“A city laced with modern art, culture and quick escapes into nature (plus a charismatic Old Town it seems to overlook.)” Abigail – Inside the Travel Lab - visitied the region of Lake Constance in Vorarlberg. What does she think about it!? Below you will find her view on the region.
“With a dagger deep in his chest, he leans back, eyelids closed, a staircase eating into his cheek. Crowds gather beneath to take photos as his hand clasps a slab of writing and the lights of Switzerland begin to come on in the distance.
He is this year’s setting for the Bregenz summer festival, a floating stage that rises out of the calm Lake Bodensee (Lake Constance), ready to depict the drama of the opera Andre Chénier. Previous years have seen La Bohème, Aida and of course, Tosca performed here, where Daniel Craig scrambled across a colossal burning iris as James Bond in Quantum of Solace.
This is Bregenz, the capital of the Voralrberg region in western Austria. On the one hand a calm, quiet slice of urban mountain life with lakeside beaches, cycling, quiet cafes and hiking routes. On the other, a haven for daring, provocative, contemporary art.
The opaque cube of the KUB challenges the waterfront, its letters standing for Kunsthaus Bregenz, which roughly translates into art house. The exhibits inside range from press mash-ups about body-image to DVD cases of Will Smith’s Fresh Prince of Bel Air. Last year, the art escaped the confines of the KUB to straddle the mountains in the guise of 100 bronze figures of Antony Gormley .
Fresh, modern and innovative, Bregenz wants to say. We don’t just have stages, we have floating stages. We don’t just have a lake, we have a lake with two names (Lake Constance and Bodensee), a lake that borders Germany and Switzerland, with Liechtenstein not far away.
We have fun, we have fashion – and we still have an atmospheric Old Town that we’re almost too cool to tell you about.
The posters and publicity point to the future but Bregenz shouldn’t be in such a hurry to brush off its past. Old Town Bregenz still oozes with charm with its cobbled streets, painted shutters, stone fountains and traditional murals. Deep peach and soaked turquoise facades provide a thoroughly lived-in, Austrian look.
There’s even a whisper that the restaurants here serve Wiener Schnitzel. But I might not sound cool enough if I told you about that…”
Abigail King is a freelance writer and photographer who swapped a career as a doctor for a life on the road. She has circled the globe twice, camped in the snows of Kilimanjaro and Patagonia and tracked down tigers, turtles and panda bears. She’s then had a hot shower and embraced the city life of New York, Rio, Paris and Tokyo.
She blogs about unusual journeys at Inside the Travel Lab
Tags: Cities, Culture, Film, Hidden Treasures, Summer