Hallstatt, Austria

IMG_5468.JPG48 hours of non-stop rain and sleet finally came to an end as we began packing up to move on from our unexpectedly amazing campstop at Allweglehen. Interesting to note that high season prices are €43 per night, or €15 per night for campervans parked at their bottom parking area. €12 off season was just fantastic and goes some way to explaining why we stayed 2 nights.

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Next to a wall of snow, Hallstatt

Heading off to Hallstatt our not-so-reliable GPS pointed us at the narrowest, most winding road possible. One immediate multi-point turn saw us again on the freeway, feeling safer, travelling faster, and for the loss of 5 minutes. I’m a big fan of GPS …

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Next to the road to Hallstatt

The drive to Hallstatt took us along a winding road that climbed steadily to around 1500m. I’d heard that the Austrian Alps had a good dumping of snow over winter, but in many areas it was still meters thick. That, together with blue skies and steadily increasing temperatures made for a great drive – and at little less than 90 minutes on the road was well within my current capabilities. Where are the days of 800km a stretch – well gone, that’s where!

Hallstatt looks gorgeous. Settled for over 7000 years and the site of the world’s oldest salt mines – which we are visiting tomorrow – the area is rich in history. The town itself is tiny, and unbelievably packed with tourists, even though tourist season is months off. Again glad to be doing this in March!

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We wound our way through one-way streets (2 way traffic, but really, only 0ne-way!) looking for an overnight stop – no luck. The campground in town looked like this:

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Camping ground Hallstatt – one disadvantage of touring in March!

So we’ve ended up in a parking area for busses outside town. No complaints, it’s free, 20 minutes walk to town, off the road, is actually signposted as a parking area for busses and campervans (it does indicate no camping, but I think that means tents …). The very calm lake is just behind us with a flotilla od ducks passing by, a wall of cliff in front, sun setting behind red-tinged mountains, moon rising in a crystal blue sky … ahhhhh!

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