Hi! I'm Elena! Welcome to my travel blog Creativelena.com.
For me, it is all about “life-seeing instead of sightseeing”: Join me as I create, eat & live my way around the world. Curious?
*Check out my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”, for learning more about what we mean by creative travel. Travelling means the world to me, makes me fit for everday life and sometimes, I trust, also calmer on the inside. Read this blog with a smile, share what you love and remember to check back regularly: After all, when was the last time you did something for the first time?
For many, many years now – almost as long as I can remember – we have been driving past the area around Angerberg – Mariastein in the lower Inntal valley, just a stone’s throw away from the border between Austria and Germany. Many years of heading to some of the most attractive ski resorts of Tyrol, including delicious mountain cheese tastings and winter paragliding adventures. But stopping in this part of the country?
Huskies, let me tell you, are just stunningly beautiful and utterly mesmerizing animals.
Huskies make that the world becomes quiet, if but for a moment.
“Come on in”, he calls on us with a friendly smile, standing by the fence of his husky enclosure. Some 20 huskies roam the grounds, completely free, without being tied to chains or anything. Unique all over Austria, as Martin likes to emphasize.
“Just allow the huskies to come up to you. They will come when they want it.” Try and speak their language, is what he seems to add in silence. Even though it all seems super relaxed when Martin has a group of bloggers plus cameras and iPhones mix & mingle with his animals, he does of course always watch out for them (the dogs, not the bloggers. Or was it both?). And yet, there is one thing we never have to fear right inside the husky farm, where his 22 huskies play, eat, run or around or sleep: Uncontrolled excitement bobbing up among the animals. It is rather our own that we have to mind here.
Visiting Martin’s Husky Ranch at the Angerberg takes about two hours; “afterwards it’s time to give the dogs a break from the ride – and the people”, Martin tells us with a wink. He gently pushes us to leave, while I still feel completely soaked up and enchanted by the gentle atmosphere of his extraordinary husky pack. One of them has blue eyes – tracing his ancestors back to Siberia. Another one’s are brown – he is a descendent of the Canadian huskies in the Yukon or northern Alberta regions. Brown and blue eyes? “A twist of nature”, Martin adds, shooting his dogs a loving look. Each one here has their own name, character and responsibility in the team: “It’s like with us humans. Right up front pulling the sleigh are the ‘professors’. They are the smartest, most talented and most enduring dogs, teaching the others where to go and what to do. I assign each dog according to its abilities and character, training them as best as I can. This is where I see my real responsibility and position in the pack.”
And it is a most rewarding responsibility, if you read Martin’s unspoken words. A life-long responsibility really.
Right next to Martin’s Husky Ranch, Gasthof Mariasteinerhof has us welcome for a typical Tyrolean lunch. Try their tasty “Schlutzkrapfen” (a must when visiting Tyrol!) or spicy pancakes: An ideal preparation for a forest walk to the nearby Mariastein pilgrimage church. Check this out.
Check out some more travel tips & images from our international blog trip #inAustria here:
My international colleagues have had the following to say about their experiences #inAustria:
See you all soon #inAustria 😉
Disclaimer: We have been invited by the Tirol Werbung as well as the Austrian National Tourist Board. All opinions are my own.