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Published: August 29th 2017
Austrian Mountain House
A typical Austrian house, built using a lot timber, which is in plentiful supply on the hills.
Geo: 47.5573, 13.647
Today was one of our longest drives, travelling from Venice to Hallstatt, a trip of roughly four hours. At 130kms per hour on the Austrian and Italian Autobahns, the journey goes quick though.
It was beautiful driving through the valleys with high mountain ranges towering overhead. The grass is very green. All of the houses are made of timber and render and all look like Swiss Chalets, having bright coloured flowers on their balconies. All houses and gardens are really well maintained, unlike some of the houses in the cities we have visited (particularly Italy).
Halstatt surprisingly, has the oldest history of any of the cities we have visited. The Salt Mines in Halstatt go back to the 7th Century B.C. Salt was a highly sought after commodity in early history, with the original miners using sticks to dig out the rock salt. Then came the bronze age for digging tools, then the iron age. Halstatt salt mines are the oldest salt mines in the world. The salt was traded around the world for goods, which made the Halstatt region very wealthy. The salt mines in Halstatt still operate today.
After checking in to our Gasthof (Guest House), we
The Halstatt Funicular
The view of the funicular and Halstatt from the top of the mountain. It's a very long way straight down.
walked to the Funicular, an almost verticle railway that takes you to the Salt Mines on the top of the mountain for a tour of the mine. After going up the railway, we toured the mine, and for me, this was the highlight of entire holiday. We had to suit up in overalls for the tour, which takes you deep under the mountain into the salt mine. We had a guide who spoke in English, and to get to different levels of the mine, we took the wooden slides (a wooden slippery dip) which the miners formerly used. We had photos taken on the slide and I had the fastest speed of our group of around thirty people (34.4 kmh). The tour finished with a train ride out of the salt mine.
We then took the Funicular down the mountain to our Gasthof, where we enjoyed a three course dinner for just 10.50 Euro. Vegetable Soup, Grilled Trout for main for Kim, Roast Beef for me, and Apple Strudel with Ice Cream and Cream for dessert. We love this place.
Jim and Kim
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