Arriving in AustriaJuly 11, 2017 in Austria ⋅
The first bummer of our trip happened today. The gorge we'd planned on seeing, which was the initial focus of our planning for this trip, was closed due to a big rockfall they'd had in May. They won't even get the gorge open until next summer. Disappointing, but we've experienced so many beautiful natural sites, we can't complain too much.
As we drove through the Alps north from Slovenia into Austria, the terrain became more dramatic. By the way, "through" the alps is an apt term -- we travelled through many long tunnels on our route (some as long as 4 miles). The Austrian alps are more sheer and imposing than the Slovenian alps.
We arrived at Hallstatt, a UNESCO designated town on one of the many lakes about an hour outside of Salzburg. The homes here cling to a cliffside, seemingly one on top of the other, most with only stairs to reach them. Walking around the area, we saw that they used a platform-and-pulley system to bring firewood and supplies to the homes from a small upper road. Winters must be severe here because there were large caches of firewood at every home (in Slovenia as well).
Hallstatt is a very picturesque lake and town, and not so overrun as Lake Bled. The lake has swan paddle boats, but no kayak rentals as we were disappointed to find. Since it started raining soon after we arrived, that was okay. We enjoyed typical Austrian fare for dinner, of Wiener Schnitzel and Goulash, with "bier" and "wein" of course!Read more