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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?

Fotofestival #LaGacilly in Baden near Vienna: Check out Europe’s largest open air photo festival in Austria!

Imagine visiting the town of Baden near Vienna. The sweet scent of thousands of roses, the fairy-tale like Doblhoff park, the historic little streets of the old town. And all of a sudden … the roar of a lion. The glaring stare of a white tiger. The intense look of an exotic pair of birds. The laughter and banter of a group of well-dressed African men, called “Les Sapeurs”, who for a few hours swap being poor for being glamorous, posing in front of internationally renowned street photographers.

And who have now landed themselves here, in the city of Baden, just half an hour’s drive south of Vienna.

 

“La Gacilly” is Europe’s largest open air photo festival. It has travelled from France to Austria, including 2.000 public photo exhibits that you may freely visit until 30 September, 2018. Do make sure you get there before it ends!

I admire the Nigerian photographer Akinleye Akintunde, who in all his modesty and open charm has won the prestigious World Press Photo Award back in 2006 for a photo he shows us in his exhibition book. Admire all of the sharpness, tragedy, dignity and uniqueness in the photographs that are exhibited here in Baden: Some of them are but one, the largest canvas print 260 square metres (!) tall! The title of La Gacilly Photo Festival is “I Love Africa”, a dedication to the entire spectrum of colours, sights & sounds of the African continent: From brutal displays of poachers, hunters and their animal trophies, to the “Swinging Sixties” and some truly remarkable, early black and white photographs from Africa, all the way to modern-day people and animal portraits, who are too unique to be described here.

You will have to go and see them for yourselves, dear readers.

My tip: Check out http://festival-lagacilly-baden.photo in terms of any news updates about Europe’s largest photo festival, hailing from the French town La Gacilly and having now moved considerably east, all the way to being exhibited here in Baden near Vienna. This, too, has impressed my friends & travel writing colleagues from the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Slovakia: Check out “My Lost Hat” (Tomás Hájek from the Czech Republic), “Podrózniczo” (Marta Muszyńska from Poland), “Travellina” (Eva Kisgyory) and “Vilagutazo” (Balázs Hajabács) from Hungary, as well as “TravelPotPourri” (Ingrid Zalneva) and “Cestujemespolu” (Jozef Orgonas & Hana Organosova) from Slovakia about their impressions and insights from their trip.

Besucher lieben es, "Fotos von den Fotos zu schießen" und dabei auch noch einige berühmte Persönlichkeiten zu erspähen ...

Visitors, such as Hana Organosova from Slovakia here, just love to take pictures of the pictures exhibited in Baden …

 

... am meisten beeindruckt hat mich der durchdringende Blick dieses weißen Tigers im Doblhoffpark ...

… I did indeed love looking at the arresting eyes of this white tiger here at Doblhoffpark …

 

... und jetzt, wo die Tausenden von Rosen erblüht sind, die Baden jedes Jahr so schön kleiden ...

… and now, in June, where thousands and thousands of roses coat the town of Baden in its special summer dress …

 

... ist es ein besonders guter Moment, um durch die Stadt Baden zu streifen: Vielen Dank, liebe Christine, für die tolle Führung mit Dir !

… is a particular good moment to visit Baden, enjoy a guided tour (thank you, Christine, dressed in red) and be amazed at all that Baden has to offer !

 

Auch die Eröffnung des Fotofestivals vor der Orangerie im Doblhoffpark war ein Glanzstück ...

The opening of La Gacilly Photo Festival in front of the Orangerie at Doblhoffpark was great to watch, too …

 

... umso persönlicher wurd's dann, als uns die Fotografen eigens für Signier-Stunden ihrer Werke zur Verfügung standen ...

… and even more personal was meeting the world-class photographers in person the next day …

 

... Akinleye hier könnt Ihr unter seinem Instagram-Profil hier folgen, er zeigt uns hier sein Gewinnerfoto des World Press Award 2016.

… Akinleye from Nigeria for instance is worth following on his Instagram profile, he also points at the picture for which he received the World Press Photo Award.

 

Bildgewaltig schöne Tage in Baden bei Wien. Dieses Foto-Rendez-Vous dürft Ihr nicht verpassen !!

Thus calling all lovers of great photography: La Gacilly in Baden until the end of September 2018 !!

 

Around #LaGacilly, it’s always a good idea to immerse yourself in the local vineyards, go for a bike ride, or visit the abbey of Heiligenkreuz in the Vienna Woods near Baden.

As for me, I have already been to Baden several times, recommending you for instance the famous “Genussmeile” food & wine festival, sharing my summer Casino trip here or talking to you about “the White Party Baden” (also truly worth seeing and experiencing).

What I did not experience yet, is a cycling tour through the Helenental valley, as well as some of the area’s well known vineyards at the foothills of the Vienna Woods. The local tourism manager of the city of Baden, Klaus Lorenz, himself a passionate (mountain) biker, decides to join us for the day and has us visit “Freigut Thallern”, a local wine estate which has been making wines since many many centuries, especially for the abbey of Heiligenkreuz.

Ausgehend von unserer Unterkunft, dem zauberhaften Hotel Schloss Weikersdorf inmitten des Doblhoffparks & Badener Rosarium ...

Starting from our beautiful accommodation, Hotel Schloss Weikersdorf at the Doblhoffpark & Badener Rosarium …

 

... radeln wir kurz auf dem Helenental-Radweg ...

… we cycle alongside the Helenental valley cycling trail towards the Hotel Sacher Baden, a good stop for a refreshing light lunch …

 

... bevor es weitergeht durch die Weingärten in Richtung Freigut Thallern ...

… before heading on to the wine estate Freigut Thallern …

 

... die Weinverkostung hier ...

… tasting wines here is tasting such unique (autochthonous) varieties such as Rotgipfler and Zierfandler …

 

... könnte man auch im Stift Heiligenkreuz fortsetzen, dessen Weine aus dem Freigut Thallern stammen und das sich gerade im Sommer größter Beliebtheit unter Ausflugsgästen erfreut ...

… and may easily be repeated and/ or continued at the abbey of Heiligenkreuz itself, a popular excursion target for visitors …

 

... hier sind vor allem die Chorgebete der Zisterzienser-Mönche

… the choir prayers of the Cistercian monks has become rather famous …

 

... (bestimmt auch diese süße Köstlichkeit im Stiftrestaurant hier) ...

… (and surely the sweet berry strudel here too) …

 

... und wenn alles "Tagewerk" erledigt ist ...

… so when all of the “day’s work” is done …

 

... ab ins Casino Baden !!

… better head out to Casino Baden !!

 

Bei der einen oder anderen Runde Black Jack schaffe ich es immerhin, Geld für ein Eis für uns am nächsten Tag zurück zu gewinnen ...

Playing Black Jack is cool, I even manage to win back some money for an ice cream the next day …

 

... und so klingt unser Besuch in Baden bei Wien diesmal aus: Mit einer gemütlichen Thermalwasser-Stunde im historischen Jugendstil-Strandbad der Stadt!

… and this is where we finish our visit of Baden near Vienna: At the famous Art Nouveau style beach pools of Baden, a historic summer bath you shouldn’t miss either!

 

Check out even more of my travel photography from our visit to Baden here:

 

Disclaimer: We have been invited by the city of Baden on this trip to visit La Gacilly Photo Festival. All opinions are my own.

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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