No matter the season, vacationing at Lake Constance means variety. On the Flower Island Mainau, the 2017 theme (Island x Palm Trees)² revolves around formulas, color and forms. St. Gallen, Switzerland fascinates visitors with textile history and haute couture boom. While in neighboring Liechtenstein, princely events are best combined with nature activities. A Zeppelin flight over the lake is a classic favorite and this year, Friedrichshafen beckons fans with “culty” exhibitions. In Constance, it’s all about “island-hopping” to the many sparkling jewels like Werd, the monastery island or the Love Island from the 1950s film classic, The Fisher Girl from Lake Constance.
A Numbers Game and a Plus for Colours
Flower Island Mainau celebrates 2017 by looking at the close relationship between nature and mathematics with its (Island x Palm Trees)² theme. Walking through the park, visitors learn about geometric forms in nature and the life-giving role numbers play in botany. Information stations along the way describe ‘record holders’ in the plant kingdom. Keeping in theme, Restaurant Comturey creates Blooming Color menus featuring monochromatic dishes where Mainau chefs prepare a menus using only one color. Alongside the mathematics theme, the island will perform its usual show of bursting blossoms starting with thousands of tulips, rhododendrons in the hundreds, sweet-smelling rose gardens, perennials and colorful dahlias.
Home of World-Class Fabrics
St. Gallen, Switzerland is world famous for its exquisite fabrics and embroidery. Case in point: the lace for Amal Clooney’s wedding dress came from the local company, Mode-Metropole. Whether by foot, antique bus or by personal car, there are many ways to experience St. Gallen’s embroidery history and flourishing textile industry. A five-kilometer walking tour starts at the tourist office and weaves past historic buildings (an embroidery factory and dye works) throughout the old town of St. Gallen. The Textile Land Classic Tour starts at the Textile Museum in St. Gallen, continues on with an Old timer-Postal Car to the Saurer Museum in Arbon, then by boat to the Swiss Textile Collection in Rorschach. There are two self-guided half-day tours: Textile Explorer North and South where visitors explore Eastern Switzerland’s amazing handcrafts, treasures and exhibits along the way. Those who wish to stay overnight will enjoy the “textile theme” in the region’s participating hotels. www.st.gallen-bodensee.ch
The Princely Throne above Lake Constance
Everything is close by in the Principality of Liechtenstein. Nature and culture live side-by-side. A hike or bike in the morning, followed by a world-class concert in the evening. There’s a 400-km network of well-marked hiking trails for all abilities. Skiers and riders find dependable snow cover in the winter sport resort, Malbun. Liechtenstein’s museums are world-class and unique, featuring the private art collections of Prince Hans Adams II, Himalayan climber Heinrich Harrer and a Rhine River painted exhibit. A highlight for classical fans is the NEW Festival Vaduz Classic with star violinist, David Garrett performing in 2017. Other festivals draw serious music-goers like the International Master Course; Liechtenstein Guitar Days; Jazz and Blues in Vaduz; and the Liechtenstein-Festival. Those who discover the smallest country on Lake Constance must also try their national dish: Cheese Dumplings with crispy onions and apple sauce. It’s good enough for a prince. www.tourismus.li
Zeppelin City Friedrichshafen: 20th Anniversary with Culty Exhibits
The Zeppelin NT celebrates 20 years! Since its first flight September 18, 1997, the Zeppelin NT has inspired more than 230,000 passengers. The “Cult” exhibit features the world of the Zeppelin cult, as well as the roll cults play in contemporary art. Artists examine the Zeppelin mythos and the mechanics of cults in society, politics and pop culture. The Zeppelin Museum exhibit runs June 2 - October 15, 2017. Starting July 4, 2017 the School Museum hosts “Cult Games in the Schoolyard,” an exhibit that takes a fun look at classic “cult” games and new trends in schools with a fun look at poetry albums, gossip games, Tamagotchi digital pets and Manga-comics. Even Captain Kirk and his crew have landed in the Dornier Museum to celebrate the big event. Don’t miss this unique exhibition “Star Trek—Science & Fiction” highlighting 50 years of Star Trek cult worship running until June, 2017. Those who want to dive into Friedrichshafen’s grand history join the costumed walking tour “With the Count through Friedrichshafen.” www.friedrichshafen.info
Island-Hopping around Constance
Island-hopping is a way of life in this four-country region and three NEW tours depart from the lake’s namesake city of Constance. In addition to Mainau (Flower Island) and Reichenau (Vegetable Island) there are plenty of other islands to explore by bike, boat or foot. The first tour explores the Wollmatinger Marsh by bike or canoe, a protected wildlife sanctuary for migrating birds. The second tour visits Mainau Flower Island and UNESCO World Heritage Reichenau Island, the monastic “Vegetable Island.” It’s a tour that thrills the senses with color, scent, taste and touch. The third tour is located in Constance city and highlights the special anniversary theme “We have a Pope!” 600 years ago, the first and only legitimate Pope elected outside of Italy was chosen in Constance. “A Pope Flees Constance” is a NEW bike and walking tour that tells the story why one of the three illegitimate popes fled the city, stopping over on various islands in his grand escape! www.konstanz-tourismus.de