High above Lake Constance in Eichenberg, Austria, 5-2014

This morning we awoke to such a lovely spring day and it was quite warm for mid May. We decided to venture out on our local mountain the Pfänder and to explore a few well worn trails above our house beginning at the small village of Eichenberg. But most importantly it was around noon mealtime so naturally we had to begin our walk with lunch at one of the best local butchers around these parts called the Fesslerhof. If you are a meat eater, as we are, the Austrian butcher experience is not to be missed. The Fesslerhof butchers only local animals from our region that have been raised on the grasses of the area and that is full of all the necessary and good nutrition to raise healthy and tasty animals to sell at their high quality Metzgerei. We all had wonderful choices from the menu such as sausages, Leberkäse (formed meat loaf of beef, pork, bacon and onions) and a wurst salad which is sliced bologna with pickles, onions, local cheese, topped with a vinegar dressing. We washed it down with a slightly fermented cider called Most and Franz with a refreshing Radler which is a thirst quenching beer and lemonade mixture. What way to begin a walk in the local neighborhood!

Eichenberg has a lovely small church called Heiliger Bernhard (St. Bernard’s) that is situated in the center of the village overlooking the lake and situated amongst a few very good restaurants that serve wonderful cuisine from the region. One notable restaurant is the four star Schönblick (beautiful view) that we frequent on special occasions especially when we have out of town guests because the view of the entire Bodensee region and the lake does not get any better than from the patio. The menu and wine list is wonderful as well. I highly recommend it and don’t forget to eat their specialty dessert platter that tastes as good as it looks.

There are many walks that begin from Eichenberg. The walks are quite easy and accessible and the trails are clearly marked and well maintained. They take the leisurely stroller through fields of flowers and cow pastures, rustic barns, and traditional Bregenz farm houses with window boxes lined with cascading geraniums. And small streams flow down the mountain as they make their way to empty into the Bodensee waiting below. Trees, birds, bees, blowing wind, chicken, crickets, mooing cows and bells are the sights and sounds that leave a relaxing impression on the lucky hiker. Now that’s my way to spend a leisurely afternoon high above Lake Constance.
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