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Monday, 08 June 2009

schloss.jpgIt was a sunny afternoon and M.A.'s birthday. We took the train to the Bodensee, a 20 minute ride from where we live. From there a smaller train took us up the hill, climbing slowly towards Appenzell. The view was postcard inspired: green hills with traditional houses scattered as single stars on a clear night, the lake a shining mirror reflecting the snow topped Alps. 'Are you going to the castle?' a kind lady asked as she walked us to the entrance gate. A small church on the left, a vegetable garden on the right and a path that led us through spring green. Then the contours of a white building and we found ourselves in front of a dream.

Close to neighbouring countries Germany, Austria and Liechtenstein, Wartegg was the ideal location for a summer residence. During 450 years, many nobles lived here, including Austria's last empress Zita. Nowadays, the Schloss is a historical monument surrounded by mighty trees and blossoming gardens. Completely renovated, the castle offers facilities that respond to the needs of modern society. The former chapel is now a concert hall, the restaurant overlooks the lake, the lounge contains a library and the Feng Shui hotel rooms have comfortable Hüsler beds. There is a kids playing room for our little guests, a quiet room for meditation and even my parents' Icelander is welcome. On top of that, we will swim in the most beautiful antique bath of the country. But the best of all is that Wartegg has a WWF certified kitchen with organic vegetables from their own garden complemented with meat from local farmers and fresh fish from the Bodensee. The only thing missing is the white horse, but we have five more weeks to arrange that.

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