(More) Creative Travel along the Iron Trade Route in Mostviertel!

Do you know what a “Botanical Watercolour” is? Have you ever tried the fine art of “tea glass painting“? Or taken a tour with a real historic night watchman to explore a completely new city? I have, and really enjoyed my night watchman tour in the Danish city of Ribe. Let me tell you what else there is in terms of creative discoveries “right in front of our door step” here in the Lower Austrian Mostviertel district, and about our adventurous forays into the creative culture destination of the “Eisenstraße” Iron Trade Route.


At the Gaming Charterhouse, herb woman Claudia & “Botanical Watercolour” expert Barbara Schoberberger welcome us with open arms. Both are like delicate flowers worth visiting!

The two lovely ladies who we meet during our stay at the hotel Gaming Charterhouse are brought to us by hostess & general manager Cornelia Daurer, who like them shares many a creative vision. She is responsible for the historic ensemble of the Carthusian monastery as a wedding venue, creative workshop location, hotel, restaurant and – believe it or not – a private Catholic University of American exchange students! Just in time, they bounce across the courtyard happy in their Dirndl & Lederhosen dresses. Happy as can be, of course. I can relate to their happiness: It is glorious here, quiet and simply beautiful. The Gaming Charterhouse truly deserves a longer visit, last but not least because of the immensely inviting natural landscape all around. Have a look at this.

Ankommen und abschalten: Beim Besuch der Kartause Gaming werden Geist und Gedanken zur Ruhe kommen.

Arrive to let go: Here at the Gaming Charterhouse, mind meets peace in those beautiful historic and natural surroundings.


Hier werden wir von der liebenswerten, lokalen Künstlerin Barbara Schoberberger (links im Bild) sowie der Hoteldirektorin Cornelia Daurer aufs Herzlichste begrüßt.

We are warmly welcomed by local artist Barbara Schoberberger (left) and Cornelia Daurer, the managing director of the Gaming Charterhouse.


Kräuterhexe Claudia weiht uns ein in ihren neu bepflanzten "Kloster-Kräuter-Garten" ...

Herb woman Claudia delights in showing us her “herbal square”, the traditional healing gardens of the monastery …


... ein paar der Kräuter hat sie hier bereits zum Trocknen aufbewahrt.

… that she has started harvesting and drying for her herb sessions. Imagine the smell of this bush!


Das Ambiente der Kartause Gaming im wunderschönen Licht der Abendstimmung zieht uns völlig in seinen Bann ...

The atmosphere of this beautiful and well-tended place here in Mostviertel draws us in completely, allowing us to forget everything else …


... während uns Barbara Schoberberger von der Faszination des "Botanischen Aquarell" berichtet.

… while Barbara Schoberberger talks to us about the fascinating art of the “Botanical Watercolour” painting technique, which she teaches to visitors as creative workshops here.


Hier im zauberhaften Ambiente der Kartause Gaming gibt sie ihre Kurse und lehrt eifrigen Damen die Kunst & Präzision dieser besonderen Form der Malerei. Faszinierend!

It is a fascinating art, with a lot of attention to detail. I guess I will have to try one day, being a lover of painting after all!


Auch die Speisen sind hier wirklich vorzüglich: Beim Anblick dieser Spargelcremesuppe mit Lachsstrudel läuft mir gleich wieder das Wasser im Mund zusammen!

Not only creative travel opportunities abound here: The food is naturally gorgeous, too. I long to have this soup back, a local asparagus cream soup with salmon pastries inside!


Good food is also served at the traditional “Iron Trade Route Restaurant Plappert” at Schloss Waidhofen. Together with our historic night tour, we discover this pretty little town in the Mostviertel district.

There is something special about being picked up at exactly 9.00 o’clock in the evening, and led outside from a bright, friendly evening restaurant only to face a “dark-robed figure” looking rather grim. Rainer acts more serious than he turns out to be, giving us no smile just yet, but playing with the impression that his night watchman robe has on us, consisting of a lantern, a lance and a trumpet along with a black cape and hat. Enchanted by the atmosphere that surrounds his historical character, we willingly follow him outside. In the courtyard of the castle Waidhofen, at the entrance to the magnificent Eisenstraße restaurant Plappert, he welcomes us to his night watchman tour through the medieval city Waidhofen an der Ybbs . Soon, the ice is broken and we laugh with him, listening to his fascinating stories about the Turkish siege of the city, the conquest of Waidhofen by Napoleon’s troops, the building of the many city towers and the legend about a shepherd girl. One thing is for sure: The residents of Waidhofen did not always have as much to laugh about as we do today. History has sometimes been rather harsh, as we gather during the ascent of the tower of the castle Waidhofen and its gruesome torture instruments. At the top, Rainer serves us pear and plum brandy, as if to reassure us. It has gone midnight, and I “drink to forget” the torture chambers during the long descent down, thinking soft hotel bed across the river, just 100 meters further on. Thank God I woke up in the right century!

Angekommen in Waidhofen: Das malerische, mittelalterliche Kleinstädtchen liegt direkt am Fluss der Ybbs im südwestlichen Mostviertel.

Arriving in Waidhofen: The pretty little town is located upon the Ybbs river in the south-western district of the Mostviertel in Lower Austria.


Hier stärken wir uns erst mal mit der ausgezeichneten Kost im Restaurant Eisenstraßewirt Plappert im Schloss Waidhofen.

At the Eisenstraßewirt Plappert, a traditional restaurant at the Iron Route, we sit down for an excellent meal near Schloss Waidhofen castle …


... bevor es direkt vor dem Schloss Waidhofen zur "kunstvoll-kreativen" Führung mit dem historischen Nachtwächter geht ...

… whose modern interpretation sees elements such as this one integrated into the old building structure. Here, we meet with our night watchman for a unique city sightseeing tour of Waidhofen …


Rainer hat es wirklich drauf: Vielen Dank für den großartigen Einblick in eine faszinierende Geschichte Waidhofens!

… including many fascinating and historic details about the town. Thank you Rainer for an excellent visit of Waidhofen!


“Oafoch kema und doa” – just come & do, is the motto of the first ever crafts market at the Burgarena Reinsberg in the Mostviertel district. Many creative artists invite us to try their crafts during our visit here!

“Oafoch kema and doa” – just come and do it. This is what people from Mostviertel are like: Welcoming, open-minded, down-to-earth and really rather clever & handy. Especially when it comes to the creative crafts that represent their traditional living culture, such as forging, shingle roofing, chopping woods, turning, scything, spinning, weaving, felting or the art of “tea glass painting”. No gain without pain, as the saying goes. And so we get to enjoy the hard work a whole community has put together for almost a year leading up to the crafts market we now visit: Congratulations to Sabine Bruckner and her team of creative craftsmen, who warmly welcome us at the Castle Arena Reinsberg, in the midst of the hilly and lush forested foothills of the Alps of the Mostviertel district. The next craft market will come for sure. By this time, I have to come back in order to pick up my hand-painted glass from the artist Gertraud Enner. And definitely try even more of the creative crafts that are offered here. Check this out!

Auftakt zum Besuch des Handwerksmarktes auf der Burgarena Reinsberg: Thomas übt sich in der Kunst des Musizierens.

Checking out the local crafts market at the Burgarena Castle Arena Reinsberg: Thomas likes to make music across the valley!


Vom Lernen, wie man echte Holzschindeln herstellt ...

This man teaches visitors how to make hand-made roof shingles …


... bis zum "Selber-Hacken" von Holz-Tram für "echte Männer" ...

… and cutting wood, an activity offered for “real men”…


... über das "Eisen-Schmieden, solange das Feuer noch glüht" ...

… or “forging the iron as long as it is still glowing” …


... hin zum Drechseln mit Holz: Die Palette des kreativen Gestaltend auf dem Handwerksmarkt Reinsberg ist so vielfältig und bunt wie seine Besucher.

… all the way to turning wood: The presentation of creative crafts and workshops is as varied as the Mostviertel and its people themselves.


Hier in der schönen Freiluftarena der ehemaligen Burganlage fühlen wir uns sofort wohl.

We really enjoy the ambiance of this outdoor crafts market at the Burgarena Reinsberg.


Und sammeln, so wie ich, bereits Ideen für den nächsten kreativen Ausflug in die Region: Lunzer Webermarkt am 1. August 2014! Du kommst doch mit, nicht wahr liebe Gudrun? ;)

And so, we collect a lot more ideas for getting creative in the future: Saving the date for a weaving workshop and crafts market in Mostviertel on 1 August 2014. Will you join us, dear Gudrun? 😉


Hoch oben auf der Burg finden wir übrigens die Spuren der Eisenverarbeitung - kreativer Schmiedekunst von Sepp Eybl wieder ...

HIgh up at the castle tower, we find more traces of creative iron art, a typical landmark in a destination that calls and promotes itself as the “Iron Trade Route” of Austria.


Der Ausblick von hier oben ist ebenso schön wie klassisch: Blick auf ein süßes kleines Dorf mit viel grüner Landschaft im niederösterreichischen Mostviertel.

The view from up here is as sweet and romantic as can be: This is what you get in a typical, rural country setting in Austria, a place overlooking a village with its church among lush green hills!


Unter den Kreativen hier am Handwerksmarkt Reinsberg findet sich gar ein Buchbinder, welcher seine Einbände selbst aus Holz oder regionalen Stoffmustern herstellt!

Among the creative craftsmen here in Reinsberg, we even find this charming young man who makes his own books with binding covers from wood or felt. Amazing!


Ich beschäftige mich mit der Korbflechtkunst, einer uralten menschlichen Kulturform die mich beispielsweise auch in Neuseeland in ihren Bann gezogen hat.

I have taken to weaving baskets, an art form that is as old as humanity itself and has already put me under a spell way back in New Zealand, weaving harakeke flax with the local Maori people!


Oder aber die Teeglasmalerei: Vielen Dank, liebe ... für die kurze Anleitung am Handwerksmarkt in Reinsberg, welche Lust macht auf mehr: Hoffentlich komme ich schon bald wieder, um mir mein fertig gebranntes Gläschen abzuholen!

Or even something exotic as “tea glass painting”: Creativity certainly knows no limits! Thank you, dear Gertraud, for showing me what is possible in only a short time here at the crafts market in Reinsberg. I really look forward to coming back soon!


Disclaimer: We have been invited by the Culture Park of the Iron Trade Route in order to travel into the Lower Austrian Mostviertel district. All opinions are my own.

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