GollenDecember 5, 2016 in Austria ⋅ ☀️ 1 °C
The Rough Guides had emailed Will a list of seven places that were even more beautiful in winter. One was Hallstatt, a town in the Salzkammergut (Austrian Lake district) that is wedged between a cliff and a lake. It was only 50km away so we made a detour and drove through a winter wonderland to get there. The journey was zebra striped with frosty scenes as we passed repeatedly in and out of shadows cast by tall peaks. Icicles ran down walls of rock and were suspended from overhanging sections. The most striking sections were those where the sun had just risen on to frost coated scenes, reflecting brightly or backlighting the rural landscape. The contrast between these areas and those where the sun shone regularly was amazing; the solar heat having melted the ice and revealed the countryside's true colours.
We reached Hallstadt via a series of tunnels running alongside a long lake within one of the deepest valleys we've seen. The town was at the head of the lake and while its position was incredible, the town itself wasn't anything out of the ordinary. We'd planned to park up and look around but weren't allowed in the main cat parks, being directed instead to one out of town that cost €15 to park and ride. We didn't want to pay that much so after taking a few photos we left to have lunch at a lakeside layby.
Gollen stopover was a sectioned off area of the spa and sauna car park. It was a short walk to town so when evening came we wandered in to admire the Christmas lights on the main street.
Once again this town was surrounded by mountains but one mountain was shaped so that when the sun rose over a peak, it travelled westwards and behind a raised crag that jutted up, causing the sun to set again after only a few minutes!Read more