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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?

Magic words & mountain wellness: Visiting Hotel Erzherzog Johann in Bad Aussee


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

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“Imagine a point where you could quietly balance Austria on the tip of your fingers. This point is where Bad Aussee is located: It lies at the geographical heart of the country!” Fellow travel writer Andreas Susana (Travelwriticus) and I indulge in our thoughts about the beautiful Aussee mountain district. Austrian movies, great poets and writers, Alpine kitsch & traditional folklore: No matter what your individual associations may be, the Aussee county really deserves to be called one of the prettiest spots in the entire country. Fascinating. Green. Mighty. Inspiring. And so romantic … famous Austrian Duke Erzherzog Johann, who almost 200 years ago fell in love with this mountain district, is quoted to have said: “Only here, I can truly be myself, is my soul able to breathe.”

And if today we do not manage to get a breather because of smart phone stress and really short short holiday breaks, then we shall all come here to relax at Hotel Erzherzog Johann. Luckily enough, my travel writer friends Monika & Petar Fuchs (TravelWorldOnline), Andreas Susana (Travelwriticus), Martin Foszczynski (Tripwolf), Angelika Mandler (Wiederunterwegs.com) and I have already been received by charming hotel manager Regina Stocker and her team: Pure & unspoiled like the Aussee district. This is hotel’s philosophy: We smell, feel, see and hear it. Sleeping in the hotel’s bedrooms completely furnished with aromatic stone pine wood. Indulging in a spa treatment at the recently opened Sky Spa. And of course during mealtimes, when we are served exclusively fresh, seasonal produce from the Aussee mountain district. Mh!

Angekommen im Hotel Erzherzog Johann inmitten der "geografischen Mitte Österreichs", werden wir zunächst mit einem köstlichen 5-gängigen Mittagsmenü erwartet ...

Having arrived at Hotel Erzherzog Johann at the heart of Austria, we are treated to a delicious five-course-menu …

Als Vorspeise gibt es Beef Tartare und köstliche Sommersalate für die "Leichtigkeit des Seins" ...

Starters are this wonderful Beef Tartare served on seasonal summer salads …

... gefolgt von Fisch aus heimischen Gewässern: Der Seesaibling ist eine lokale Spezialität und wird vom Küchenchef & seinem Team sorgfältig zubereitet.

… followed by home-grown Alpine fish from around Bad Aussee, carefully prepared in order to preserve all its flavours by the head chef Christian Spreitz and his team.

Auch der Topfenschmarrn mit Marillenröster (sehr österreichisch! ;) ) ist einfach nur, ein Gedicht ... Ich bekomme gerade wieder Hunger. Ihr?

Austria is famous for its sweet cuisine, desserts and strudels … Looking at our beautiful dessert at Hotel Erzherzog Johann, I must say I am getting hungry again … you?

Im Anschluss an unser Festtagsmahl begeben wir uns auf Erkundung der literarischen "Via Artis" in Altaussee.

Following our beautiful meals, we are taken to the village of Altaussee in order to walk the “Poets Trail”, the so-called “Via Artis”.

In gemütlicher Runde entführt uns unsere lokale "Storytelling-Expertin" & Geschichtenerzählerin Eva HIllbrandt in die Welt der großen Literaten und Künstler, welche das Ausseerland hervorgebracht bzw. angelockt hat.

Local storytelling expert Eva Hillbrandt (far left, in her Dirndl dress!) is there to fill us in on all the stories and and poems written by famous Austrian writers at the time.

Eva HIllbrandt wie sie leibt & lebt: Gerne steht sie für Führungen durch das Ausseerland mit viel Wissen & Humor zur Verfügung.

Eva Hillbrandt is a great local storytelling guide and very open to all our questions and suggestions about exploring the Aussee district.

Hier beispielsweise öffnet sie uns "Tür & Tor": In das Anwesen des Künstlers Horst Jandl, welcher in einer malerischen, efeu-umrankten Villa mit Blick auf den berühmten Loser-Berg lebt ... faszinierend.

Here, she takes us to meet “the very locals”: Artist & painter Horst Jandl lives in this private home surrounded by paintings and inspiration from the Aussee mountain district. It is fascinating to listen to him and his life stories …

Horst Jandl hat extra für uns "aufgeräumt" und gewährt uns Zugang in sein Atelier & Wohnhaus ...

… he takes us into the heart of his studio, which according to Eva he specifically cleaned in order to receive us there!

... bei diesem Blick auf die umliegende Berglandschaft ein neidvoller Blick auf den Künstler: Hier könnte ich mir ebenfalls vorstellen, inspiriert zu malen zu beginnen!

I do get jealous of his perfect studio overlooking the famous Aussee mountains and serving as inspiration for many of his paintings.

Das Ausseerland ist zu Recht ein kleines Stück vom Paradies ... Hier mit Blick auf den Altausseer Grundlsee.

The Aussee country really is a piece of paradise … peace & serenity at this pretty Alpine lake in Altaussee.

 

Hotel Erzherzog Johann – History, Authenticity & Wellbeing.

We learn to appreciate the many aspects of this exceptional hotel at the heart of Austria based on its links to the historical figure of Duke Johann. His ways, traditions and (quite progressive) beliefs have helped shaped the image of the entire Aussee destination, turning it into a heaven of Austrian pureness and authentic, traditional lifestyle. At the hotel Erzherzog Johann, we are only served fresh, seasonal meals whose quality really stands out. Everywhere around us, real flowers serve as decoration in the hallways and on our tables, the spa area uses traditional “Loden” & felt fabrics for its mural decorations and deck chairs. I can even feel the local flower and plant essences during my facial treatment at the spa … Beautiful. (It is really just the saltwater drink, proclaimed to be very healthy, that I cannot quite gather … is it really that good for you ?? 😉 ).

Be sure to check out the hotel’s so-called Sky Spa, too. Just over a year ago, the feeling of being able to “swim into the surrounding mountain landscape” in the hotel’s infinity pool as well as sweating from inside the panorama sauna looking out over the mountains has been opened up. Wow. I really enjoy my time here, and would recommend anybody to visit. Perhaps I may even settle down here, with my soul able to breathe?

PS: I turn my cell phone off now. Still the greatest antidote to relaxation I guess!

Ruhe & Wohlbefinden: Im Wellnessbereich des Hotel Erzherzog Johann, welcher sich auf zwei Etagen erstreckt, finden sich jede Menge Anknüpfungspunkte zur Entspannungsphilosophie aus der Geschichte des Erzherzog Johann.

Peace & quiet: The spa of the hotel incorporates many elements rooted in the history of this romantic place in the Austrian mountains.

Gleich beim Eingang finde ich viele Hinweise auf die Verwendung umliegender Kräuter- und Blütenessenzen bei den Wellnessbehandlungen.

Right by the entrance to the spa, many cute little details such as the use of local herbs and plants for spa treatments, catch my eye.

Der Johann Sky Spa auf über 1.000 m2 Fläche ... Einfach nur wunderschön ist es hier oben.

The Johann Sky Spa covers an area of more than 1.000 m2 on the fifth floor of the hotel … Just beautiful up here.

Dieses Panorama hoch über den Dächern von Bad Aussee ..

This panoramic view high above the chimney tops of Bad Aussee is truly worth seeing ..

... genießt man am besten zu zweit: Romantische Wiederkehr erwünscht! :)

… and best enjoyed with your friends, family or partner(s) 🙂

Genussvoll-kulturelles Highlight am Abend: Cornelius Obonya (Bild Mitte) liest als berühmter Jedermann-Schauspieler Gedichte & Texte von Gerhardt ... Ein Ohrenschmaus für die Sinne!

In the evening, our happy travel writing group enjoys a literary event held at the hotel: Cornelius Obonya, who has played “Jedermann” in the famous Salzburg summer theatre, is here for an inspiring reading session of Austrian author Robert Gernhardt.

Stilvoll lassen wir den Abend ausklingen ... Danke für diesen wunderbaren Empfang!

Afterwards, it is dinner (party) time … Thank you so much for such a beautiful day!

 

Disclaimer: We have been invited by Hotel Erzherzog Johann to travel to Bad Aussee and experience the hotel’s many cultural and wellbeing offers. All opinions are my own.

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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!
Creative Travel in Salzburg Part III: Fly me to the moon, sing me a song, bake me some bread!
Visiting South Burgenland: A unique creative culinary trip!

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