The Retirees go Abroad – Bregenz Austria to Villeneuve Switzerland

After leaving Bregenz we anxiously watched “Tommy” to pick up our trail in Switzerland as we had the maps for Switzerland. After some backward and forwards and after buying our Swiss vignette (the road tax sticker) we made it into Switzerland.

It is very much like Austria or Austria is very much like Switzerland I don’t know which. Even down to the onion domes on some of the churches. We decided we would break our trip and call into Lucerne to see a bridge. Kerry had read about ten famous walking bridges in the world to see (and no the Goodwill Bridge was not one of them) and amongst the bridges was Kapellbrucke in Lucerne.

The Kapellbrücke (literally, Chapel Bridge) is a covered wooden footbridge spanning diagonally across the Reuss River. The bridge is unique since it contains a number of interior paintings dating back to the 17th century, although many of them were destroyed along with most of the centuries-old bridge in a 1993 fire. Subsequently restored, the Kapellbrücke is the oldest wooden covered bridge in Europe, as well as the world’s oldest surviving truss bridge.

After a hot beverage in the form of a hot chocolate, we left Lucerne for Lausanne or at least a village outside of Lausanne or so we thought. When we arrived in Villeneuve we were struggling with where the hell was our accommodation. We seemed to be going into the vineyards and then low and behold we ended up at a Cave for Domaine du Scex du Chatelard. Is it possible that we were staying in a vineyard – YES! We were a little early so we went back to the village to poke around.

Christine met us at 3.00pm as arranged and we took possession of the villa – a studio really with a kitchen dining room overlooking our Greek themed patio under the peach tree looking at the vines and a bedroom/lounge room. Both rooms have large windows looking over the village. Then there is the bathroom. Obviously an afterthought, there is part of the rock wall behind the villa extruding into the bathroom. Perfect in every way. We even had our own Grotte. We are staying at Domaine du Scex du Chatelard. Our photos of the vines show what a delightful place it is.

We very quickly noticed that sky diving is an important past time in Villeneuve with multiple sky divers drifting towards earth at different times during the afternoon. They were so frequent we even forgot about them.

We walked down to the village to buy some groceries and found that not much was open. So we ended up at the Hotel du Soleil for dinner. The incumbents are of the oriental persuasion so it was soup and dim sims for dinner. Not much chop for the price.

The Retirees go Abroad –Salzburg through Germany to Bregenz Austria

Whilst it had been raining on and off during our stay in Salzburg it really turned it on the day we left. Pouring rain followed us all the way to Bregenz. Bregenz is the capital of Vorarlberg, the westernmost federal state of Austria. The city is located on the eastern shores of Lake Constance, the third-largest freshwater lake in Central Europe, between Switzerland in the west and Germany in the northwest. The city is situated on the junction of the arterial roads from the Rhine valley to the German Alpine foothills. It is especially famous for the annual summer music festival Bregenzer Festspiele.

The day was grey the atmosphere damp and cold and the traffic was difficult at times. Finding our Ibis Hotel was not made easier by the IPhone but we got there. After checking in, Kerry wanted to check out an outdoor amphitheatre over the Lake with a floating stage and the Casino. We thought the weather had broken and that we would not need an umbrella. So we walked from our hotel only 100m or so and we found ourselves crossing over the rail line to the casino and the theatre. Some interesting graffiti appeared on a wall along the way.

Well you cannot call it a theatre. In fact I don’t know what to call it other than fantastic. They were preparing for a presentation of Puccini’s Turandot in a Chinese setting with the clay soldiers rising from the water and the great wall crossing the stage. The whole building was remarkable and a landmark.

I have copied pictures of two previous presentations to give you the idea of the surreal atmosphere this stage presents.

We also went to the Casino. Reasonably swish and pleasant. We lost about 15€ on the pokies and for Sharna at Easts they used the card system and it was quite successful. We then decided to take in the air and walk along the lake edge until it started to rain and we scurried into the old town to buy some croissants for breakfast. There was a fabulous bandstand on a pier on the lake and quaint colourful buildings in the old town (including tractors in the main street). And of course some lavender for Ron. We had dinner on the Lake and it was bloody cold and wet but better than a pizza in the room.

Next morning it was still raining for our trip to Villeneuve.