Monday, July 19, 2010

Hallstatt, Austria

Kayaking up to Hallstatt.

Hallstatt in the morning light.

I think my favorite spot in Austria has been Hallstatt. It is a tiny one road town smooshed between a beautiful lake and a mountain. Mountains also surround the entire lake. I believe Hallstatt was founded to mine salt and lays claim to be the world's first salt mine with activity over 7,000 years ago.

Jill reads just outside our hotel.

Up the hill from our hotel.

What is there to do in Hallstatt? I'm not sure. I don't think it has that much going on anymore except for its scenic beauty. Even the tourist industry has dropped off. People come in for day trips, but don't spend the night. We had hoped to go kayaking on the lake, but by the time we found a place I had nixed the idea because it would be too hot. I guess I just liked ambling along in such a beautiful place, eating by the water, and having no where to go. In bigger places, I try to explore more. There wasn't more to explore so I just stayed put. Maybe that is why I liked it so much.

Hallstatt waterfront.

A cygnet, a baby swan. Do all their legs start out like this?

I am really trying to figure out what we did there. The answer is nothing, I guess. We just relaxed. I mailed postcards and packages home from here (if you want to visualize it). We found the only bakery in town. We fed the birds. I had mac and cheese dinner for the second time in Austria. I remember at this point that I was getting sick of the same four vegetarian dishes. Every restaurant we went to seemed to have the same thing. Maybe we were suckers for the tourist Austrian places, but there did not seem to be any other places either. The problem might just have been that we were eating out for two meals a day. Normally, I don't do that.

Hallstatt's very own Schmuck. I thought that was normally a person.

Houses on the main street.

Anyway, Hallstatt is peaceful. Go. Do nothing. Enjoy. Oh, factoid from Tait who got it from a bartender. They were going to widen their one major street through town. Instead, they voted it down and built a tunnel around town. The town stayed quaint and I like it, of course, they are also missing some of the tourists they used to get it. Balance.

A chair at our hotel. They do need a few more tourists.


  1. Love your post. I'm heading to Hallstatt in early September, can't wait! Would you mind sharing the name of your hotel? I loved the photo of Jill sitting outside reading with her toes in the water and I picture myself doing just that same thing! :) Thanks much! Roxanne.

  2. Our hotel was the Pension Hallberg. I'd recommend it.

  3. I'll check them out! Thanks much!!

  4. I'm sorry, one more question. Do the rooms have a balcony, by chance? My husband and I love balconies, but if not, having our toes in the water may be a great substitute! Thanks again!

  5. Ours did not have a balcony. Others might have.

  6. OK, thanks again, I appreciate your responses!