Rewind back to March this year, we began the 17 hour drive across half of Europe to reach Austria – to the area Dan grew up as a child. As this was my first time visiting Austria, we left with a lengthy itinerary of places we wanted to visit and family I had to meet. For the first half of the holiday, after a brief pitstop in Prague, we arrived in Austria and after a couple of days staying with Dan’s Great Aunt in the rolling hills of Styria, we headed on to the more mountainous region of Salzburg which sits just on the border of Germany.
On the drive from Styria to Salzburg, the car packed to the brim with bags and snacks, we had a few places plotted out on the map that we wanted to stop and see en-route. The top of this list was Hallstatt. Although Dan was born in Austria and regularly visits his extended family there, he too has never been to Hallstatt. It was a pretty miserable day, heavy drizzle and fog and well as very low lying clouds but for some reason this made me fall in love with the little lake side village all the more.
The one main street in Hallstatt (Lake Street) was teeming with crowds so after a fleeting stretch of our legs down the narrow road we headed back to quieter territory and mooched around the houses and back alleys soaking up the snow peaked mountains that loomed over us.
Once we were starting to feel the drizzle seep through to our bare skin, we headed back to the car and drove around to the south side of the lake to see the village from across the water. From this perspective, away from the crowds and coaches of tourists, we stood on the shore line and watched on as the rain drops settled on the grass and lonely ducks pierced the water’s surface, landing after flight.
There is something special about travelling to a place that isn’t all sunshine and short-shorts, it’s all the more special when you take the extra mile to experience it from a different perspective and head away from the throngs of people in to your own secluded spot.
Is there any recommendations for our next visit to Austria? Let me know!