Hallstatt, Austria is close to Salzburg-about 3 hours train ride from Vienna. We left yesterday morning and got back Saturday night. Oh-and make this train #2 that I have had to chase...Ashley and I made it on the train to Hallstatt with literally 10 seconds to spare. Lets just say we are both not so good with keeping track of time!
Every city we have traveled to so far is unique in their own ways, so I have loved every single one. But Hallstatt...Hallstatt is out of this WORLD! Its a tiny city build next to and around a lake that young people here in Vienna have never even heard of. It's 700 years old and is famous for it's salt mine.
Here it is: A lake up in the very green mountains with the most picturesque homes I have ever seen surrounding it, clouds so low that you can barely see the top of the mountains, and pouring down rain. Now...some didn't enjoy this weather for obvious reasons. However I LOVED IT! It's the Oregonian in me. Walking around with my bright yellow umbrella in the cold made me so happy. Even the people who didn't enjoy the rain will admit that it was a beautiful town.
We got there in the afternoon and from the train hopped on a boat that took us the the main part of town. I loved the rain hitting lake and the fog and EVERYTHING! :) We got into town, split up into groups of 5 or 6 and were on our own to find our houses we were staying in and figure out what to do for the rest of the day. A lot of people who live in Hallstatt rent out their upper floors as bed and breakfasts since people travel there quite a bit (asians LOVE it there for some reason). The house we stayed in was just adorable. The older couple who lived there were gems and made us a yummy breakfast. Spoke zero English so it was fun. :)
There's a very limited amount of activities in Hallstatt. We went to the Catholic church Cemetery and Charnel House. Because of limited space, they started digging up the bones in the 1700's, cleaned and put them in a Charnel House. It was a small room with stacks of painted skulls with names on them as well as bones. It was actually pretty cool!
We went up to the famous Salt mine in Hallstatt (Salzwelten). We rode a trolly up a very steep railroad track (when I looked at it I thought it was a giant roller coaster and got really excited...). We had to put suits on to not get our clothes dirty and because inside there are wooden slides. ;) I don't know why they gave me the shortest suit available...I looked like I was preparing for a flood. Greaattt!
Going through the mine was SO worth the money we paid! Plus, when will I ever have the opportunity to do that again? It was cool learning about how all the mining works (ancient and modern day).
This weekend I lived off of hot chocolate because it was freezing. Get this! They drink 3.5% milk in Europe so you can probably guess the deliciousness of the cocoa. :) Other than the church and salt mine we all just walked through town to enjoy the view and cute houses and shopped around the little shops. Two days was the perfect amount of time to spend there and the Minerts are so awesome for taking us!