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One morning in the Bregenzerwald, Austria we meet with Petra who will be our guide on a hike around the moors of Krumbach. We follow a small trail through the grassy hills of Austria and soon discover a meadow with a completely different golden color.
The moors are ancient glacier lakes, which over time have been filled with dead plant material – the so called peat. The layers of peat can be up to 10 meters deep. Previously, the peat has been used as fuel, but now the remaining moors of Krumbach are protected. They lay like a patchwork scattered around the area and have a whole different fauna and flora than the green fields around them. Wild orchids, cotton grass and different kinds of moss grow here, and the moor is home to rare dragonflies and butterflies. We get to experience the moors in autumn colors with the finest red grass.
The people in Krumbach are proud of the moors. You can book guided moor walks all summer and there is even a morning walk including a special moor breakfast with ingredients collected from the moor. Special benches have been built as landmarks in the area, and with this map you can search for them and experience the special landscape along the way.
With bare feet across the moor
We reach the moorhouse, which is a roofed wooden platform with a panorama view across the beautiful Salgenreutener moor behind it. A small staircase leads up to the plateau and you can easily spend some quiet time here gazing at the beautiful scenery.
To experience the moor with all our senses, we take off our shoes and walk over it with bare feet. The thick layer of peat is soft under our feet. It is also pretty wet! The moor here is a high moor, which means that the layer of peat is so thick that the plants are not connected to ground below. They must survive from the water coming from above. Petra shows us a moss plant that is especially good at holding the water inside it.
After we stop whining over our wet feet, it is actually kind of nice to have moor water between your toes. Sometimes you just have to do things a little different, to notice the greatness of these seemingly small nature experiences!
If you want to go on a guided moor walk yourself, keep an eye on the dates and sign up at Krumbach’s website here
The beautiful Salgenreutener moor
A special relation to wood
On our way back we follow small roads through the quiet rural landscape and look at the many pretty farmhouses. Bregenzerwald means the forest next to Bregenz (Bregenz is the capital of the Vorarlberg region) Despite the name, the Bregenzerwald region is not completely covered by trees, but the area still has a very special relation to wood. The region is very proud of their wooden crafts and many of the houses are covered with the characteristic wooden shingles. It gives the area a very charming and distinctive architectural touch. The wood and the shingles are not painted, but are left to age with grace, simply because the Austrians think it looks more beautiful that way. I totally agree!
If you want to explore Bregenzerwald’s distinctive architecture, you can find special architectural routes in 12 different villages. The routes are called Umgang and you can find maps and descriptions right here.
*The trip was sponsored by Vorarlberg Tourismus as part of the campaign #inVorarlberg arranged by NordicTB. With me on this trip was Sofia from Fantasiresor.se, Otto Lilja and Janicke from the blog letsgetlost.no.