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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Hallstatt, Austria: Approaching the Village

Sometime during the summer of 2008, my mom and I caught a glimpse of Hallstatt on the Travel Channel. It was a picturesque lakeside village, nestled up against the mountains in Austria. Normally when I watch the travel channel, I simply enjoy dreaming of the location throughout the episode and then turn it off and move on. But a lightbulb went off in my head when they mentioned that Hallstatt was just a few hours West of Vienna. Mental note taken: must go to Hallstatt!

(What it looked like on the Travel Channel. Can you blame me for my obsession?)

Alas, work and life must have clouded my memory because when we started planning our European honeymoon the next spring, I couldn't remember the name of the village for the life of me. I spent hours upon hours scouring the internet trying to find it, and asked Matt countless times if he knew what I was talking about. "It's a gorgeous little village... it's on a lake... it's right up against the mountains... there's a salt mine there... I think it starts with an H?" The man gave me nothing. Over and over again. So after the wedding and just a week before taking off across the Atlantic, Google and I were at it again. And then, out of nowhere, I found it. Hallstatt! It was a happy day.

I hurried to tell Matt that I'd finally found the village and it would only be a little detour between Vienna and Venice and oh my goodness, I can't believe we'll really get to go! The Travel Channel is my hero! And when I'd finished my happy dance, Matt asked me what the village was called. "I was right about the H!" I told him. "It's called Hallstatt!"

"Oh, I've been there," he said casually, as if I hadn't just spent months trying to track the village down. Men.

Luckily, getting to Hallstatt in real life was much simpler than finding it online. We woke up early in Vienna to catch the first train to Hallstatt, and spent the next three hours with our faces glued to the window. The Austrian countryside is beautiful but it seemed to get even more so the closer we came to our destination.
After three hours, we caught our first glimpse of the village in the distance.
It was overcast and the clouds were low and lovely in the mountains. When I woke up that morning and realized we weren't dealing with sunshine, I was a little disappointed. The sunny pictures were just so, so pretty! But even (especially?) with the clouds, Hallstatt was even more incredible than I could have imagined.
We hopped off the train and quickly boarded the ferry to head across the lake. The anticipation was killing me!
And then, finally, we arrived in Hallstatt. Just wait till you see the village!


  1. WOW! That is an awesome little village. I swear I saw a hobbit attending to his cattle in one of those pics! Austria is truly breathtaking.

  2. Hallstatt is going on my bucket list. Must see it in person before I kick it. What kind of camera do you have?

  3. It should honestly be on everyone's bucket list! We just had a Canon Powershot in Europe but (very) recently upgraded to a 50D that hasn't seen too much action yet. I SO wish we'd had a DSLR in Europe, though!

  4. OK seriously???!!! I am in LOVE with Halstatt now!!!! I think it could possibly be even better than my first love....chocolate!...Oh...I mean...Jay! Jay is my first love....not chocolate! So, no, Halstatt is my 2nd love then!

  5. I too must go to Hallstatt! Oh, and I got your thank you, so thanks!

  6. Oh my gosh, that's magical. It makes me want to cry, no idea why:) it's just so beautiful.

  7. Oh wow. That looks IN-CREDIBLE!! I am so excited to see pictures of the village. That sounds like the type of place I would die to visit. Just the journey there was sooo beautiful! Okay you had the best honeymoon.

  8. What a beautiful town. I might have to go there now too =) And don't you just love your 50D. I bought the 50mm f1.8 to go with the body. Love lOve it.


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