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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?

Sustainable Travel Options in Austria: A winter trip to Abtenau, Salzburg

“Our clients, they do not wish to be entertained … They come here to relax, to unwind, to enjoy the pure mountain air and landscape.” The landscape of Abtenau, that is: A quiet little gem located just south of the city of Salzburg, right next to the foothills of the mighty Alps. Markus Gutjahr, our host at the Hotel Gutjahr, talks to us with thirty years of insight in his hotel business as well as his career as an athlete. “Tomorrow, I’ll take you out on our famous snow shoe hike. You’ll love it, I’m sure”, he smiles. Of course, he never mentions the 400 metres of ascent involved in our morning hike. Seems to be a given here, at least to him. But let us start from the beginning …

 

Travelling in Austria, you are well advised to follow the (restaurant and hotel) tips provided by the Austrian Eco Label “Umweltzeichen”.

This label awards hotels and restaurants for their outstanding commitment to environmental standards and perfectly sustainable travel options. It has been doing so for well over twenty years now, and I encourage you to read more about it here. My friend Christina and I have started by exploring the delicious food options at the Restaurant Triangel in Salzburg, famous for their emphasis on locally sourced food & drinks from Austria. Only a stone’s throw away from Mozart’s birth place in the city of Salzburg, and just under an hour from our final destination Abtenau am Tennengebirge, this restaurant is the perfect lunch stop on our trip to Abtenau.

Regionalgenuss vom Feinsten: Den Besuch von Salzburg beginnt man am besten mit einer urigen Kässpätzle-Pfanne ...

Way to go during winter in Austria: Enjoying lunch at Triangel Restaurant with this typical Kässpätzle (a type of cheese gnocchi) …

 

... gefolgt von einem ebenfalls sehr köstlichen Genussgetränk aus den österreichischen Alpen.

… followed by a light soda drink made in Austria.

 

Wenig später schon grüßt uns die Aussicht vom Balkon des Umweltzeichen-Hotel Gutjahr ...

A little later, we change views from the city to the countryside, having arrived at the balcony of our hotel room Gutjahr …

 

... die Weltkarte haben sie wohl extra für die Weltenbummler aufgehängt ...

… they must have put this rather artistic looking world travel map here just for us …

 

... Hotel Gutjahr: HIer geht's mir gut. Stimmt!

… Hotel Gutjahr: “Hier geht’s mir gut” – I’m fine here. That’s right!

 

Vor allem der köstliche Käse aus der Dorfkäserei zum Frühstück ist mir immer noch in Erinnerung ...

Especially with that local cheese selection for breakfast …

 

... die vielen kleinen, liebevollen Details des Hauses ...

… the many little details in and around our hotel …

 

... sowie natürlich auch der genüssliche Wellness-Bereich, mit einer tollen Panorama-Sauna die den Blick auf die Berge eröffnet.

… as well as of course our wellness area, complete with a brand new panorama sauna overlooking the nearby Alps!

 

We continue our local exploration of Abtenau with a visit to the area’s most prominent (and sustainable) employer: Voglauer wooden furniture.

It is always exciting to get “behind the scenes” while travelling. And even more so, if what you find is totally unexpected in terms of quality, and welcome. Despite (or because?) of the size of Voglauer furniture, providing employment to more than 400 people in the area, we find a climate of warmth, welcome and professionalism all over the company’s impressive production grounds. Wilfried Malter, himself a passionate wood worker and responsible for the Voglauer quality management, takes it on himself to show us around. The company even has its own mountain power plant to provide the production of its furniture with sustainable energy off Salzburg’s mountains! By the end of our visit, I believe that when creativity, passion & professional know-how fall in love with wood, the result has to be a Voglauer furniture item. Check this out.

Von Anfang an: Auf Tuchfühlung mit dem schönen Holz ...

Getting touchy-feely with beautiful Voglauer wood : Each item is unique in its kind …

 

... bei Voglauer Möbel ...

… surprising you with its degree of perfection …

 

... gemütlich ist es obendrein, nicht wahr Christina?

… and comfort: Feeling good, right Christina?

 

Mit der Begeisterung eines wahren Holzliebhabers, erklärt uns Wilfried Malter geduldig sämtliche Ausführungsschritte sowie Philosophie des Betriebes ...

Wilfried Malter just loves to speak about what he cares for the most : Clever engineering to produce wooden furniture that meets clients’ demands, both hotels and private households …

 

... bei dem wir ohne weiteres hinter die Kulissen blicken dürfen ...

… Voglauer, a company that loves to surprise visitors “behind the scenes” …

 

... Holz ...

… creating a renewed sense of awareness for the beautiful material that is wood …

 

... und Holzverarbeitung ...

… as well as its processing …

 

... einmal ganz neu betrachtet! Vielen Dank für die tolle Führung und Einblicke in ein Umweltmanagement sondergleichen.

… in order to produce only the best in quality wooden furniture for national and international clients: Well done, dear Wilfried & team!

 

Im Anschluss finden Christina und ich in Aktenau direkt unser Lieblingsplatzerl ...

Right after our visit, Christina and I can’t help but fall in love with this spot …

 

... und zwar auf der sogenannten "Sonnleit'n" ...

… the best viewpoint over the cute little town that is Abtenau, the “Sonnseitn”, located right beneath the Tennengebirge mountain …

 

Nur ein Bier kann jetzt die Stimmung NOCH besser machen ...

Only mountain beer from Salzburg can still add to the beauty of the moment …

 

... Christina auf der Suche nach ... ja, wonach eigentlich? ;)

… Christina looking for … more? 😉

 

Vermutlich der anschließenden Erholung im gemütlichen Hotel Gutjahr!

More of those happy moments at our Hotel Gutjahr, I believe!

 

Finally, let’s get going in the fresh mountain air. Luckily for us, our host Markus Gutjahr has an idea or two on where to go, treating us to a private snow shoe hike for the day!

“Did we make you sweat?”, Markus laughs high up on the mountain, while the skiers next to us smile getting off their chair lift in all ease and comfort. Crazy, if you think about it, to walk up the slope in snow shoes, but hey: No pain, no gain! And yes, there’s always that sense of pride too, reaching the top! What I do love most about our snow shoe hike with Markus is the fact that he loves to “lead us astray”, right inside the forest and on little trails that only he as a local would know. Including a visit to a typical mountain farm, where local farmer Julinde has cake, Kuchen, schnaps & speck waiting for us. The typical Austrian fashion of stopping for local delights. Just as I love it …

... so uns auch schon gleich zum Frühstück die Sonne über den Bergen begrüßt ...

… with this beautiful morning greeting over Abtenau …

 

... uns antreibt ...

… getting ready folks …

 

... den Tag zu genießen ...

… for a day’s worth of exploring …

 

... sowie die Tatsache, in gut einer Stunde den Aufstieg geschafft zu haben: Prost auf das Glücksgefühl hoch oben, liebe Christina!

… and enjoying the views from the top, our typical mountain scenery with the village of Abtenau down below!

 

... Weiter geht's ...

We continue on our way …

 

... am besten immer der Nase / dem Kuchen nach ...

… all the way, until cake time it is …

 

... bei Zirbenschnaps werd' ich schwach!

… complimented by that beautiful, home made pine schnaps!

 

Und erst recht bei solchen Aussichten ...

The views, again and again …

 

... in & um das Hotel Gutjahr : Wir kommen wieder!

… make me want to come back sooner rather than later: Good bye Hotel Gutjahr, good bye Abtenau! See you soon again I hope.

 

To make Abtenau, and all of our experiences in this beautiful mountain realm, come alive even more, I have made the following travel video for you:

 

.. also, you can check out my photo gallery from Salzburg here:

 

Disclaimer: We have been invited on this trip by Hotel Gutjahr in Abtenau, supported by the Austrian Eco Label. All opinions are my own.

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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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