Category: Austria

Bowser likes cheese. A lot. It’s one of the first Dutch words he was able to pronounce. When he’s in the mood for it, he points at the fridge and shouts: “Kaas! Ja, kaas!” He gets almost as excited about it as he gets about vehicles such as cars, tractors, trucks, ambulances, trains and excavators. For the ones who don’t know Bowser all that well: this means very excited. Anna and I like cheese too, especially the mountain cheese we eat when we’re in Vorarlberg. And so we decided to visit Bregenzerwald in search of the so-called Cheese Road.

Before I start, I want to make clear that I like Bowser a lot. And I like doing stuff with him. But every now and then it’s also very nice to do something without him. And so last Monday I left him with Anna at his grandparents’ place while I cycled the whole day through a part of Vorarlberg. By myself, so I could just cycle in my own desired pace and stop wherever and whenever I wanted to. I could decide which route exactly to follow, without taking other people’s preferences and suggestions into account. That’s why I like doing stuff on my own. Also, I don’t like people that much.

Bowser spends about half of his awake-time here in Vorarlberg playing with water. He either goes swimming in a lake, a cold mountain stream or – with bad weather – an indoor swimming pool. Most days, however, he simply enjoys himself with a big bucket filled with water in the garden of his grandparents. We wanted to find out if he also likes to just look at water. More precisely: look at waterfalls. And so we went to the Rappenlochschlucht. Actually, it was just on our to-do-list, but I have to build a story around it somehow…

Near the border to Germany, above Bregenz and Lake Constance, lies probably the most famous lookout point of Vorarlberg. The Pfänder is almost 1100 meters high, which I think is quite a bit and definitely counts as a mountain. Anna insists that it’s just a hill, though. I’m from the Netherlands, where the highest point is 300 meters above sea level. We call that a mountain, so this Pfänder is definitely one too. Anna knows it is. She just likes to act tough and brag about things Austria has and the Netherlands don’t. Anyway, since we decided to do touristic stuff this year in Vorarlberg and not just sit around all day, we took a cable car up the Pfänder last Saturday with our Innsbruck-friends Kathrin and Daniel (who stayed over after the Festspiele the night before) and some kid called Prinzessin Emma-Johanna.

Two years ago, when Bowser was still some weird thing moving around in Anna’s belly, we went to the Bregenzer Festspiele to see an opera on the water. Now that Bowser is some weird thing moving around outside Anna’s belly and Dr. Watson took his place inside, we went there again. We left Bowser at his uncles and took Watson with us. That’s the benefit of still living in your mother’s womb: you can come along late at night when human beings are going out, doing grown-up stuff. Sorry, Bowser. You can join us again in a few years, when you’re a human being too.