Monthly Archives: May 2010
We went to Dornbirn for the first time the other day, and were pleasantly surprised to discover a very old town center which had not suffered too much from the war. Several of the buildings feature richly colored painted wall decorations, reminding me of places I saw in Florence. Make you wonder how far artists travelled to perhaps be inspired by others.
Being up in the Austrian alps has a way of getting to the inner-hiker in us all. So we jumped in and invested in some really good hiking boots (made in Italy and not across the planet). Took them out for a spin the other day: up the mountain for a schnitzle and back!
Yes, I am a lucky girl. Just look at the view I get to admire each day we are here in our new Heidi’s Grandfather’s chalet. Breath taking. The sun sets behind us and illuminates these magnificent mountains in front, they seem endless…
The sun finally returned and I took these outdoor shots of “Heidi’s House” (the chalet we rented for ten days). The house is super cozy, heated by a wood burner and otherwise is quite simple.
We moved yesterday to “Heidi’s Grandfather’s House”, further up the mountain, with another spectacular view, and even more coziness! Wait until you see the pictures!
Enjoy your weekend. We are off to dog training class (I hope we stand a chance!).
Stephan, our current temporary neighbor, has sixteen cows. He says it takes him an hour and a half to milk sixteen cows. Stefan also has a dog. A border collie to be exact. The border collie herds the cows from the barn (which Stephan sleeps next to in his little house) into the surrounding fields. I don’t think Oskar and Maya could do that. They arre usually too busy with their chew toys.
You may have noticed that I love windows. Particularly old ones, with dust, chipped paint, and perhaps cracked. Windows are mysterious, they are barriers easily broken with force, so fragile and yet demand respect. Windows are eyes. Our eyes onto a personal exterior world, whether it be temporary or long lasting. Windows are the eyes others look into, trying to decipher what and who and maybe sometimes “why?” lay behind.
Isn’t this just too cute! During a local “discovery” drive we passed by these adorable creatures and I just had to jump out of the car to take a couple of quick snap shots.
Bumpy is not the “horsey” type, but these were OK as they came up only to his knee. I suppose he figured they wouldn’t roll on him if he decided to take them for a ride. With the back end of the car open O&M could observe too: emitting a few courageous barks melting into confused growls/question marks. This was definitely a large-dog vs. miniature-pony conundrum.
Past the ponies, we come to the cows. Now there is a very distinctive difference between the last French cows we saw and these local dairy variety (did I mention that we get our fresh milk in a large canister from the neighbor?). These soft brown beauties wander the steep hills, playing iTunes thru their individual cow bells.
Joking aside, they are the pride of the region (along with art, Schubert and ski pistes). While driving thru the village, you may come across a traffic jam as a small herd is being moved from one pasture to another. The locals still celebrate the day they bring the cows down from the hills after a long summer of green grass grazing (mid-September) with a folkloric festival, cows decorated with flowers, ribbons and pretty bells. It’s not so bad being a cow here. Moo!
Wild flowers perfume the aromatic local honey, as well as this fruity cider vinegar we bought at a local farm. The Vorarlberg region of Austria borders Germany, Switzerland and Liechtenstein; you can feel it’s history, it’s tightly knit community, the relaxed nature of the place.
The homes are large and made out of wood. The old, traditional ones are with very small scalloped-shaped shingles, the newer ones, modern barn look-alikes boasting large glass panoramic windows taking advantage of the views.
With any luck over the next week, the sun will show up so I can take photo to share with you! In the meanwhile, you can read about the local prestige hotel which seems to be always full and choose which room you’d like.
Greetings Dear Friends!
Whew! I’ve had my hands busy writing and sending out postcards yesterday, thus the silence here. Postcard mailing is a task I enjoy doing, but should have done today, as we are rained in. Actually, it’s a sort of Pacific NW drizzle, with thick enough clouds to obscure the view. Quel dommage!
Tant pis! I thought I’d share with you today some of the images I snapped before the rains came.
Tomorrow I’ll tell you more about this special region of Austria, and the village where we are.
A demain !