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?
Table of Contents
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg: Another one bites the nettle. Flowers are a girl’s best friend. Digging deep for slate stone jewellery! Those of you who really want to know what is going on in a country the size of Lower Austria, in the multi-nation state of Luxembourg, will have to travel the creative way. “We do not just offer a cooking class … cleaning and cutting vegetables, pah!” Hans Poppelaars says in a dismissive tone and looks at us with his keen, watchful eyes. “What really matters to us here at Manoir Kasselslay in Roder, near the town of Clervaux, is to make new connections. To give people creative impulses along their way. To teach them something new, something they have not seen or experienced before”, he says, and his voice becomes soft. Gently, he lifts up the bottle of Auxerrois and pours us a second round. A sly grin appears on his face, for he knows that he has hit the nail on the head with me. Never before have I heard of the wine grape variety Auxerrois, despite being a true winelover traveller and always on the lookout for new, creative impulses. There is always a first time in life. And this time, it is here in the Ardennes Luxembourgeoises, in the far north of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg!
Ever since I arrived in Luxembourg on the occasion of the country’s first ever creative tourism festival “Be Creative in the Ardennes“, I have been looking forward to the culinary wine tasting with Hans. Hans has been living in Luxembourg together with his Maryse for many years now and is originally from the Netherlands. It is thanks to numerous trips abroad that he has really shaped his extensive wine & culinary knowledge. All the rooms in this luxury estate hotel restaurant Manoir Kasselslay bear the name of certain spices, spices that also appear in Hans’ kitchen. From the restaurant to the individually designed rooms to the wine cellar and the beautiful garden terrace, everything around Manoir Kasselslay breathes with the gentle aroma of joy and openness. This is a place to feel good and relax.
Once more, I find myself returning to the beautiful river landscape of the nature park Esch-sur-Sûre. The nature park centre offers not only to become creative with flowers, but also offers regular felt making courses. Felting & wool processing is known to be among the most ancient traditions of humankind, almost as old as basket weaving or pottery. Today, we are here to focus on the playful element of it all: Small baskets, little cushions, tablecloths or even an image of Sponge Bob and Hello Kitty are what the children & adults around us produce from the fine wool. Creativity knows no limits – and children are certainly models to learn from here!
The town of Clervaux is home to an extraordinary collection of photographs, called “Family Of Man” which was already been shown in 1955 at the New York Museum of Modern Art. Today, it is recognised by the UNESCO World Heritage Commission as a unique World Heritage of Humankind. So what better place to go on a creative photo tour – especially as a travel blogger with a constant inclination for (instant) travel photography?
There is no better place. Right at the start of the tour, Alfonso, a Spaniard married to an Irish woman with Portuguese roots living in Luxembourg (yes! We are talking three different languages between us 😉 ), gives us a great lesson in perspective. He shows Laurie and me a technique to completely scan the courtyard of the Château Clervaux from a particular point of view! Even when the batteries in my camera give up (how could this happen now, I wonder?), Alfonso simply reverts back to teaching me new settings on my smartphone app Camera+. The iPhone 5 has a powerful camera, after all: Whether with smartphones or (semi) professional cameras, Alfonso’s photo workshop caters to all our needs. Find out more about Alfonso’s fascinating and beautiful landscape photography here.
A great journey into the creative destination of the Ardennes Luxembourgeoises, which I will not forget any time soon! More impressions as well as the results of our photo walk can be found on my Flickr page:
Disclaimer: Thank you, dear Laurie, for inviting me to experience a good part of the 1st “Be Creative” Festival in the Ardennes Luxembourgeoises. All opinions are my own.