The Famous Bucket Lid of Hallstatt

Trip Start Jul 25, 2012
Trip End Aug 18, 2012

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Flag of Austria  , Upper Austria,
Tuesday, August 7, 2012

After waiting in all day for the windscreen repair men of doom, who didn't turn up, we decided we would go out anyway and if they called, then we would arrange a time and place for repair. Mum called the UK number every couple of hours, but nobody called us.

We drove down to Hallstatt, very carefully. It is a vertical town, sandwiched between cliffs and a lake. It is beautiful and appears on most Austrian calendars and other scenic offerings. It grew up around a salt mine, and became famous in archaeological terms because of the masses of prehistoric graves that have been discovered, thanks to the mining endeavours.

Modern Hallstatt still has a problem with burials due to the lack of flat, non-rocky ground to put people in. Consequently, when you die in Hallstatt you only get to occupy your grave for a decade or so before they dig you up, wash you off and paint your skull with leaves and flowers. The Charnel House - or Bone House - has about 1200 skulls in it. The skulls have their names and date of demise painted on them, as well as foliage. Roses symbolise love, oak leaves glory, laurel leaves victory and ivy life.

We went for some apple strudel after we found Saskia, who had wandered off while we were looking for an elephant for Mel's collection. Mel and Donny weren't that keen on the cinnamon, so Nick ended up eating three portions, with cream. After that we walked/ waddled off to the museum.

The museum turned out to be a very interesting journey through time from the first settlers in the area to the modern salt-mining techniques. The many excavated graves found in the area featured heavily, as did many mining remnants preserved by the saltiness of the rocks. One display talked us through some of the highlights in English. It referred to the "Famous Bucket Lid of Hallstatt", something I was keen to see. Unfortunately, despite Mel painfully reading every label on every display in the entire museum, the famous bucket lid was not mentioned again. I can only assume it is currently away, on loan to some other museum in the world. I'm sorry I missed it.

It was quite late when we finally extracted Mel from his quest to retain all knowledge of salt mining history. We caught a shuttle taxi back to our Park and Ride and drove back through the very long tunnels and round the lakes to Vöcklabruck. The Sat Nav struggled with getting a signal and repeatedly transported us from one road to another to the middle of the lake as it tried to fix our position. Luckily we worked it out.
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rachelkw on

I did some research and discovered that the Famous Bucket Lid of Hallstatt is in Vienna. Gol darn it. Next time, ok, next time.

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