Hallstatt, Austria

 Salzburg and Hallstatt are two places in Austria that most travelers have heard of and desire to visit. People want to visit Salzburg because of the movie "The Sound of Music" and Mozart's ties to the city. Born in the city in 1756, Mozart grew up to become one of the worlds greatest composers while the Sound of Music became one of the greatest musicals of all time.

Hallstatt, on the other hand, was not quite as famous recently but was a powerhouse and a resort in times long past. Known for its salt mines, the region and especially Hallstatt grew into prominence when salt was the preservative of foods and those who owned the salt literally controlled much of the economy.

We began our trip into the region by first passing through the frontiers on the border of Austria and Germany. This area is well known in modern times from the movie because it was here in these fields high in the tree-lined hillside that Julie Andrews sang her opening credits to the movie. Bus loads of people and millions of tourist visit the area every year and  so we also decided to venture into the festive wilderness to see what we could experience and see. We were not disappointed. The actual song as sung in Melweg meadow, but since we could not get to that farm due to the land being off limits we stopped near the place and took some photos.

Our next destination was Hallstatt, which in order to get to we had to drive straight through Salzburg. Crossing over the border into Austria from Germany, like many other European countries, is not a problem since they are all in the Schengen region and border crossings are easy. Since we were going to Hallstatt directly we did so, passing through Salzburg and into the Salzkammergut Lake District of Austria.

The drive was pleasant enough and we stopped a couple times to take pictures and admire the scenery. After all, that was why we were in the area.

Upon arriving in Hallstatt we immediately drove past the town to a parking area just south of the town. It has a minimal parking fee and there were plenty of spaces. we got out and walked along the lake a bit towards the town. We noticed that despite it being July there were really not that many tourists around. We had no issues with bumping into people or waiting in lines for the funicular.

Hallstatt itself is a magical place. With the town built on the edge of a lake and then climbing right up the mountain gives the impression of a fairy book story land. Add in the wonderful architecture and your mind begins to imagine all sorts of creative ideas. No wonder so many people want to visit here.

Walking through the streets is a delight. You’ll see swans in the lake, flowers by the window sills and tourists looking for a special souvenir or photo opportunity.

Near the end of town is a little shop that specializes in chicken meals. We had to join the crowds and try it.

Walking back through town we decided to ride up the funicular. It’s a steep ride with a fantastic view and a spectacular lake overlook once you arrive.

Seeing Hallstatt from above opens up another wonderful perspective. You get the feeling like you could stay here all day and just soak in the grand view. Flew places can compare, although I’m a little partial to the view above Grindelwald, Switzerland.

All in all, visiting Hallstatt was a fabulous experience and one I’d highly recommend.


Popular Posts