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?

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Welcome to the Austrian Rocky Mountains: Hello, “Gesäuse” National Park in Styria!

Just about one year ago, I have been travelling to the Canadian Rocky Mountains for the first time in my life. Only to find that they are “right here, too” (in our beloved, northern Austrian Alps)! Certain elements in the cragged ridge lines, rocky outcrops, soaring mountain walls & mighty forests clad in the colours of the season’s change, really have me look at them as the “Rocky Mountains of Austria“, right here where the two national parks Kalkalpen & Gesäuse meet at the border between Upper Austria and Styria. The only difference, of course: A look of peace upon the century-old alpine hut at the horizon. The lonely cow droppings up at the high alpine pastures, recalling the recent “Almabtrieb” (during September, all cows are being walked back down into their winter stables in traditional ceremonies, and harvest festivals). Our typical, Austrian “Gemütlichkeit” (cosiness & comfort), when you enter one of the old huts and are being served typical “Kaspressknödel” (cheese dumplings in a steaming broth), schnapps, or else. Lovely, really: A place where nature and culture combines to welcome any visitor. Check this out.

Das mächtige Gesäuse in den nördlichen Kalkalpen Mitteleuropas ...

The mighty “Gesäuse” (I’ll get to why it’s called like that) in the northern Alps of Austria does recall the Rocky Mountains to some extent, don’t you think?


... ist geprägt von landschaftlicher Vielfalt ...

Add to this, a variety of local images, such as this mirror lake at the entrance to the Gesäuse national park …


... sowie ganz eigener Kulturlandschaften, wie hier der Bewirtschaftung durch Viehweiden auf dem Bio- und Reiterbauernhof Laussabauernhof.

… as well as some typical, cultural landscapes, such as these pastures & paddocks at the horse farm Laussabauerhof.


Dazu kommt mit der Stiftbibliothek in Admont eines der "acht Weltwunder", die weltweit größte Klosterbibliothek der Welt mit über 70.000 (!) Büchern nämlich ...

And did I tell you about the largest monastery library in the world, located right here at Admont Abbey, totalling a staggering 70.000 books some of which are well over a thousand years old ..?


... aber auch das sehr charmant gestaltete, zum Mitmachen einladende Erlebniszentrum "Weidendom" am Eingang zum Nationalpark Gesäuse ...

Do not miss the national park visitor centre, either, a forest hut with a “living tent city” made up of willow trees …


... sowie die liebevollen Bewohner der Region: Hallo, Kälber!

… and every now and then, you’ll be able to greet the youngest of the locals: Hello, dear calves!


The name “Gesäuse” comes from the German word “sausen”, which means to rush. And rushing is what the national park’s largest river does, the mountain river Enns at the entrance to Gesäuse national park where it has to break through a narrow passage in the rocky valley floor. Then, there are the views: My friends and I just can’t take our eyes off the soaring mountain walls, nor the wide open views once you reach the plateaus after a good hike. With nature being so breathtaking, the air itself is fresh and spicy, refuelling us with energy for the soul.

Blick auf das "tosende Gesäuse" am Eingang zum gleichnamigen Nationalpark ...

The river Enns at the gateway to Gesäuse national park …


... nur etwas weiter flussaufwärts offenbart sich dieser einzigartige Blick mit alter Eisenbahnbrücke & Spazierweg direkt am Fluss Enns ...

… lifts you up with unique views, such as this old train bridge towering right above the river …


... hat Mostbäuerin Susanne Weissensteiner auch schon die richtigen Apfelsorten für den Herbst parat ...

… in the afternoon, make for a visit of Susanne Weissensteiner’s farm, renowned for growing a variety of juice mountain apples …


... und kommen wir vom Besuch bei ihr, mit Blick zurück auf das Tal bei St. Gallen, einfach nur mehr ins Schwärmen ...

… and stay there as long as you wish, for instance to watch the sunset over the nearby valley and the castle of Saint Gallen …


… “Gesäuse dreaming”, really! If you, too, wish to explore more of this particular place on Earth, then check out my photo album on Flickr:


… or how about enjoying this little travel video to get your “nature taste buds” going?


Next up, I have some more practical tips for you in order to organise your stay, such as accommodation at the Hotel Spirodom, hikes we did & places we visited around Gesäuse national park. Stay tuned! 🙂


Disclaimer: We have been invited on this trip to Styria by Hotel Spirodom & Gesäuse national park, supported by the Austrian Eco Label. All opinions are my own.

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?

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#STSKitzbuehel Social Travel Summit: Being Topic Leader at this year's Think Tank "Beyond Content"
Gesäuse National Park in Styria, Austria: Experiencing the local nature & culture combined.


  1. The Curious Sparrow

    Wow! Absolutely gorgeous. I live in Germany but hadn’t heard of this national park before. Now I need to book a trip to Austria 🙂

    • Elena

      You really should !! Plus it’s not that far from Germany, and you can easily reach her by either means of transport, train, car, or buses! We would love to welcome you in this beautiful part of Austria anytime. 🙂

      Cheers and safe travels xxx

  2. Danielle's Travels

    I love visiting national parks, this one looks stunning! I think that is one of the most beautiful libraries I’ve ever seen in my life, I would love to see it in person! Great post 🙂


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