Dornbirn near Bregenz, Austria – home of the Opernfestspiele

Dornbirn is a small town on the outskirts of Bregenz, home to the spectacular Opera Festival on Lake Constance. We had arrived a day early for “Carmen” by Georges Bizet and decided to explore our surroundings. And we found many interesting things to do following the street up the mountain:

  • the Rolls Royce Museum
  • the aerial tram up to the very top of the mountain: “Karrenseilbahn”
  • the swimming pool in the glade

The owners of the small museum offer detailed insights of the making and history of the luxury cars. Spend a delightful hour or two admiring the sleek chassis, leather seats and “Spirit of Ecstasy” figurehead.

This is the view you get when you take the aerial tram “Karren.at” to the top. Not only is there a breathtaking view, but also a nice restaurant. We had Wurstsalat with cheese and onions. Prices for the aerial tram are about 12€, up and down.

The pool is nearby, with nice meadows next to the river Dornbirner Ach. It’s a great place to cool off before dressing up for the big opera “Carmen”in Bregenz, the backdrop of which was designed by the Londoner Es Devlin.

The opera in Munich – Die Nationaloper

Whenever I find the time, I buy a single ticket online for the opera or a ballet. Prices are moderate, as cultural events are subsidised. The new director is Russian and has changed many dancers, at times other singers are invited, but Munich boasts a world-class level of excellence. Any travel agency or hotel can organize a booking. The Festspiele, music festival, is in July.

The opera building is imposing and beautiful, with wide stairs leading up to a portico. Inside, all is wooden parquet floors, high stucco ceilings, gold leaves and mirrors and elegance, red velvet seats and fantastic chandeliers, Bohemian and Venetian. Each seating block has its own wardrobe. Unfortunately, the fashion on display is at times a trifle too casual for my taste, but there is no real dress code. Meanwhile more and more little bars and bar tables have been installed, hardly any long lines. In one corner you can buy souvenirs, in another all manner of CDs and DVDs of singers, operas, ballets, folk songs.

The great hall on the second floor is where everybody walks around in the breaks, enjoying the view from the long sash windows or drinking prosecco. On low tables at the side walls and at each entrance you will find programs and brochures. I find myself holding my breath every time the curtain is pulled back – enjoy!