‘Here, the sun is always shining somewhere!’
At the Stallerbauerhof in St. Wolfgang, you can find a completely normal farm at one side. However, if you turn around, you will find a truly breath-taking view. The farm is located on a small hill, right above the Wolfgangsee, the turquoise lake in the Salzkammergut.
The Stallerbauerhof is a lovely corner of the world. That becomes clear to us even when approaching the farm. We park our car on a hill, with a breath-taking view of the turquoise Wolfgangsee. And immediately, we are enticed into the kitchen by the scent of freshly baked bread. Our hostess is waiting for us. ‘It always looks like this in a farmhouse kitchen’, Karin explains, smiling apologetically. However, we don’t dwell on the plates and bowls filled with delicious things, and instead follow Karin out into the garden. That’s where the oven is located, where the bread, strudel and Speckweckerl are baked. ‘I’ve got a few minutes to spare now’, says Karin while she slides the last Weckerl into the oven.
We take a seat on one of the sun benches with a view of the seemingly infinite lake and listen closely to her talk. She had previously worked as a nurse and practised the profession with a lot of love and passion until she retired. As she is unable to switch off the drive to take care of people, she moved into renting out guest rooms on the farm when she retired. ‘We’ve always done it’, Karin explains. ‘When we retired, we renovated a lot and brought the four holiday apartments and the rooms into shape.’ When we walk through the rooms later, we understand what Karin meant: The rooms are filled with the scent of Swiss pine, and the cupboards and beds are all made of this quality wood. And all of the other furnishings also speak of high quality. If you take a look out of the window, you will notice the numerous sun benches. ‘Here, there’s a lot of places to have a nice sit down. I’m a big fan of benches’, Karin smiles.
The farmer is particularly proud of the bench made from this year’s maypole, which now sits on her farm, inviting people to have a nice rest. ‘The May Festival is a huge thing for us. The whole community comes together, and we all pitch in to create an unforgettable experience.’ One step after the other. Karin and her two children learned a few years ago that the community doesn’t just come together for celebrations. Karin’s husband passed away suddenly. When she was left alone with her two children and the farm to look after, she felt overwhelmed. Little by little, with the help of friends, the family got to grips with the farm and renovated it to give the Stallerbauerhof a new lease of life.
Her son Matthias is only 20 years old and already a committed farmer. And daughter Katharina works in the city, in Salzburg. When you speak with Karin, you understand that this little paradise on the Wolfgangsee is a place with a lot of energy and fond memories. The guests sense this too, and they keep coming back every year. Sometimes they book all of the available apartments so that they can bring their friends along, too. When should you book your holiday at the Stallerbauerhof? ‘Ideally as early as in December’, says Matthias, who just had to decline a booking on the phone as all of the rooms are already full. ‘But it’s first come, first served.’
That’s just how it is. Urlaub am Bauernhof – swimming lake included. After seeing the farm and the surrounding area, we’re not surprised in the slightest by the fact that the demand is so high, especially during summer. The lake is only a two minute walk away, and the Stallerbauerhof has its own bathing site there. ‘That’s all included in the price here’, says Karin.
She doesn’t see the sense in charging extra for that. Everybody is entitled to use the lake. If you walk to the lake, you will pass daughter Katharina’s beehives. Some time ago, she came up with the idea of keeping bees. Since then, the farm has been able to offer home-made honey. And it’s absolutely delicious. ‘It’s important to me that people realise again how much work goes into putting a crusty loaf of bread on the table. I want the guests to understand all that is needed to put honey in a jar, and how much effort it takes to grow something in the garden and keep the house in order.’ Karin performs all of these duties with a passion. And when the guests are happy, she is as well. You have to love the Stallerbauerhof. Not just because of the breakfast service or the glass of schnapps or two that you will enjoy during your holiday. Also because of the warmness that is tangible throughout the farm. The friendliness that can be seen throughout the community, and the openness with which visitors are received in Ried am Wolfgangsee.