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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?

#LoveTirol : At home in Pitztal, where a local Stone Pine tree inspires creativity.

She is of beautiful growth, smells absolutely wonderful, and has the power to turn people’s heads. She wants to be conquered, doesn’t just “stand around”, but likes to command entire mountainsides underneath her. She likes it when you approach her cautiously, respectfully at first, then visibly moved by her beauty. Wood artists love her, connoisseurs do too.

 

We are talking about … well. A tree. But not just any tree – THE Austrian Stone Pine tree, queen of the Alps, and a source of wealth for many generations of people living in the Tyrolean Pitztal valley …

… because did you know that the people from Pitztal know how to produce an almost unlimited number of natural products from this particular stone pine tree? That stone pine wood has been proved to slow down the heart rhythm, lower the blood pressure, and improve the mood? Whether this is (also) due to the good Schnaps made out of its fruit cones, has yet to be demonstrated .. In any case, it’s a pleasure learning to make some “Zirbenschnaps“, as the locals like to call it, during a short trip to the Tyrolean mountains, especially now during summertime. Check this out.

Hoch oben in den Bergen des Tiroler Pitztal, wie hier am Hochzeiger ...

High up in the Pitztal mountains, such as here at the Hochzeiger …

 

... erleben wir dank unseres Wanderführers Elmar ...

… we follow our mountain guide Elmar, and his rather beautiful cows …

 

... sowie des lieben Klaus von der Kalbenalm ...

… get to know Klaus, the hut owner at the Kalbenalm …

 

... was es bedeutet, aus den umliegenden Zirbenwäldern der hochalpinen Bergtälern echte Gastfreundschaft, Schnitz- und Schnapskunst

… who has built most of the wooden furniture, and sculptures you can see (naturally made from stone pine wood) …

 

... und Klaus lässt es sich nicht nehmen,

… and who loves to welcome and make every guest feel at home with him! A true must-see and visit for your next visit to Tyrol!

 

Wanderführer Elmar selbst ...

Following in the footsteps of Elmar, our local hiking guide …

 

... begleitet uns bis in den Pitztaler Zirbenpark, ein eigens angelegter (Spiel)Park mit vielen Rätsel- und Erlebnisstationen ...

… we explore the small mountain park that has been built honouring the stone pine tree, what with a playground built in the form of its cones, for example …

 

... zum "Zirpen-Schnaps-Workshop" welcher während der Sommermonate im Restaurant Hochzeiger angeboten wird ("lerne Deinen eigenen Zirbenschnaps anzusetzen!") ...

… participate in a creative workshop “make your own Zirbenschnaps”, a true feast for the senses …

 

... und erzählt uns beim genussvollen Mittagessen auf der Alm zahlreiche spannende Geschichten "von Land & Leuten", inklusive seiner eigenen!

… and listen in on many local mountain tales during a wonderful, local lunch …

 

... inklusive seiner eigenen, fesselnden Geschichte: Unbedingt nach Elmar fragen, wenn Ihr das nächste Mal im Pitztal seid, den Mann muss man einfach gern haben!

… I do suggest you book Elmar for your next tour into the mountains, he truly is a great guide and very knowledgeable of the area!

 

Für alle Abenteuer-Fans gilt: Die "ZirbenCarts" nicht

If you love a ride with the mountain carts, you are welcome to look for the “ZirbenCarts” on your way downhill …

 

… Andrea, who has joined us on this trip from South Tyrol, has made a rather fun video about it too:

 

Pitztal, however, does offer a lot more yet. Check out the nature park Kaunergrat for instance …

… which is located on the other side of the valley from the Hochzeiger mountain top, and offers a lovely hike up the Tiefental-Alm, at an altitude of 1,800 metres above sea level. Our host Franz likes to bring out his accordion and invites anyone to sing along with songbooks, including a cheerful group from the French Alsace. While we still consider how to best translate a delicious “dumpling pan” into French or Italian (by ordering one and eating it up in front of the others, that is!), Franz drowns out everyone else by announcing a further serving of delicious “Zirbenschnaps”. Lovely. There’s always a very friendly atmosphere in the mountains, I must say!

Auf zur Tiefentalalm ...

Hiking up towards Tiefental hut …

 

... vorbei an magischen Momenten wie diesen ...

… past magic moments such as this one, where nature seems to just stand still for you for a moment …

 

... auf zum Hüttenwirt Franz ...

… we get to meet more local characters such as Franz …

 

... der neben Knödelküche ...

… whose team at the hut serves us a rather delicious dumpling pan made from bread dumplings with bacon, pumpkin seeds, spinach and cheese .. yum !!

 

... natürlich auch wieder selbst angesetzten Zirbenschnaps kredenzt ...

Franz, too, loves offering more of his homemade Zirbenschnaps …

 

... eh klar, werdet Ihr sagen! Und auch auf der

… and of course, there’s much to be seen, talked about, and shared up here in the mountains ..!

 

Finding peace …

… now that is something you can find with Barbara and her son in the Hotel Alpenroyal. The two of them and their team have welcomed us warmly, and the hotel has the pleasant size of being “neither too big, nor too small” – just right is the word. The wellness area has two different saunas and an infrared cabin, the evening menus and breakfasts we enjoy are very tasty indeed, and we perfectly blend in with the other “friends & family” summer guests. What’s more, the Hochzeiger Bergbahnen are only a few minutes’ walk from the hotel, and we even find a small archery course here.

Tiroler Pitztal : Mitten durchs Herz ...

Have you ever tried archery? You should …

 

... und gleichzeitig entschleundigend, ruhig stimmend ...

… and afterwards, relax with a cup of coffee, or any other drink (“Zirbenschnaps”?!) at the hotel terrace …

 

... ich liebe mir ja die saftigen Almwiesen ...

… and don’t you just love those fresh alpine meadows …

 

... direkt vor dem Gästezimmer mit Balkon, sodass nachts noch die Frische der Natur für guten Schlaf sorgen kann ..

… whose wonderful aromas come right up and into the room …

 

... as well as the outdoor terrace of the wellness area ...

… also flooding the outdoor terrace of the wellness area …

 

... dazu gehören auch Menschen wie diese: Sepp ...

… finally, you have to meet one more Pitztal local, Sepp Reinstadler …

 

... und seine Roswitha: Gemeinsam betreiben "Zirben-Oma & Opa" ein eigenes kleines Zirben-

… who together with his wife runs a stone pine shop: https://www.gesund-zirbe.at where you can buy (and smell) everything made out of this particular wood !

 

Wir sagen Danke für so viel Liebe und Herzlichkeit in Tirol !

Thank you for such a warm welcome everyone!

 

If you want to know even more about what makes Pitztal so special, I have also prepared this blog post here for you, talking to you about visiting “the highest wine tasting of Austria held at the end of each ski season. All my travel photos from this trip have been published here:

 

My Swiss friends have also made this rather nice vlog about Pitztal:

 

Disclaimer: We have been invited by Pitztal Tourism Board to come on this summer mountain trip to Tyrol. 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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