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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?

Visiting Hotel Stern in Mieming, Tyrol: Sustainability as a natural occurrence.

” … We don’t want to point at you for doing this or that. We’d much rather encourage you to become active yourselves for protecting the environment. And we do this through games”, our host Rene Föger tells us with a whimsical smile, the same as his son’s on the cover of the hotel’s annual magazine, the “STERN Magazin 2016”.

“I schaug auf Di. Du schaugsch auf mi.” Translated from Tyrolean, it simply reminds us of the necessity to look out for each other.

But behind this simple message to look after each other, the family hotel Stern has put a lot more effort. For many years, Rene Föger and his family and team have thought about how to better solve the current climate issues, without weighing down on their guests: “To tell them what to do simply does not make any sense. Those who come here want to relax, enjoy new experiences, spend time with their families and loved ones – not being told what to do.”

And this is how the climate check in as well as the simple climate game came into force. To propagate the core message of the hotel of respect and care for each other: During the game, you may rise to become a “STERN ambassador” for positive climate change and environmental protection. A clever move: You easily manage to score a few points in the game, with an appetite to succeed. Done your winter hike without any mechanical lifts or cars? More time to relax and enjoy the landscape. Remembered to fill up your water bottles provided by the hotel? Nice and practical. Preferred to eat local food in the range of menus offered? Always & always! 😀 Used the electric car, spared the TV or elevator, made something yourself (for instance bread, cake, soap or else) ?!?

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What motivates children is just as captivating for adults. At the end, we become “STERN ambassadors” with a total score of 13 points!

And really enjoyed doing so. One part of our experience has also been to meet the good fairy of the house. Herbal fairy, actually. Her name is Elfi. Elfi loves to take her guests around, telling countless stories as a true Tyrolean local. About the birds and the trees, quite literally. How larch forest cultivation and small farming settlements have shaped the landscape up here on the Mieming plateau, some 30 minutes drive from Innsbruck.

Ankommen im Familien Landhotel Stern: Die Botschaften sind klar ...

Arriving at family hotel Stern to heart-warming messages indeed …

 

… und werden von sämtlichen Mitarbeitern des Hauses, wie hier Rene Föger den man gerne auch in der Küche sieht ...

… supported by Rene Föger and his entire team …

 

… gelebt und weitergetragen: Vielen Dank für den schönen Spaziergang im verschneiten Märchenwald, liebe Elfi!

… all the way to taking a quiet winter walk with our dear Elfi around the fantastic landscape here!

 

In Sachen Umweltschutz ...

Concerning environmental protection …

 

… hat sich das Haus augenzwinkernd ...

… the hotel & creative team have put a lot of thought …

 

… einen Namen gemacht, wie Rene Föger meiner lieben Kollegin Christina vom Reiseblog CitySeaCountry und mir hier beim Abendtisch erklärt.

… into how to continuously better themselves and their surroundings, as Rene Föger tells me & my fellow travel blogging friend Christina, of CitySeaCountry.com during dinner.

 

Darf's zur ersten Stärkung gleich mal ein echter Lärchen- oder Zirbenschnaps aus der Region sein? Ich sage nur "Beim Essen regionale Spezialitäten bevorzugt" … das gibt Punkte fürs Klima!

Having a larch or pine wood schnapps after your meal? Increase your score in the climate game: After all, it’s all about “enjoying local specialties”!

 

Besonders nett: Die gemütliche Saunalandschaft mit den "Stern-Stunden" im Panoramadach des Hauses ...

Really like the modern panorama sauna area in the roof of the hotel …

 

… hier lässt es sich herrlich entspannen ...

… perfect to relax …

 

… und für den nächsten Ausflug auftanken - am besten mit dem Elektroauto? Wer keines dabei hat, wird gerne vom Chef mit auf eine Spritztour genommen!

… and recharging your batteries, before taking on to go for a ride with the hotel’s electric car: If you didn’t bring your own, host Rene Föger likes to take you out for a ride with his!

 

We’re in for more “foodsome”, creative adventures: Young chef David takes us behind the scenes baking a traditional Tyrolean sweet strudel!

I don’t think I have to mention any more how much I love creative travel. Only the connection between food and creativity has the potential to be even better: If you get to eat your very own, hand-made souvenir, what could possibly be better? Take a look at this delicious, aromatic, warm strudel from Tyrol … mmmh … but don’t look hungry!

Auf dem Weg in die Küche im Landhotel Stern ...

Making our way into the kitchen at Hotel Stern …

 

… tut eine kleine Stärkung in Form eines echten Tiroler Gröstl gut.

… it’s always a good idea to stop for typical Tiroler Gröstl, by the way …

 

… bevor es gilt, selbst Hand an zu legen ...

… before we are here to become active chefs ourselves …

 

… den Kuchenteig auszurollen ...

… preparing the dough …

 

… mit Topfenmasse zu bestreichen ...

… full of light cream …

 

… und fertig ins Rohr zu bringen. Das natürlich auch noch von Oma's Zeiten herstammt - ein Hochzeitsgeschenk, dazumals!

… and making it ready for the oven!

 

Guter Strudel, ich vermisse Dich ...

Et voilà. I believe it is worth trying. Dear strudel, oh how I already miss you …

 

… sowie auch die Herzlichkeit ...

… as well as all the small, heart-warming details …

 

… und den guten Geschmack an allen Ecken und Enden des Hauses: "Beim Abendessen 'Eardiges' Menü gegessen" - 1 Punkt fürs Klimaspiel!

… and the good taste around the house: Eating a local meal (“Eardiges Menü”) in the evening again means more scores in the climate game!

 

Around Hotel Stern: Snow shoeing, tobogganing or off seeing Neuschwanstein Palace?

Not a bad idea during wintertime, let me tell you. The magic of winter renders its very own, special atmosphere to the famous palaces Hohenschwangau and Neuschwanstein – and takes away the masses of summer. We have spent half a day there, travelling from Mieming to Reutte and over into Bavaria to see the Bavarian Kings’ Palaces just beyond.

Blick auf das weltweit einzigartige Schloss Neuschwanstein vom Schloss Hohenschwangau aus ...

A glimpse of the world-famous Neuschwanstein Palace, as seen from its neighbouring palace Hohenschwangau in the front …

 

… nach einer guten halben Stunde Fußmarsch türmt es sich dann vor uns auf ...

… after walking up there for some 30 minutes, the palace finally rises in front of us …

 

… und lädt in verhältnismäßig geringer Besucherdichte ein, die Geheimnisse rund um Bayern's wohl berühmtesten König Ludwig zu lüften.

… inviting us to explore the secret realm of King Ludwig, one of the last kings of Bavaria.

 

Der Blick auf die Marienbrücke ...

The view upon Maria’s bridge across the valley …

 

… sowie der Blick weit ins Land und über das Schloss Hohenschwangau hinweg haben es mir dabei besonders angetan.

… as well as far over the surrounding landscape and Hohenschwangau palace are among my favorites of this visit.

 

Just a little later, the sun has come back out. Tobogganing times, then, followed by a hike with lanterns in the evening.

All these travel tips are offered right by the team at Hotel Stern, and we gladly take them up. “I’ll drive you up to the entry of the tobogganing slope, then all you have to do is walk up the mountain all the way to the Lehnberg hut.” Again, our host Rene Föger speaking, himself so seemingly calm and happy, despite looking after more than 100 guests at any given time. It is a special pleasure to meet him and his wife as well as their four-year-old son and young daughter around the house. Lovely family atmosphere!

Auf geht's: Unterwegs mit dem Chef ...

Off we go for a ride in Rene Föger’s electric car …

 

… und dessen coolen Elektro-Bus: "Wenn ich groß bin, möchte ich mal ein Elektroauto …" Wirklich!

… I would love to have myself one one day, too!

 

Auf geht's immer der Nase nach ...

Going up the mountain with our sleigh …

 

… Richtung uriger Tiroler Berghütte ...

… reaching the hut after some 90 minutes …

 

… neuen Freunden ...

… including new friends along the road …

 

… und Rodelspaß pur!

… and fun getting down again!

 

Dazu die schönen Laternen ...

Adding to that, the beautiful lanterns in the dark, snow-covered forest …

 

… und eine ganz besondere Atmosphäre bei der abendlichen Laternenwanderung im Wald!

… with their special atmosphere at night!

 

What we take home, are beautiful memories. A real curiosity for what can be improved concerning environmental protection – taking only small steps and consciousness.

Like spending a night in a small hay barn as opposed to a hotel.

Honestly, I’m not joking. We even tried one during winter, but only for five minutes or so. To be found along the small adventure trail Larchsteig here in Obsteig – Unterstrass, all within sight of, and promoted by, the hotel Stern.

Again and again, I have to smile thinking back of the nice atmosphere around here. Or is it the magic of the region, up here at the Mieming plateau north of the Inn valley? Whatever the case – Hotel Stern offers a perfect place to ponder those heartwarming feelings.

Der Stern: Ausgezeichnet mit sämtlichem, was guten Klima- und Umweltschutz lobt ...

Hotel Stern: Awarded many labels for its active environmental protection efforts …

 

… inmitten einer prachtvollen Berglandschaft im Herzen Tirols.

… surrounded by the majesty of the alpine landscape here in Tyrol.

 

Vom "Heuschnarchstadl" aus (ja, es gibt sie wirklich!) ...

Say Hello from the hay barns around …

 

… haben wir Anfang Februar (!) gar schon erste Blüten aus beobachtet ..?!

… detecting some first flowers of spring, even ..?!

 

Und beim Klima Check-Out noch mal alles Revue passieren lassen: CO2 Fußabdruck, Möglichkeiten diesen zu mindern, Ideen für Zuhause ...

Finally, it’s time for the Climate Check Out: Measuring our CO2 foot print, earning valuable points and recommendations for what to do and improve back home …

 

… vielen Dank, Rene Föger, hier im Landhotel Stern! Wir kommen wieder, so viel ist sicher!

… thank you so much, dear Rene Föger & team, for welcoming us here! We’ll be back, that’s for sure!

 

Check out my friend Christina’s version of the trip on her travel blog, CitySeaCountry.com and head over to my Flickr photo gallery for more:

Disclaimer: We have been invited by Hotel Stern on this trip to Tyrol. 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."

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