Before I arrived in Austria I knew very little about this German-speaking country which shares borders with eight other European countries, never mind anything about Vorarlberg where I was due to head on an epic Austrian road trip.
My itinerary took me on an Austrian road trip through four villages in the region of Vorarlberg, which lie close to the borders of both Germany and Switzerland. It's often mistaken for being part of Switzerland, but it most definitely is not. To arrive in Vorarlberg I flew from London to Zurich, and then drove the remaining 164km into Sonntag Austria, crossing the border near Lake Constance.
The Vorarlberg road trip I'm about to share with you is, hands down, one of my favourite ever adventures. Each region totally had its own unique magic and there was not one day that I loved significantly over another. The incredible cheese and mountain views were pretty consistent throughout!
As of November 2010, Grosses Walsertal became one of the 529 Biosphere parks worldwide, exercising true sustainability. Here you'll find nothing short of incredible forests, meadows, ravines, springs, streams, hills, cliffs, mountain tops, alps and karst formations. You'll wake to the lush greens and array of florals gracing the window ledges of the traditional Austrian housing, and you'll fall asleep to the sound of the river running below and the last flares of sun smiling through the mountains.
The next stop on my Vorarlberg road trip was just a 40-minute drive from my last. I weaved through the countless layers of rugged adventure that towered over and around me in 50 shades of grey before pulling up to the next region in Vorarlberg.
Mellau is just one of 22 villages that make up Bregenzerwald – a region famous for its architecture not only in Vorarlberg, but in the whole of Austria. Though I don’t typically ponder on design, it’s hard to not fall in love with the wooden structures and blooming flowers that snuggle underneath the windows here.
I honestly couldn’t help but notice how tastefully and in keeping with the traditions the modern architecture has been raised. More often than not, and it’s Bali that comes to mind here, modern structures and buildings stick out like a sore thumb and are an eye sore for years to come. The talent and respect for the traditional look that the architects here have is second to none. The housing, even with some glass walls and solar panels, is so beautiful and so Austrian.