Day 537: HallstattAugust 5, 2018 in Austria ⋅ ☀️ 26 °C
Hallstatt is a beautiful little village in Austria, perched in an impossibly small patch of terrain between towering mountains and a shimmering lake. With the red roofing and a slender church tower, it's basically perfection. If you've ever heard of that Chinese business man who liked a particular village so much he had a replica built in China - it's Hallstatt.
So although it's a World Heritage site, it's also incredibly, incredibly popular. To beat both the heat and the crowds, we left our accommodation super early in the morning, around 6:30am! It was about a 30 minute drive around the mountains to Hallstatt but we arrived at around 7:15 and were among the first cars in the car park. Nice.
We walked slowly through the tiny little town, soaking up the buildings and the atmosphere with hardly anyone around. A couple of locals walking dogs, delivery people with supplies and mail, and a couple of tourists with clacking wheely suitcases. But on the whole it was super peaceful and tranquil, so we did a bunch of filming as quickly as we could.
There's a great vantage point just north of the town so we headed up there first and filmed as much as possible, then wandered around grabbing other clips. It was slowly filling up and by 9am it was basically like Venice. Not many European tourists though, probably about 75% were Asian (mostly Chinese) and most of the rest were Indian. Not sure why - although the town is very pretty, it's not all that remarkable for an Austrian village.
Funnily enough, it's on the World Heritage list not because it's a nice place (although I'm sure that helps), but actually because it was home to a huge salt mining operation dating back several thousand years. Obviously salt is a valueless commodity these days but for much of history it's been extremely expensive, so mining salt from the mountains made Hallstadt very rich.
Wanting to escape the crowds we rented a small electric motorboat for a reasonable price (15 euros for 30 minutes), and headed out onto the lake. Was nice to get a completely different angle of the town, and to film some clips from an unusual spot!
Back on land, we grabbed an early lunch of kebabs (about the only thing reasonably priced), and then headed back to the car. Was an unusual feeling to be done by 11:30, but our strategy was vindicated when we saw the enormous line of cars queued up to get in the car park!
Drove the 30 minutes back to Abtenau where we dropped Schnitzel in the room and then headed to the nearby local swimming pool. Enjoyed going down the waterslides like a kid again! After that closed we headed back into town and had pizzas for dinner. A local band was playing so I stuck around for a bit to watch that, just like old times. Moving on tomorrow!Read more