Footloose in AUSTRIA - Hallstatt and Salzburg
Trip Start Sep 01, 2004
18Trip End Ongoing
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Debra's Filming Diary ~ June 2005 We arrived at Hallstatt the traditional way, by bus & train from Salzburg and rolled our cases down the path to the jetty to find the ferry just gliding towards us. It gave us time to catch our breath - the view of Hallstatt across the water had well and truly taken it away. It really is picture perfect; nary a ripple on the pristine lake, the spire of the Protestant church narrow and dark above its white body
Kätte Höll was in charge, a charming and lively woman who instantly made us feel welcome. Once we were introduced to her father, Herr Höll, and saw the family photographs of him with his dog and walking stick high up on alms or snowline, we realised we had found a fellow walker. And what a walker he was! If he felt inclined, he would take parties of guests out on guided walks into the Dachstein mountains, and I had no doubt whatsoever that he would easily outstrip most of them and barely miss a breath either. He used to take Kätte hunting, and his pride in her was very evident. It required no discussion; we must have him in our film and we feel his interview was a great contribution to it
The local tourist office were more than helpful, and provided us with introductions to the famous Salt Mine and also the Dachstein Caves. Claudia introduced us to Ulrike, a town guide, and we had such a good time with her. Her sense of humour was mischievous, which suits mine, so we got on like a house on fire, which I suppose is bit of a non-pc thing to say as 35 houses were destroyed in the village in their Great Fire. Anyway, we thoroughly enjoyed walking and talking with her. They all know each other, it's such a small place, and Mia was another guide at the Salt Mine, who was very good. The Salt Mine really is a 'great day out' - Mia didn't rush us along, we all had time to lick the walls and touch and poke things, and the slides were of course the main event. It is unnerving just launching yourself on these things; it's been such a long time since I went down a slide on the 'recreation ground' (they've all got worthy names now, haven't they? They're not the 'reccy' anymore.) with my little son clamped firmly between my knees. But you can't get out of it - be warned - and it isn't that bad, you can go down in tandem if you want, but of course, we couldn't do that because Dave needed to film. The little train that brought us out was sweet, and as I'm partial to any kind of train, it was a fun way to end the visit.
You really do need several days in Hallstatt to do it justice. If you just wander around the pretty squares, admire the houses and do a little meander along the upper old route you will only skim the surface. The Hallstatt museum is very good, but all the information boards in and out of the cases were in German only when we went, which rather lessens the effect because you only then get an impression from the artifacts instead of an in-depth version
I like the slight sloppiness of Austria versus the rigid perfection of Switzerland; the waymarking signs were rustic and sometimes nailed up anyhow, and although the houses were all neat and tidy, there were untidy bits or less perfect parts that endeared you rather more to their ways
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