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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?

Around Gesäuse National Park : Admont Abbey, Kassegg Castle & the eco-friendly Hotel Spirodom

Morning mist lifting, we can see Admont Abbey rising like a beacon from the dark forests surrounding it. Some of the best views of this precious Baroque jewel in Austrian cultural history, including the world’s largest monastic library at well over 70.000 books on display, is from Hotel Spirodom in Admont. Would you believe that some of those early manuscripts are almost 1.500 (!) years old?! As the old book worm I am (or anyone for that matter, really), I stand in awe in front of such a treasure.

Wow.

Dazu kommt mit der Stiftbibliothek in Admont eines der "acht Weltwunder", die weltweit größte Klosterbibliothek der Welt mit über 70.000 (!) Büchern nämlich ...

 

“Spiro”, I breathe, “domus”, meaning house. Hotel Spirodom receives me & my friends for a deep breath inside one of Austria’s least known national parks, Gesäuse in north-western Styria.

Good morning from Admont! During our first walk around Hotel Spirodom …

 

 

… we discover our local host, Manuela Hierl, still has this surprise for us: “Hotel Spirodom, well there’s more to it than meets the eye. All our rooms are being energetically cleaned”, she smiles enigmatically, continuing to explain that all of us are bound to be put under the energetic spell of lovely Elvira, who is the hotel’s healing massage therapist. “I have booked you each a session with her. You are going to love her, all our guests do”, she reassures us with a smile.

Elvira, indeed, is a force to be reckoned with. A sunny person inside out, she achieves rapid healing of muscle aches and bad postures through energy therapy, using her hands and mind to heal. What a wonderful treatment, and certainly one I have never experienced before! After or before, why not enjoy the local wellness area like we did, again with quite some breathtaking views over at the hotel’s next-door neighbour, Admont Abbey.

As for dinner, our host Manuela Hierl went to invite Wolfgang Riedl, a charming local park ranger & “translator of the stones” to join us: CSI Ice Age, “Wilderness between Heaven & Hell” as well as “Geology on your plate” being only some of the programmes he devises for visitors to Gesäuse national park. Check out some more information about things to do in & around the park here. Did you know Hotel Spirodom even welcomes you with a glass of sparkling wine with edible hibiscus flowers in them? They are bright red, and very sweet to compliment our aperitif … mmh!

Gemütlich und einladend, die großzügigen Zimmer im Hotel Spirodom, die die Natur des Gesäuse ins Zimmer holen ...

Rooms at the Hotel Spirodom are meant to mirror the peace and calm one finds in Gesäuse national park …

 

... herzlich die Gastgeber ...

… and yes, it’s peace and happiness when getting together with the locals, too …

 

... locker die Gespräche, wie hier mit dem "steinreichen" Wolfgang Riedl ...

… loved our talk with Wolfgang Riedl, who is so passionate about the area, its geological history and all of its nature combined …

 

... Gesäuse, ich muss schon sagen, wir fühlen uns Dir gleich verbunden!

… Gesäuse, I do have to say, we really like the look of you!

 

PS: Direkt vor dem Hotel Spirodom gibt es übrigens auch eine großzügige Elektrotankstelle! Jetzt brauchen wir nur noch das richtige Auto dazu ..!

PS: Right in front of Hotel Spirodom, you can find a “gas station” for your electric car! Now, we only need such a car, don’t we ..!

 

Als kulinarischen Tipp können wir Euch das Gasthaus zur Ennsbrücke der Familie Pirafellner empfehlen: Hier wird besonders auf die Qualität regionaler Speisen wie Wild, Waldfrüchte und saisonale Produkte geachtet - Qualität, die wir schmecken!

Do look for the inn Gasthaus zur Ennsbrücke run by the Pirafelner family: A local restaurant whose quality and dedication to sourcing only the best local produce, such as fresh venison and other game meat, will not disappoint you!

 

It’s only a five minutes’ walk from Hotel Spirodom over to Admont Abbey, which you cannot miss on any of your next trips to Austria.

What with the large diversity of offers at the abbey, such as a visit to the world-famous monastery library, the contemporary abbey museum & art gallery, the natural history wing, its herbal gardens & park lands, it’s best you plan up to half a day, at least, for a visit. The abbey itself is the third-largest land owner in modern-day Austria, which has led to it owning a lot of land inside and next to Gesäuse national park, creating a certainly fascinating cultural addition to the unique natural landscape on display. Altogether, throughout its almost one thousand years of existence, the abbey archives have created a stock of well over 200.000 books, including some of the world’s oldest manuscripts! It’s mind-bogging to make your way through here, but oh so worth it.

Do check this out.

Spaziergang "hinüber" zum Stift Admont ...

Walking over to visit Admont Abbey …

 

... kommen wir dem Geist der uralten Bücher auf die Schliche ...

… we are able to get real close with some of the world’s oldest books …

 

... und staunen nicht schlecht, als es einmal mehr sehr modern wird ...

… and are surprised once more to find a modern art gallery inside the abbey, too …

 

... auch die Geschichte des Stiftes seit seiner Gründung im Jahr 1074 wird überaus zeitgemäß, multimedial dargestellt ...

… its history being explained to us inside this modern mirror glass cube, using the latest technology to ensure attention …

 

... spätestens bei der Begehung der märchenhaften Parkanlagen ist es schließlich um uns geschehen: Stift Admont, was für ein Traum!

… and have I already told you about the beautiful abbey gardens? Oh, you really have to come here for yourself one day!

 

Als letzten, märchenhaften Ausflugstipp ..

Right up close is Hotel Schloss Kassegg, a hotel that was once a former hunting lodge and offers a magnificent base for further outings into the surroundings as well.

 

Unser aller Fazit, einhellig: Gesäuse, wir würden - werden! - jederzeit wiederkommen. Auf bald in der schönen Hochsteiermark!

See you soon again in Styria, Austria!

 

 

My dear friends have also published about their visit to Gesäuse national park, including a lovely video:

 

If you, too, wish to explore more of this particular place on Earth, then check out my photo album on Flickr:

 

… or how about enjoying this little travel video to get your “nature taste buds” going?

 

Disclaimer: We have been invited on this trip to Styria by Hotel Spirodom & Gesäuse national park, supported by the Austrian Eco Label. 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!
Gesäuse National Park in Styria, Austria: Experiencing the local nature & culture combined.
arte Hotel Kufstein: Urban Lifestyle goes #LoveTirol !

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