Switzerland may have been an affair that filled me with lust, with toned muscles and sultry stare (sorry, now that I’ve written it, I can’t get that image of Channing Tatum out of my head!) — it was Vorarlberg that filled me with warm and fuzzy emotions, like the boy next door you never noticed until they turn up at your door, carefully holding your lost kitten after he’s just climbed all the way up the roof to rescue her.
(Cue: Taylor Swift’s Love Story!)
We arrived in Vorarlberg on bike, crossing the Swiss-Austrian border just off Lake Constance.
Vorarlberg is the west mostly outpost of Austria, bordering Switzerland, Germany and Liechtenstein. It is a place that told me to calm down, to breath in the fresh valley scent and just be.
Where Switzerland flirted with passion, Vorarlberg just smiled with a heart warming sincerity. It allows you the chance to get to know it intimately, by exploring its farm lands, feed on the region’s more than home-style cuisine and by sinking your feet into its moors.
We stayed in the Bregenzerwald valley visiting its villages and comfortable family run hotels, cafes and restaurants.
Bregenzerwald is less of that glamorous super model, more of the down to earth country boy. It is that quiet person at the party who brings you drinks and smiles with their eyes, who’d be right there when you needed them.
Humble, honest and sincere.
Instead of red roses and diamonds, Bregenzerwald is the one that comes over to say hi when you are sitting alone at the cafeteria; he is the one that approaches you quietly with a cup of warm herbal tea as you stress over the impending deadline.
Like Mr Knightly in Emma, it tenderly reminded me to take care of myself.
Bregenzerwald doesn’t rush the love, and allowed me to fall for it slowly, intimately. It gave me time to discover its many surprises, like the traditional wooden architecture with slick modern touches and it gently healed a small wound on my toes when I walked across its moors barefoot.
The food we shared were genuine and hearty and the conversation we had were deep in meaning. It is a valley that is forward thinking in many ways, opened minded and happy in its own skin.
In many ways, Bregenzerwald is like my husband (he complains I don’t write about him often): with the temptation of Switzerland aside, it is somewhere (someone) I can spend the rest of my life with.
My sweet Romeo.