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Exploring the charming town of Hallstatt

By Madeleine Fuselier

 

The Orange Leader

Hi there! I am a life-long Orangeite who is currently living in Paris. I am spending this year teaching English, improving my French, and exploring France (and some of its neighboring countries) before heading to college this fall. Keep reading to find out what’s been going on “Meanwhile With Madeleine.” Thanks for allowing me to share my adventures with you!

Yesterday morning I woke up in Vienna and had my last breakfast of cake and coffee before boarding a train to the charming town of Hallstatt.

Hallstatt is a tiny village of fewer than 1,000 residents. It is situated on Lake Hallstatt in the Dachstein Mountains of Austria. It is the oldest village in Austria and home to the oldest salt mine in the world.

After some minor difficulties navigating the train system (we missed the stop for one of our transfers), my friend Rachel and I finally made it to a ferry that brought us from the train station to town. I’m almost glad we ended up arriving later than planned because the view of the village from across the lake was a magical thing to see at twilight.

Upon exiting the boat, we went straight into the very first restaurant we saw. The food was excellent. The Schweinsbraten (roast beef) we shared really hit the spot after a long day of travel.

Today we woke up to a beautiful view of the mountains and had a quick breakfast at our hotel. Rachel hadn’t been feeling well since yesterday and was in desperate need of some medicine. After looking around for a while, we stopped at a cafe to grab a coffee and to ask where we could find a pharmacy. There, we were informed that there were no pharmacies in Hallstatt. The nice lady at the counter told us that the only place to get medicine was from the town doctor. We left the cafe and went directly to the doctor’s office only to find that it wasn’t open at all on Wednesdays. Apparently, the doctor is only in for half a day out of the entire week, and there is nowhere else in town to buy any kind of medicine. Moral of the story: I think I’ll be packing a well-stocked first aid kit next time I make plans to visit Hallstatt.

Aside from that experience, our short stay in Hallstatt was wonderful. We spent some time wandering through the tiny streets and had a nice lunch outside. The weather was perfect, the lake was crystal clear, and the mountains were covered with snow. We sat at the edge of the lake for a while just taking it all in and watching the swans and ducks swim by. After spending lots of time in big cities lately, it was really refreshing to be surrounded by so much natural beauty.