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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?

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Vila Vita Pannonia: Tips for visiting the national park Neusiedlersee-Seewinkel in Burgenland

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Just recently, I told you about the pretty dress that spring has put on in Burgenland. Rabbits, pheasants, white donkeys, coloured birds & magnificent flowers have all come out to celebrate what may easily be deemed the most beautiful time of year, when everything awakens and comes out to play. Same for us travel bloggers. Together with my Austrian colleagues Christina, at CitySeaCountry.com, as well as Melanie & Jürgen, at Lifetravellerz.com, we discovered what else there was to see and do around our hotel & holiday resort Vila Vita Pannonia.

Or did you know that the so-called “Alpha Run” didn’t even make you sweat? That not only horse and carriage, but also horse & geese go wonderfully together? That the largest Canon photographic lens costs some wicked € 12.000 and you may actually, easily, even try it on your own camera?!


Let’s start with the so-called “Alpha Run”. A unique way to build or increase your running abilities, striving to combine meditation with this popular sports pastime.

“If I had known this before, I would have joined you …”, Christina tells us, Christina who actually does not even like jogging. She looks at the rest of us, a little regretful I feel. “Next time”, I tell her with a warm smile. Jürgen, though, has already chosen to come with me, himself certainly being more of a professional runner than me.

Whatever your individual training is, Alpha Run (http://www.alphalauf.at) opens up new dimensions of physical experience while jogging. Our trainer Johannes Huber tells us this: “Everybody who manages a good walk without panting, can join.” Because Alpha Run is not about crazy running experiences, no: It is about managing and gaining mental strength. To this end, running is only practised several minutes at a time (at most), interspersed with activities for raising your awareness to the surrounding nature, your mind, your thoughts, your feelings, etc. I like it – and find I am subconsciously already doing some of the elements that Alpha Run promotes when I usually go jogging. Check this out.

Gut schauen wir aus: Unterwegs beim Alphalauf im Burgenland. Foto (c) Jürgen von Lifetravellerz.com

Counting our steps during the Alpha Run training course and jogging at a very gentle pace. Picture credit (c) to Jürgen at Lifetravellerz.com.


Bei so viel Anregung durch den Alphalauf sind Jürgen und ich dann gleich noch mal eine ganze Runde gelaufen - ein sportlicher Nachmittag, den man uns "gar nicht ansieht" ... oder?! :D

What the Alpha Run did, was to send us on another jogging trail afterwards: This is just how inspired Jürgen and I got during the training: To go for another, actual run! Photo credit (c) Jürgen at Lifetravellerz.com.


There might not be much sport in riding a horse-drawn carriage. But we did have a lot of fun on this one out by the national park Neusiedlersee-Seewinkel!

Especially, when the ride has been peppered up with some fun and informative local stories about wine growing, the nature and cultural traditions around, as well as the national park itself of course. For fans of large carriages …

Wind, so sei Euch gesagt, geht hier im burgenländischen Seewinkel eigentlich fast immer ...

… the mighty horses do their best to stand strong against the wind here in Burgenland …


Hierher traben die Pferde ab dem kleinen Ort Apetlon ...

… taking their way from the nearby little town Apetlon …


... und treffen wir dabei auf die stolzen Graurinder der ungarischen Tiefebene, die vor der Bewegung während der Sommerszeit hier gehalten und gefüttert werden.

… to watch some of these precious beasts: A special type of cattle breed that has been raised to roam the plains around lake Neusiedl, keeping them clear of bush and woodland so as to preserver the original cultural landscape. Check out more (winter) images of those noble creatures here.


Schnatter, schnatter: Ringsum auf den Wiesen brüten überall die Gänse und watscheln mit ihren Familien umher ...

Geese, too, are to be seen everywhere around now during spring …


... und auch der Storch ist hier ein gern und oft gesehener Gast.

… as is the stork, a naturally picturesque sight here in Burgenland.


We continue with animals during a quick visit of the Steppentierpark Pamhagen, some ten minutes’ drive from Vila Vita Pannonia.

This park holds many animals with funny names (and some funny animals, by the looks of them!), such as the “Zackelbock” goat, “Jacob’s sheep” or the simple “water buffalos”. A park of a kind, built in an enclosure of woods. Who would have thought we’d even see wombats & kangaroos there?

Kein Witz: Übersicht über Steppentierarten aus der ganzen Welt.

Animals from all over the world, inhabiting similar habitats to this one here in Austria …


Die Fütterung der Tiere erfolgt nur nach Zutaten, die an der Kassa für Besucher verkauft werden ...

… now call this park home, where feeding the animals is allowed if bought from the local rangers …


... doch dem Luchs würde ich hier sowieso lieber nicht zu nahe kommen.

… rather stay away from this hungry cat, wouldn’t you – just in case.


And of course, it’s the national park itself that offers many a highlight right now, at the time of the “Bird Experience”. We even get a glimpse through some of the most expensive photographic lenses currently available!

Or at least, this is the impression I get, “only” carrying around my own 150 millimetre zoom lens. However, as a travel option, me & my very light, easy-and-quick-to-handle system camera are simply inseparable. Still, I marvel at the major lenses next to me, whose largest, I am told, costs up to € 12.000. That’s almost as much as I spent travelling round the world back in 2011. Wow.

My tip for you: Ask for a man named Alois Lang at the national park centre Neusiedlersee. A very kind, very knowledgeable man who loves to share what he knows with other visitors and nature friends. And besides, who does not love a trip out into the blue (and green) of nature?

Auf in den Nationalpark Neusiedlersee-Seewinkel ...

Check out the typical landscape surrounding the national park Neusiedlersee-Seewinkel …


... wo wir beim Besuch des Nationalparkzentrum in Illmitz das Glück haben ...

… where we get lucky enough to experience …


... einer echten Vogelbedingung beizuwohnen. Spannend, sowas!

… a bird being ringed here at the local national park centre. Exciting!


Jürgen versucht sich an den mächtigen Objektiven der Profi-Fotografen ...

Jürgen clearly loves experimenting with the large, professional camera lenses…


... mir schwimmen die Viecher immer nur davon, aber ...

… myself being less apt, with birds mostly trying to take flight, actually …


... Jürgen hat hier eindeutig mehr Glück: Aus einer Distanz von locker 100 Metern (wenn nicht mehr), holt er die zarten Wesen dank modernster Kameratechnik mühelos an unser Auge heran. Wow! Foto (c) Jürgen von Lifetravellerz.com.

… but he gets more lucky, zooming in on a family of geese without any disturbance to them at all, i.e. from a safe distance of at least 100 metres (if not more): Well done Jürgen! Picture credit (c) Jürgen at Lifetravellerz.com.


To continue putting you under a spell, here are some more pretty pictures as well as my travel video for you:

See you soon in Burgenland! Do not miss what my friends have to say on their blogs either:


Disclaimer: We have been invited by Vila Vita Pannonia on this trip to Burgenland, 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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