die Öffnung Richtung Bregenzerwald: Der Pfänder, sowie das gesamte Land Vorarlberg, sind schon eine echte Reise wert.

… as well as Bregenzerwald on the other side.

 

Danke, liebe Monique, lieber André, für die schöne Zeit zusammen im "grünen Vorarlberg"!

Thank you so much, dear Monique, dear André, for our shared moments of happiness visiting “green Vorarlberg”!

 

Check out more of these sunny photographs of our trip to the Vorarlberger “Ländle” as well as into the Bregenzerwald:

 

My fellow travel writer friends have also published the following accounts about their journey:

 

See you soon in our lovely Vorarlberg!

 

Disclaimer: We have been invited on this trip to Vorarlberg by the Sternen Hotel Wolfurt supported by the Austrian Eco Label. All opinions are my own.

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
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