For events with depth and vision
Lake Constance is a paradise for active holiday makers and those in search of peace and quiet, for visitors passing through and long-term guests, for sailors and promenaders, enthusiasts of nature and of culture. And Bregenz Festival House is located right on the shore.
We're having a break. After the intense workshop and discussion with the other conference attendees, it's now time to let things sink in and relax a little. I gaze out across Lake Constance through the enormous panorama window. It does me good to see so far.
I have often been a guest at Bregenz Festival House – not just at conferences, but also at concerts and social functions. As an opera lover I've also been to the Bregenz Festival, which is held on the world's largest lake stage, which now lies at my feet. Right beside it is the festival house's own jetty, which enables guests to come directly to the venue by boat. When we moored here yesterday evening after a cosy get-together on the boat, there was something of a holiday atmosphere.
It's easy to understand why locals call the lake affectionately the Swabian Sea. It lies where three countries meet – Austria, Germany and Switzerland; is an impressive 540 square kilometres in size and is up to 250 metres deep. Research on my mobile phone reveals furthermore that Lake Constance is a relict from the Ice Age, is fed by the Rhine, and several islands are bathed by its fresh waters. The largest of these is Reichenau, a rich supplier of vegetables – followed by Mainau, the flower island, and Lindau. The climate is favourable for the cultivation of fruit, hops and wine. Lake Constance is so clean that it's even a source of drinking water for hundreds of towns and villages in the region.
Several nature reserves contain thick reed beds and a great diversity of wildlife that attracts nature lovers and scientists from all over the world. Me among them. I decide to take a stroll along the shore, so I can store up some energy and inspiration for the afternoon programme at the conference.
Photo: Lisa Mathis