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2016 Germany / Austria / Hungary Travel Blog

Hallstatt

After staying up till midnight blogging and finally falling to sleep around 1:00 am I did not wake up until 8:57. I knew that cappuccino would do that besides, I am on vacation so should I nit be able to sleep in. After going to a bakery for a cinnamon roll I took a short walk through Mirabellgarten. The buses were coming in to town one after another now. Six in a row all at one time emptied their cargo of tourists and in a matter of minutes the place was overrun. Many were elderly and some walking gingerly with canes and few in special carts with fat tires. Most of the walkways in gardens are crushed stones so I think a regular wheel chair may be somewhat cumbersome to wheel. I am so grateful to be able to walk well and for a distance at my age. Looking at some of those tourists, I am not sure they are really any older than myself.
At 1:00 pm I caught the tour bus for the trip to Hallstatt. It was an 1 1/2 ride past beautiful scenery and some exclusive resort areas. We past the corporate headquarters of Red Bull the energy drink, Fuschl am See. We also went through Bad Ischl, the summer home for the Habsburg’s. Franz Joseph declared war here after his son Archduke Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo, igniting the first world war.
We entered Hallstatt along the Hallstatter See and through a series of tunnels. This is a small town that had been mining salt since the iron age. This whole region of Austria is know as the Salzkammergut for its production of salt through the ages. When salt declined in value as a preservative so did the economy for this region. Up until a few decades ago Hallstatt was all but forgotten. Because of the surrounding mountains and it location by this beautiful lake it is so serene, it’s magical. There are not many places I have been, that have been this majestic.
That is the problem with tours, not enough time to soak it all in. We arrived at 2:35 and left at 4:30 for the ride back. When you get to a place like this, you just want to stay for hours.
While it is nice to have someone to drive you in comfort the tinted windows do not allow you to take good pictures from a moving bus. There is always glare and dirt ruining the pictures. On the way back we drove past some beautiful peaks of the Dachstein Alps. Too bad.
Not quite sure what time I’ll jump on the train to Vienna tomorrow. I’ll play it by ear and you’ll find out on the next blog.