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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?

Heads up for another round of the NÖVOG English Language training in Lower Austria!

Monday morning, 09.00 o’clock. Expectantly, I take a look at ten friendly, yet somewhat tired faces. (Almost) Like at school, I catch myself thinking. “What a good idea, Elena, for you to prepare the photo exercise for us …”, one of the local team members, tells me. “It really got us going in a much needed, Monday-morning-encouraging kind of way!”

 

Every year, I take care to run a series of excellent language trainings for people working in the NÖVOG Lower Austrian train company.

Translated to English, this means working on training local members of staff at each of Lower Austria’s (mountain) railway companies, such as the Mariazellerbahn or the team at the “Gemeindealpe Mitterbach”, to speak better tourism English. “Yes, in fact, we always have more of those foreign visitors … Lots of Hungarians, in our case. This autumn, we will even do a course in Hungarian”, the team of the Schneebergbahn updates me on their progress so far.

On the day leading up to my two-day teaching seminar, I take care to travel early to what is known as one of Austria’s climatic spa resorts, the lovely little town named Puchberg am Schneeberg. It nestles right at the foot of Lower Austria’s highest mountain, the famous “Schneeberg” at just over 2.000 metres above sea level. The photos I use in my first exercise the next morning are all from my hiking tour that very day, motivated to reach further into this pristine mountain area only about an hour away from Vienna.

"Jetzt geht's los": "Off we go", in Puchberg am Schneeberg!

“Jetzt geht’s los”: “Off we go”, in Puchberg am Schneeberg!

 

The cosy mountain hut Hengstberghütte ...

The cosy mountain hut Hengstberghütte …

 

… is, according to the words of a true Puchberg local ...

… is, according to the words of a true Puchberg local …

 

… a mere, easy hiking trail away ...

… a mere, easy hiking trail away …

 

… not to mention the 800 metres difference in altitude (400 up, 400 down) ...

… not to mention the 800 metres difference in altitude (400 up, 400 down) …

 

… but hey, what's it matter? In the end, all that counts is that happy, well-deserved look on your face!

… but hey, what’s it matter? In the end, all that counts is that happy, well-deserved look on your face!

 

This photo shows perhaps THE most important sight of the area around Puchberg and the Schneeberg mountain: The famous, historic cog wheel railway line up there.

This photo shows perhaps THE most important sight of the area around Puchberg and the Schneeberg mountain: The famous, historic cog wheel railway line up there.

 

As well as some tender sprouts of spring ...

As well as some tender sprouts of spring …

 

… on my way to the cosy mountain hut Hengstberghütte. Fresh mountain air, and a good glass of schnapps at the hut - what else could you desire?

… on my way to the cosy mountain hut Hengstberghütte. Fresh mountain air, and a good glass of schnapps at the hut – what else could you desire?

 

Puchberg is thus right at the centre of all action. What this translates into concerning guests wishing to talk to the locals about the time, the train schedules, the sights and attractions around, is what we are here to train for.

I’m loving it. “If you’ve got a question – any question – about saying something in English, you can even call me at four a.m. in the morning … That’s not a problem really, it’s easy for …” – “Really?!” My students in front of me start giggling, then rise to a roar. “Sure”, I add full of confidence, then having to laugh myself. – “Will you give us your number, then?” I must say I really like them. My team here in Puchberg am Schneeberg.

2014 saw the first in a series of language trainings here at the Schneebergbahn; this year I am back building on to the vocabulary we’ve trained earlier. As part of our advanced language course, we train real customer dialogs, build questions & answers in relevant contexts, talk about personal experiences and give recommendations. More than grammar & vocabulary, I always try and focus on encouraging staff to see the use, and build up their confidence, in speaking English as a foreign language – a language so natural and innate to me, second only to my mother tongue German.

View upon the building lot of the NÖVOG train station in Puchberg am Schneeberg ...

View upon the building lot of the NÖVOG train station in Puchberg am Schneeberg …

 

… to train real life situations and dealing with foreign visitors to Puchberg am Schneeberg.

… where all of us are working hard to train real life situations and dealing with foreign visitors to Puchberg am Schneeberg.

 

In the afternoon, it's relaxing time ...

In the afternoon, it’s relaxing time …

 

… with a view over the mighty mountain massif ahead, the "Schneeberg" still being covered in its name-giving "snow cap" in late April.

… with a view over the mighty mountain massif ahead, the “Schneeberg” still being covered in its name-giving “snow cap” in late April.

 

If, like me, you love a good hike every now and then ...

If, like me, you love a good hike every now and then …

 

… head out here to Puchberg, literally a stone's throw away from Vienna and so much nicer (in terms of fresh air!).

… head out here to Puchberg, literally a stone’s throw away from Vienna and so much nicer (in terms of fresh air!).

 

And you, when will you decide to come and visit the area around the Schneeberg in Lower Austria? Here are several more travel tips to help you plan your stay. Enjoy & see you soon!

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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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