Having traded in a leisurely morning, sunbathing atop a snowy mountain, we headed onwards, and did not regret it.
Despite knowing that we’d be unable to ascend the mountains surrounding Hallstatt to the ‘Five Fingers’ viewing platform, we headed onwards through the stunning scenery to the UNESCO site.
Although we loved visiting Austria at this time of year (often having entire tourist sites almost to ourselves and frequently avoiding fees for said sites) there were a few things that, sadly, we were unable to do. This was one of them.
Regardless, the town of Hallstatt and the singular finger viewing platform were well worth the stop off.
As a kid holidaying in Scarborough, East Yorkshire, I loved travelling on the FUNicular that resides on the seafront there, and since Adam and I have been together we’ve developed a penchant for ensuring that we take a ride on any that we come across, all around the world.
This was no exception, and so we paid the (somewhat excessive) fee of 19 Euros to take us skywards. We were rewarded by stunning views of Hallstattersee, encompassed by snow topped mountains and shimmering in the haze of the blazing sun above.
Given the heat, combined with the amount of walking (and dancing!) that we ended up doing that day, the 19 Euros (return) was definitely worth it, but if you’re enjoying a more leisurely holiday, there is an option to walk up the gradual and relatively gentle slopes toward the top. There is also a Salt Mine Museum up there that you can explore for an additional fee.
There was also a lovely looking bar/restaurant just above the viewing platform, with lots of sun-soaked benches outside that we considered grabbing a drink or bite to eat at, but as we’d had a fairly extensive breakfast included at out B&B that morning, we had a leisurely rest on one of the public benches instead.
Despite the fact that it was shoulder season, and most places were fairly deserted, this was the one exception. It was fairly hectic, up top and in the village, so I can only imagine how mad it can get in the summer months. This might be something you want to bear in mind when planning a trip.
Heading there in the morning or afternoon might help avoid the crowds and I’m sure the sunrises and sunsets would be worth an early morning!
Returning back to ground level we proceeded to explore the picturesque town below, enjoying the stunning and varied architecture and imagining buying one of the stunning house as well as a shop in the touristy village.
We were also lucky enough to enjoy the beautiful cherry blossom that was just beginning to bloom, against the stunning backdrop of the lake:
We bobbed into the church, Adam and I shared a portion of chips in the park and they boys played on the most beautifully placed swing set I’ve ever seen!
I even got to dangle my feet in the lake, much to the astonishment of those around: as the water was freezing cold, despite the heat of the sun!
Despite how relaxing a visit it felt, we were soon off again to our penultimate destination: Krimmler Wasserfalle- only six months late! More on that in a couple of days :).