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Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Hallstatt - Day 1

I'm staying in a Gasthof (pictured in the centre of the photo below) just off the main square - very pretty with it's ivy coated and flower filled balconies. The staff are dressed in "traditional" garb - lederhosen for the guys and those frilly dresses for the girls.

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I get a few strange looks because I've booked their "best room with a view" and I'm there by myself. It's pretty much as the photos showed - double doors onto a balcony with views across the rooftops to the water.

I've taken the next two shots late in the afternoon but it should give you a good idea of the view that the room has.

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By now it's nearing 2.30 so I opt for a little exploration combined with lunch. Now, what else could one eat but schnitzel!

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It was tasty, the crumbs very crispy, the meat tender. It was amusing though to see one of the gasthof staff members walk past - almost unrecognisable in miller shirt and jeans! You mean they don't normally wear lederhosen and it's like a costume! Who would have thought?

After lunch I take a trip along the main road - and am almost run over by Captain Bargearse. Actually I'm more than surprised by the number of cars being driven through the town - I always had the impression from what I've read that it was kinda car free.

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There are a couple of churches in town, this one on the ground level is the Protestant Church (Evangelische Christuskirche) and one higher up is the Catholic Church (The Catholic Parish Church) - I'm not quite sure how to get up there but I'll leave that for the next day, depending on how I feel.

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This photo is taken around the dock area - that yellow building is derelict but beyond it you can see the retaining wall that's directly below that higher church.

Hallstatt is very pretty, with it's many lanes and pathways and coursing waters, it's flower filled wooden balconies and brightly coloured buildings and old stone homes
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These two shots (above and below) are taken from the outskirts of town - there's a major road here and tunnels that go through the mountains - it's a very busy road indeed.

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You'll also read that you can walk all of Hallstatt in 5 minutes - obviously they didn't include all the time it would take to walk to the upper reaches of Hallstatt
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following the multitude of paths that criss-cross the mountain side.

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There's no doubting that Hallstatt is postcard worthy (that tower with the pointy steeple - that belongs to the Protestant church)
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These are buildings that lie across the waters of the Hallstatter See - I don't know anything else about them, except they look nice.
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There's one thing I discovered during my walk - they don't have a chemist! I've had to resort to supermarket strength lozenges to try to combat this cold and cough I have.

Just before calling it a day I take a shot of the Trinity monument that lies in the little square (Marktplatz) near the hotel.

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I decided to stay in-house for dinner and dined downstairs in the restaurant

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First course is a rarity - the caviar of the Hallstatt Fish. For a rarity it's served in an enormously generous portion. I don't think I even managed to eat half of it. It was quite tasty though different in texture and taste to what one would consider "normal" caviar like Osetra or Sevruga. Colour-wise it resembled scrambled eggs and had quite a buttery taste.

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Main course was steak with a crumbed topping and assorted vegetables. This dish was just a little too salty.

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The meal was finished off with a bowl of fruit salad - probably not as fresh as it could have been which explained the overuse of icing sugar to hide the browning fruit.

Verdict - the caviar was interesting.

You can find more photos from today by clicking on the link
Hallstatt Set

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