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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?

Casino Nights in Zell am See: Creative Travel over Yodelling, Christmas Markets & more

Creative Travel, Food Travel, Austria, Travel with Locals, Europe, Travel Blog 0

Table of Contents

“Men do the yodelling straight from their cojones, women yodel … from the depths of their soul!”, Toni calls out enthusiastically. During our yodel class in Zell am See, we not only learn some yodel techniques ourselves, but also that yodelling has existed since the early days of settlement in the European Alps. It is, according to Toni, “a perfect way to communicate across mountains and valleys, to greet your neighbours and to call for your loved one, of course. Rüdl Du Di Hola Dedl Rüdl Du Di Ho”, is what he instructs us to train, times and times again. His accordion just serves to emphasise the musical atmosphere, and puts us in the mood for,

“Rüdl Du Di Hola Dedl Rüdl Du Di Ho … Rüdl Du Di Hola Dedl Rüdl Du Di Hooo!” Not that easy, even if you are Austrian.

Wonder if the farmer across the valley can actually hear us (and whether that’s a good thing)?


As you know, I just love anything creative travel. However, a yodel class where we cried with laughter and have been handed an official diploma with “permission to yodel in public places”, is beyond anything I could have imagined prior to this trip.

Only at Toni’s Yodelling School in Zell am See. High up at the historic Eder mountain hut, some 2.000 metres above sea level, reality has shifted. It might just be normal to pay witness to a cacophony of musical instruments, megaphones, and yodelling voices from a good dozen Austrian travel bloggers combined. As if to emphasise the ski day out and make for some cultural grounding along the way. I love it.

Ob das nette Beisammensein auf der Eder Hütte ...

Whether this rather cozy get-together at the Eder Hütte mountain hut …


... angesichts dieses stimmgewaltigen Jodelkurses zusammen mit meinen lieben Reiseblogger-KollegInnen aus ganz Österreich gleich noch so möglich ist ...

… is still possible after blaring our yodelling voices on top of everyone else’s heads …


... weiß ich nicht, aber Spaß hat's definitiv gemacht! Vielen Dank für Dein Bemühen, lieber Toni!

… I am not sure, but it was one hell of an afternoon! Thank you, dear Toni, for encouraging everything we never thought possible, and thank you to the people at the hut, for cheering us on!


Die Urkunde im Anschluss ...

So this is what you get in terms of permission to yodel …


... ist das ausgelassene Gruppenfoto schon wert : "Rüdl Du Di Hola Redl Düdl Du Di Ho", kann eben nicht jeder einwandfrei singen, geschweige denn, JODELN !

… and together, we shall conquer the world: After all, yodelling “Rüdl Du Di Hola Dedl Rüdl Du Di Ho”, is a real (mountain) skill!


Consider a fairy-tale like boat trip across lake Zell in order to “wind down” from all the boisterous laughter and excitement.

Several times a day during the pre-Christmas season, the “star ship” (Sternenschiff Schmittenhöhe) takes people on a one-hour boat ride across lake Zell from the Grand Hotel & Casino Zell am See. It is a beautiful way to experience the natural surroundings, watch the moon rise and cast its pale light upon the snowy mountain tops, or witness the sparkle of the Christmas lights in Zell am See .. Add to that, a cup of Glühwein, some steaming hot chocolate with whipped cream on top, Christmas carols as well as a good friend / family / your beloved, and you really come to realise you do not need anything else for feeling perfectly fine.

Die Ablegestelle des wunderschön erleuchteten "Sternen-Schiffes" auf dem Zeller See ist leicht zu finden ...

Easy to spot where the “star ship” departs from the boat landing stage in Zell am See …


... und leicht ist es auch, sich hier in Anblick und Stimmung der umliegenden Bergwelt zu "herschauen".

… making for a magical trip across the lake, with unparalleled views of the historic town of Zell am See and its night ski slope…


... nicht wahr, liebe Lucia?

… a place to fall in love with, wouldn’t you agree, dear Lucia?


Ideal passend beim Gang von oder zur Sternenschifffahrt auf dem Zeller See: Der Einkehrschwung bei Lumpe's Feinkost ...

Head over to “Lumpi’s Feinkost”, a delicatessen shop with local produce in the heart of town if you are a real foodie fan traveller …


... im historischen und besonders zur Weihnachtszeit mächtig herausgeputzten Stadtkern von Zell am See ...

… located in this wonderful, ancient town house dating back to the late 15th (!) century …


... eine weitere gute Adresse für Stärkungen aller Art ist das "GenussWerk", über das ich Euch bereits bei meinem letzten Besuch in Zell am See berichtet habe ...

… more recent in nature is the “GenussWerk” restaurant, a delicious, modern-day culinary fusion of Alpine & Mediterranean cuisine …


... überhaupt ist der weihnachtliche Stadtspaziergang in Zell am See wirklich zu empfehlen.

… and if you are here in December, be sure to head over to the Christmas Market as well as the GinHouse bar in Zell am See for an amazing selection of gins for your classic Après Ski experience ..!


Last but not least, try “Dinner & Casino”: The Casino in Zell am See is located right by the lake and counts as one of the most beautiful ones all over Austria.

“Imagine stepping out on the lake terrace at night, sipping that glass of real champagne, wondering which number to place your bet on next. It really has something to it, I must say .. Perhaps it’s the beautiful dress code of both boys & girls?”, I muse with my friends, remembering my first time at the Casino Zell am See earlier this year. Lucia then got especially lucky quintupling her bet, while I missed out: “Rien ne va plus .. … thirty-five”, and I had just considered placing my bet on the number 35! It was as if I had known and missed out (only I didn’t, of course). Well, you know what they say: Lucky in love, unlucky at cards. Or something like that. Check this out.


My friends & fellow travel writers get excited, trying their hands (and bets) at real casino games …


... ob Theresa hier schon die Taschen voller Gold hat ..?

… Theresa, too, must have won herself a little fortune ..?


Wir stärken uns derweil mal im nicht weit entfernten Casino-Hotel, dem Hotel Feinschmecker mit einem wundervollen Abendessen, geführt von der liebenswerten Familie Ursula & Gernot Auer.

What I love above all is the family atmosphere, sitting together at the Casino Hotel Feinschmeck run by Ursula & Gernot Auer …


... und sagen Dankeschön für solch schöne Tage, sowie den herzlichen Empfang unserer großen Reisegruppe in Zell am See !

… thank you Zell am See & partners, for hosting me & my wonderful friends of professional travel writers from Austria & Germany to experience the winter (and casino) magic in the mountains of Zell am See!


Mein Nächtigungs-Tipp zu guter Letzt: Das Mavida Sport- & Wellness-Hotel, welches ebenfalls zu den Casino Hotels in Zell am See zählt und über einen ausgesprochen schönen, modernen Wellnessbereich verfügt ...

If you ever find yourself travelling here, consider staying at the beautiful Mavida spa lodge …


... die Zimmer sind ebenfalls wunderschön und laden zum Kuscheln wie Entspannen ein. Herrlich (ruhig) ist es zudem hier schlafen.

… large, comfortable rooms and a breakfast buffet to die for, perfectly preparing you for the ski day ahead.


Because yes, good sleep is everything if you want to head up the mountains for the ski the following day. Next time up, I will tell you about my winter sports experience of the well-renowned ski resorts Kitzsteinhorn & Schmittenhöhe, throwing in how I really felt going back to skiing after more than a decade of snowboarding .. Wow. What a revelation. What do you think: Did I like it or not? Stay tuned in order to find out soon!


More winter fun fair from Zell am See – Kaprun:


And if you feel inspired to read on, my friends have shared the following about their trip:

Disclaimer: We have been supported on this trip by Casinos Austria as well as Zell am See – Kaprun tourism destination. All opinions are my own.

Written by Elena

Fluent in seven languages, I feel naturally at ease anywhere I go. As a writer, I am happy to share the world’s travel stories as far as creative travel, foodie travel and local, sustainable travel are concerned. Thanks to my young son Liam, I am currently discovering the world anew.

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!
City Trip to Lisbon: Adegga Wine Market & Season's Greetings from Portugal
From Skiing to Snowboarding & back: Kitzsteinhorn & Schmittenhöhe ski slopes in Austria live to tell the mountain tale ..!


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