Hallstatt

Hallstatt- serenity unfolds…

Picture perfect beautiful lake side town nestled between mountains guarded by a historic church … ya that’s what I saw in photograph of Hallstatt, Austria few years ago and it stole my heart right away, and ever since I am trying to fit this place in my travel plan.

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It is advised to combine Hallstatt with either Salzberg or Vienna, as those are not too far and nicely complements each other. Since I have been to both other places, I added this with my trip to Baveria, Konigsee area. Halstatt was definitely the highlight of our travel.  We anchored around Koenigsee, it is 1 and half hour drive to reach from there to Halstatt with two short breaks in between (I know that’s too many for 1 hr 30 min but the beautiful towns on the way and scenery around it will make you stop anyway).  Looking out of the window of my car, I was experiencing what Europe is most acknowledged for… beautiful village soaking up the breathtaking scenery of rugged mountains, farm animals grazing green pasture on rolling hills…, traditional wooden houses, roads nicely carved next to rivers, almost as if that is nature’s way of navigating you to the many memorable picture perfect moment.

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As we started to approach hallstatt, I felt the sound of water in the backdrop and started looking around to see that we finally are there. I was so excited to see the place in real which I had been seeing in the pictures. My excitement knows no bounds-the sky so blue, sun shining so bright.. Watching and divulging in the beauty at its best, wondering how nature get it so right.

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A fairy looking town and the landscape of this beauty is the pure artifacts of the nature. It was utmost fun to comprehend nature most beautiful gift seeing the lakeside village framed between rugged mountains and crystal clear mountain lake water. It’s a small town and has a population of 900 inhabitants. It has 7000 years old history and culture. Salt was a valuable resource in those times, so the region was historically very wealthy and that is quite evident looking at the rectitude and the look and feel of the town.

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Whether it’s the sparkling blue lake, the backdrop of green pasture mountains or the quirky buildings reflecting onto the water, I was in total awe. Hallstatt also provides a wonderful retreat for those who require a break from the reality of everyday life. Being surrounded by so many colours and pure nature leaves you at with a peaceful mind-set, something a city break just cannot provide.

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Juggling between my phone camera, digital camera and professional camera, to capture the beauty of this hidden beautiful gem of our world , I tried to capture the landscape but no picture can do justice.

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Hallstatt dated back to late Bronze Age to early Iron Age with a 7000 year old culture heritage. It is possible to tour the world’s first known salt mine named Salzwelten, located above downtown Hallstatt. Hallstatt has become a rage among tourist all thanks to all social media posts. Additionally its age old village charm added as a fiesta and can be experienced on foot in 30 minutes. There are lot of cafes along the lake, where one can enjoy a drink or a coffee. In no time Holunder Spritz became my favorite drink. It is to be commonly found in Bavaria as well as in Hallstatt , this translates to elder flower and tastes great.

Four  things to do in Halstatt

  • Ossuary-Hallstatt ossuary dates back to the 12th century AD. As I was with little suri, I escape the point as it sounded spooky. However, It is located on a very scenic and peaceful graveyard. Due to limited space, graves are usually opened every 10-15 years to make the room for new burials. The bones are taken out and skull was cleaned, bleached and painted with the deceased name, date of death, profession inscribed on them. The place has recently gained the popularity. The entry fee is 2 euros.

 

  • Old town– the highlight of old town of Hallstatt is its Historic Market Square. The market square was established in the 14th The right side of the market square has private residence and the left side of the market is owned by the state of Hallstatt. Strolling through the old town was a beautiful experience as the corners of the town opens up a great scenery and explore the hidden stories of age old tradition of history and culture. Even when there are so many great things to do, I still find that simply just wandering around the hidden little streets is the best way to explore a beautiful town. The atmosphere is great and the scenery breath-taking.

 

  • Salt mine- Salzwelten (Salt mine)is journey that takes you back to the 7000 year old history of salt mining. It’s the world oldest salt mine. The Salzberg train takes you to Hallstatt high valley. The salt worlds are open from April to November. It another must to do!

 

  • Boat ride– Another way to explore beautiful Halstatt is rent a boat and experience the serenity in your own space. The half an hour ride cost around 8 euros.

 

Fun Fact: Hallstatt is in fact so beautiful and popular among Asian that the Chinese built a clone of the town in Huizhou, China.

We visited the town during day time and had to make our way back to our base in Koenigsee before the dark. I would highly recommend spending the evening in Hallstatt and a night to explore the beauty in early morning and in late evenings to beat the crowd. Since it’s a tiny village and get extremely busy during high season. Additionally, it is pretty hectic to find a car park closed to the center. Therefore, visit either off season or spend a night in the town. I would recommend the latter. Take long walk and explore hidden corners have a drink or a coffee by the lake.

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..and one more shot before i say -Aufwiedersehen (See you again)!

This visit to Hallstatt was ethereal, looking at the blue sky and sun shining in its full glory, captivating the picturesque town of Hallstatt forever in my heart.  All this, spell bound me and in every walk into the town I receive more than I seeked….

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