I’d been charmed by this town on the lake since the first picture of it that I’d seen on social media some time ago and it remained a bullet point on my bucket list, one that was about to be ticked off.
One does not accidentally stumble across Hallstatt and getting there requires some determination, but it’s well worth the effort. I traveled from Salzburg, departing by bus to Bad Ischl, marvelling at the changing scenery as we moved further from the city centre toward countryside and the lake region. After a short wait, next would be a train to Hallstatt and then finally a short ferry ride across the still, glass-like lake to the town itself. It was on the train that I lost a pair of borrowed gloves…oops! I’d worn them to fight the cold of Salzburg but they were getting in the way of my taking pictures as the train raced along the lakes and around the mountains…I hope someone who really needed them found them.
It was so still there; the quiet even seemed to drown out the chitter chatter of the day’s visitors. Well, apart from the gong of the church bell on the hour that could not be ignored and the ducks and swans on the lake as their wings flapped against the waters surface during take off and landing. The air was chilly but it was clean, fresh and one felt that your body could find rest here, away from the exhaust fumes, subway smells and industrial smokes we tend to breathe daily without second thought. Most structures were wooden and it had evidently rained earlier that morning which created deep, rich colouring complemented by hues of yellows and blues of town buildings and grassy greens of peoples small gardens or moss along the walls, all this blanketed under a misty morning and surrounded by mountain ranges effortlessly dusted in white icing sugar, I mean snow haha…beauty in all it’s splendour!
I didn’t go up to the ice caves or the salt mines as I’d visited out of season (March) but I did not feel I missed out in any way. I experienced in person the picture I’d studied for so long, heard the rush of a natural waterfall up close as it let go and let gravity carry it to meet the lake below, breathed the air of a new corner of the world and marvelled at nature in new, breathtakingly beautiful ways and forms…I’m a lucky girl I’d say!