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You wouldn't be here if you weren't curious.*

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?

NOW is always the best time to do anything. Let me take you skiing in Mostviertel then!


Gourmet Travel, Austria, Travel With Locals, Europe, Travel Blog , 0

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Do you know the feeling of perfectly exceeded expectations? Wonderful, isn’t it? Think back of when you had this perfect picture in mind, of how something was going to be. And then found out, that you had to paint it all over again with what you actually saw. This happens – a lot, I find – during travelling. So today, let me tell you of how my expectations have totally been exceeded this time, travelling to the ski resorts Ötscher & Hochkar in the Lower Austrian Mostviertel destination.

Ruhe vor dem Sturm: Blick auf das zauberhafte Bergland des Mostviertel am höchsten Punkt des Schigebiet Hochkar.

View upon the high mountain ski resort Hochkar, captured on the go using my iPhone 5!

Auch so werden Erwartungen übertroffen: Was für eine nette, persönliche Botschaft in JoSchi's Sporthaus!

Another means to exceed your expectations: Finding a personal, hand-written note addressed to you at our accommodation at Hochkar mountain ski resort, JoSchi’s Sporthaus!

Hm: Auch wenn es nicht danach aussieht, bin ich ob des frischen Schnees & stürmischen Wetters hier im Mostviertel einfach nur überglücklich - Erwartungen (erneut) übertroffen.

Me: Totally exceeded anyway. Happy with the fresh snow blowing into my face here at Hochkar – yes, baby!

 

What first seemed to melt away with the warm temperatures of an unusually mild winter was this: Hope. Hope for a really good skiing weekend. Our expectations had already gone down low under the heat of the spring sun but successfully made their comeback here in Mostviertel: Great slopes for carving in Lackenhof am Ötscher. Brand new hotel rooms at JoSchi’s Sporthaus at Hochkar mountain resort. Austria’s largest pine wood sauna at the Ybbstaler Solebad spa in Göstling. And of course lovely Franz, the mayor of Göstling, a true entertainer, witty personality as well as our ski guide for the day. So how did all of this happen? Let me tell you here.

And the best thing is: This weekend, I am back up at the slopes! My brand new snowboard needs some fresh air. So do I.

Check it out: It is only until 6 April, 2014 that the slopes at Hochkar mountain resort are still maintained for the season. You have no reason not to go. So let’s go!

Los geht's mit dem Winterspaß im Mostviertel: Hier in Lackenhof am Ötscher locken Aussichten bis nach Oberösterreich und zur tschechischen Grenze Schifahrer in die faszinierende Bergwelt Niederösterreichs.

Winter fun in Mostviertel: Here we are at Lackenhof am Ötscher ski resort, with amazing vistas that touch down to the Alpine upland & lowlands, stretching as far as the Czech Republic and Germany.

Wir werden hier gleich doppelt verwöhnt: Vom strahlenden Sonnenschein sowie den Schifahr-Künsten des Ex-Schirennläufers Andi Buder aus Lackenhof am Ötscher. 150 km/h Pistengeschwindigkeit sind für ihn "normal". Ganz so schnell sind wir dann doch nicht den Berg hinabgeflitzt ...

Both the impeccable sunshine as well as the artistry of our ski guide Andi Buder, a local from Mostviertel who used to race in many world cups, wins us over on this day. Going at a speed of some 150 kilometres an hour is quite normal to him, however we did not make it down quite as fast …

... schon gar nicht, wenn man wie Thomas auf seine GoPro und die Einstellung richtig guter Action-Videos achtet ;) ...

… especially not, if like Thomas you are watching over your beloved GoPro helmet camera baby 😉 …

... dennoch: Die menschenleeren Pisten laden zum richtig coolen Carven ein - keine Menschenseele außer uns weit und breit!

… and now this: Hardly a soul on the slopes, and carving here is so much fun as the snow is both soft and hard enough at the same time, providing the best conditions for daring maneuvers. I like!

Szenenwechsel: "Drüben" am Hochkar nächtigen wir quasi direkt auf der Piste ...

Let’s change scenes: A little later, we sleep in style right at the Hochkar mountain ski resort next to the slopes, with a view from our balcony upon the full moon …

... in solch wunderschönen, komplett neu eingerichteten Zimmern ...

… and the perfect atmosphere to relax inside those cosy, Austrian hotel rooms …

... die Gemütlichkeit zieht sich durch alle neuen Teilbereiche des Hotels ...

… a sense of local “Gemütlichkeit” (cosiness) is to be found everywhere around JoSchi’s Sporthaus hotel …

... und von der Qualität der Speisen sind wir nach diesem langen Schitag ebenfalls überzeugt.

… and we also dig in the delicious food around here after a good day skiing. Enjoy your meal!

 

We just love skiing in Mostviertel. Splash out over breakfast. Carve down every possible slope. Squeal with joy in the snow! And being invited to Franz’ farm for a glass of cider “Most” later on. Naturally!

“I am only here because I INSISTED on being with you all day skiing! And of course, you must come and see my farm later on. I will serve you home-made cider from our apple trees there! The only thing is, I have to ask my wife if she is at home, so we can cook something for you!?” Franz boasts his happiest smile. Christina & Thomas, our lovely friends from Tannheimer Tal in Tirol and I exchange looks. “But … You really don’t have to cook for us??!” – “Well, you can at least have an omelette”, Franz insists, still smiling. The fresh bread with the home-made, delightful cream cheese spread that his wife eventually serves us still makes me hungry today. It was sooo good! Read more about Christina & Thomas’ unique views about Mostviertel here. 🙂

Franz is a local through & through, his hospitality representing all of the Mostviertel people we meet this weekend. No matter whether it is at JoSchi’s Sporthaus, at the brand new JUFA family lodge at Hochkar or at the Ybbstaler Solebad spa in Göstling: People are just really sweet and cool out here. It is worth spending more than just one or two days in this destination. Even, or especially as a local like myself who thinks of the Hochkar mountain ski resort as being mainly for a day’s worth – let’s recall what I recently wrote about counting snowflakes & winter magic at Hochkar in Mostviertel! By the way, I am sure you are going to meet Franz too. Just look for a happy and approachable person: It is bound to be him!

Gemütlichkeit auf Mostviertlerisch: Zu Besuch bei Franz Heigl, dem Bürgermeister, Landwirt & Gastgeber von Göstling an der Ybbs.

“Gemütlichkeit” in Mostviertel: In for a spontaneous visit at Franz Heigl’s farm in Göstling an der Ybbs, where we are served home-made apple cider. Nice!

Gemütlich ist es eigentlich immer, wo wir unterwegs sind: Im neu renovierten JUFA Gästehaus werden uns Riesenkrapfen geboten ...

Actually, we are being spoilt everywhere we go around here. The JUFA family lodge at Hochkar mountain ski resort serves us big “Krapfen” and chocolate muffins …

... sehr gemütlich, stellen wir fest, ist es auch in diesen Zimmern hier: Preiswerte Jugend- und Familienzimmer für 2-5 Personen bietet das JUFA am Hochkar.

… and later, when we are shown the brand new family rooms for between 2 to 5 people, we are utterly impressed and want to stay here with our friends and family at once.

Inklusive großzügigem Ruhe- und Wellnessbereich - Herz, was willst Du mehr? Merke: Wir sind immer noch direkt an den Schipisten am Berg. Genial!

They even have their own spa out here: If I had been a kid travelling on a ski trip with my school or family, I would have already liked such amenities I am sure.

Dafür sorgt natürlich auch das gute Essen ...

More good food is served to us during the day skiing at the typical mountain huts …

Franz in seinem typischen, unwiderstehlichen Charme, schenkt Christina von seinem "Flachmann" ein. So lob' ich mir das Pistenleben!

… and of course Franz’ offer of sharing his liqueur with us goes a long way in terms of hospitality up at the mountain slopes. That’s how I like to do it!

Traumhafte Pistenwelten am Hochkar: Ein einsamer Tourengeher kämpft sich den Berg hoch.

Beautiful mountain vistas at Hochkar: One lonesome tour skier climbs up a perfectly prepared slope ready for the downhill race.

Christina und ich üben uns derweil in der "hohen Kunst der Unterhaltungs-Fotografie". ;)

Meanwhile, Christina and I delight in the art of photography. Can you spot the photographer in this picture? 😉

Zahlreiche Pisten sorgen auf dem Hochkar trotz guter Besuchslage für keine allzu langen Wartezeiten an den Liften.

Countless slopes here at Hochkar equally distribute people around the mountain so that no big queues erupt at the lifts.

Und wenn wir mal warten, dann lieber freiwillig: Franz hat nämlich ein Radiointerview über "die Reiseblogger" auf Niederösterreichs Radiosender Arabella für uns gecheckt - Live vom Hochkar werden unsere Blogs in die Welt hinausgetragen!

And if we have to wait, it is always for a reason: Here, Franz has organised for us to be “on air” live on Lower Austrian Radio Arabella, introducing the “travel bloggers” who have come to Hochkar this morning. Cool – we are almost famous now. ! 😉

 

Lovely. I really need to go now, though, and get myself up there once more snowboarding this season. Care to join me? Well, you know where to go now. Perhaps we shall meet? Look for the happy boarder girl taking photos with her iPhone on the slopes and from the chair lift. Then sharing them with the world with a sigh, reaching out to people like yourself. Thank you so much for being there! 😀

Still want more, dear readers? My Flickr photo album takes you on our full journey through Mostviertel:

 

Disclaimer: We have been invited by Mostviertel Tourismus to travel to the mountain ski resorts Ötscher & Hochkar. All opinions are my own.

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Written by Elena

Elena writes about creative destinations, shares her personal travel stories and brings inspiring photography & interesting news updates home to you. Her mission is: "Continue to be amazed at this world, one creative travel experience at a time."

Ready for learning even more about creative travel?

Elena has recently published "The Creative Traveler's Handbook". Chock full of inspiratinal stories, travel tips and advice, it offers everything you need for planning and managing your next creative escape, addressing beginners and experienced travelers alike. Here's how to get your hands on it now!
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