On November 4th, George, Alyssa, Mike, and I left our hotel by 4am to drop off the car for parking and took a shuttle to the airport (where I got yelled at again for opting for the pat-down). We grabbed breakfast in the airport and our flight left on time! Yay! We arrived in Salzburg, Austria early so that we could get our rental car and head for the mountains. The drive there was beautiful– I felt like I could almost see Heidi on a mountaintop with her grandfather and her friend Peter. (If you’ve never seen the classic Shirley Temple movie or read the book by Johanna Spyri, you’ll have no idea what I’m talking about..)
After about an hour drive, we arrived at our destination for the next two nights, Hallstatt, Austria. Hallstatt was sunny, clear, and gorgeous! We made our way to our hotel and then headed out to find lunch only to discover that most of the restaurants either were closed for the season or weren’t open for lunch. Luckily we found a little place right across from our hotel that served pizzas. After lunch our rooms were ready. We stayed at the Seehotel Duner Baum Boutiquehotel. It was a great hotel and both our rooms were huge with balconies overlooking the town square.
We then headed through the town up to a lookout point near the historic salt mines that the city is known for. Up until recently, you could only get to the town by boat until a tunnel was dug through the side of the mountain to allow for car traffic. We paid to take the tram up the side of the mountain above Hallstatt and we were not disappointed in the view. We had coffee and tea at a little café on top of the mountain but decided to forgo the additional cost to tour the salt mine. Although we did all find some salt-related souvenirs in the gift shop!
Once we got back to the village, we walked through to the other side to see the view from there, which the village is best known for.
For dinner, we decided on eating at our hotel, since they were known to be the best restaurant around. The food was good, not great but we had a nice dinner together. After dinner we wanted to check out the included spa located in the top floor of our hotel. They had a sauna and a steam room. George, Mike, and Alyssa enjoyed the spa while I read and we all relaxed. It all felt very “Alp-y”. 🙂
The next morning, we didn’t really have anything planned for the day in advance so after a huge, delicious breakfast at our hotel, we decided to drive to Germany and go up a mountain over there to see the view of the village Koingssee. The town was small and mostly closed for the season but the views from the mountain were good and the restaurant at the top was nice. We paid to take a ski gondola up and down the mountain and from the top you could see the Eagle’s Nest which was known as Hitler’s summer house and was a gift to him from the Nazi Party. Had the Eagle’s Nest been open (it’s now a restaurant) we would have loved to go there instead, but seeing it from the neighboring mountain was cool too.
After our mountain-top excursion, poor George white-knuckle drove back to Hallstatt on the dark, rainy, winding, mountain roads and we grabbed dinner from a food cart outside our hotel for dinner.