I don’t know how you feel about it, but to me there is hardly anything more satisfying than finishing a project. Be it a puzzle I’ve been working on for what seems like ages, a thesis for university or a genuine project of the heart.
I’ve been working on all three of those in the last half a year and a while ago I was able to finish at least ONE of them. (No … it’s not the puzzle! 😉 )
I finished the travel guide I wrote for Booktrip.de.
This project was something I started at a pretty difficult time of my life. A time when a breakup with my then boyfriend was one of the minor problems I had to face.
I was stressed out with work, I had too much on my plate and I struggled with about every single decision I made in my life up to then.
I thought of this project as some kind of refuge, something that had nothing to do with the rest of my chores and responsibilities.
I started to sit down at my laptop after a nine hour day at work or university and worked on this project whenever I could.
I did a lot of research on Vienna and learned a lot about the city I’m calling home for 7 years now. Sometimes I felt like I didn’t know this city at all and I wondered what the h* I did with my time here so far. But other times I realized how much love I had for this city, how many of its quirks and details I admired and how thoroughly I got to know Vienna already. I wrote down all my favorite spots and things to do and doing so I fell in love with the city all over again.
I really struggled with finishing though, because I always felt like I had MORE to say and that there are so many amazing things in Vienna I haven’t mentioned yet. Since I had limited space, I told myself in the end, that this won’t be the last travel and writing related project I’ll be doing on Vienna and then… I sent it in.
When I got notice that MY E-book is published and available my heart was racing and I forgot all about my “secret” project plans and told about every person I knew about it. And here I am now, telling YOU too! 🙂
If you are interested in having a look at it you’ll be able to get it HERE and HERE on Amazon! J (up to now – in German only! )
I hope I’ll be finishing my other two projects soon too… but to be honest… I don’t know about that puzzle… 😉
Up until about two years ago, I’ve never heard about the Grüner See (Green Lake) in Styria. But then there was this article about it in the news papers and it got nominated to be one of Austria’s most beautiful spots. I started wondering why neither I nor anyone I know has ever been there, since it’s pretty close to home and honestly… hence the size of Austria, pretty close to about every corner of good old Austria! 😉
Two friends and I had the idea of doing a little more homeland exploring whenever we have some time to spare and when the idea of going to Grüner See came up, we were instantly hooked.
Before I tell you about how amazing our trip to the lake was and how much I fell in love with the crystal clear water and the surreal colors of the lake, I’m going to tell you some useful facts about the Grüner See – Just in case you want to put it on your bucket list! 😉
It’s not an ordinary lake
When planning a trip to the Green Lake, make sure to plan it during late spring or the early summer month. Its water comes from the snowmelt from the karst mountains surrounding it. Therefore the time after the snowmelt or during it is the time where the basin that becomes the lake will be filled up the highest and it is also the time of the year when people used to do spectacular diving and underwater photo-shootings. The lake reaches its maximum height usually between May and June.
It was a divers paradise
During the month when the water is at its highest, the Green Lake was a paradise for divers. Diving through the green meadows, along hiking trails and tree trunks or floating by a bridge and benches isn’t something you experience every day.
Hence to the massive increase of tourists going there though, it is apparently prohibited to dive there since January 1st of 2016. Maybe the hype about it will fade eventually (although I don’t think so! :P) and I’ll have the chance to dive there too.
It’s a tourist attraction
Since the articles I mentioned above, the Green Lake has become quite a tourist attraction. During its peak season and especially on weekends it is definitely a good idea to get up early and be there before ALL the OTHER PEOPLE are.
My friends and I got up at 4.30 in the morning to get there before the rest did and it certainly paid off. We had the lake all for ourselves (besides the ducks and ravens) and the chance to take in all its magical and peaceful glory.
Pack some plan B breakfast
If you want to see the Green Lake without a bunch of people blocking your view and you decide to get up early and be there during the early morning hours, make sure to pack some plan B breakfast. Although there is a restaurant quite close to the lake, it probably won’t serve food in the early morning hours on a weekday! 😉
Don’t litter and respect the area
Although I’m pretty sure it wouldn’t cross your mind anyway I simply have to mention it here: Don’t leave any trash or food leftovers in the Green Lake area! There is a bunch of trash bins along the way around the lake, so it’s not much of an effort to put everything you want to get rid of in there. Camping and open fires are also prohibited. It is a strictly protected nature conservation area and once you’ve seen the beauty of it with your own eyes, you’ll realize why the rules to protect it are strict like that.
Bring a drone
If you own one or know somebody owning one, bring a drone.
The lake by itself is breathtaking, but seeing it from above is something you’ll never forget. My friends and I had the chance to borrow a drone and I’m still in awe with the pictures we got from it.
As I mentioned already, we got to the Green Lake in the early morning around 7 a.m. We were the only people there and approaching the lake after a short walk through the woods left me speechless. I knew the lake was famous for its amazing turquoise color, but the intensity of it still surprised me. The water is crystal clear and you can see all the way down to the lakes stony ground.
Heather flowers surrounded the whole lake and the grey karst mountains in the background perfected the whole setting. Since the three of us are mad about taking photos we stopped about every meter for new shots and it took as ages to circle the lake. A few ducks were following us all the way, probably waiting for us to feed them with something, and from time to time you could see the reflection of a raven flying over the lake mirrored on the surface of the water.
Since we got there so early and the sun didn’t break through the misty clouds yet, it was a bit chilly at the lake, but nevertheless we stayed there for about 2.5 hours. There was simply too much beauty to discover to even think about leaving earlier.
Even on our way back to the car, we didn’t come across any other people and back at the parking lot we realized how lucky we were. Around 10 in the morning the cars started to flock in and I’m pretty sure, being surrounded by a lot of other people would have totally ruined this magical Green Lake experience for me.
I haven’t mentioned it yet, but I am currently writing on an E-Book travel guide about my beloved Vienna. Some of you might question that, since I hardly ever wrote about Vienna here. To be honest, I haven’t gotten to write on this blog regularly in a while. (Will change that as soon as the travel guide is finished! 😉 A pinky promise I made to myself)
So WHY am I mentioning the whole travel guide thing now? Because I realized today, that, since I’m working on that project, I learned so much about my city and started to love it more every single day.
The same thing happened when I started with Instagram. I started to roam the city on a daily basis, discovering new corners, beautiful ones and ugly ones, every day. So , even though, it is hard work sometimes, because, well… one got to live off something too and make money doing real jobs as well, I love how much this whole writing about Vienna thing changed my relationship with my city. I keep looking at it through touristy eyes more often than not and the beauty of it never ceases to mesmerize me.
It’s like, I’ve overcome that dull feeling of routine that sometimes creeps into one’s life, especially when you live and work in a place for some time.
It’s only normal I guess, that people are usually more impressed by cities they visited on vacation, than the one they are living in. There is simply not enough time next to work, family and friends to enjoy the place you are living in, in a touristy kind of way forever. BUT – as I found out now, as soon as you are starting to be a tourist in your own town, it feels like you are traveling anyway. Neighborhoods you haven’t seen yet, restaurants you haven’t been to, amazing architecture right in front of your home – you start to realize, that the city you call your home changes continually and that there is always something new to explore and discover.
For those of you, who want to see more of my life in Vienna – have a look at my Instagram account! 🙂 And I’ll definitely let you know once my guide is published! 😉
Those of you who’ve seen my Instagram profile know, that I am originally from a part of Austria called Upperaustria. So , even though, I am a city girl through and through by now and I couldn’t imagine missing out on all those great things Vienna has to offer, all those imposing buildings and the possibilities one has when living in the capitol of Austria, I simply can’t deny my roots.
Sometimes, I long for mountains, for wild rivers, for woods that seem to be endless and especially in winter, I long for walks on snow-covered paths. So this is why, I am escaping the city on a regular basis. Even if it’s just for a few days, but one thing for sure, I’m always returning to Vienna more relaxed and my batteries fully charged again.
One of my favorite places in Austria to refuel my energy is Hinterstoder in Upperaustria. A lot of people go there on vacation, but mainly because of the skiing region and the awesome aprés ski lodges. But there is so much more to Hinterstoder than skiing and partying. For me, the best thing there, is to do the Polsterlucke tour. Walking it takes about 2 hours and you will come across a beautiful pond (Schiederweiher), there is a great change you’ll see some wild deer and there is a cute little lodge along the way. Walking , you will have an incredible view on the Gr. Priel and the Spitzmauer. For Photo addicts like me, it’s almost impossible to get along, because you will stop about every few seconds to take another picture.
During the winter month, you can even take a ride in a sleigh, which is a pretty romantic thing to do when you’r out and about with your loved one.
Another thing I love about spending the day there is, that you’ll come across a cute little lodge named Polsterstüberl, where they have the best traditional Austrian food and during the winter month they serve you steaming hot punch.
For those of you, who long for more physical exertion, it is also a great place for cross country skiing, or you can start the climb up to the Great Priel Mountain.
Going to the Polsterlucke is gorgeous all year round and definitely one of my favorite things to do in Austria.