Drive to Hallstatt
Hallstatt Travel Blog› entry 6 of 7 › view all entries
Today we drove to Hallstatt! Turned out to be somewhat of an adventure....
We took a taxi to the airport to rent our car (prearranged via internet). No problems with Avis at all, no extra charge for an additional driver. We ended up getting a BMW X3 SUV (weird since we had requested the smallest car they had online to save on money, but nice because, well, the X3 is nice!)! We rented a GPS to be on the safe side, since our maps of the roads in Austria were LESS than sufficient. Our GPS turned out to have a voice named Mandy, whom Jesse said sounded a little on the seductive side... haha.
No problems right at first (I was driving, Jesse navigating). Took a wrong turn or two and then waited for the GPS to turn us around or take us a different route. WELL....... good ol' Mandy decided to take us on a few "roads" that were more like footpaths. Literally. Hahahaha. It was NOT funny at the time (rather scary, actually) but now it seems pretty funny. :)
Once we arrived (after a BEAUTIFUL drive) to Hallstatt, we parked at the little grocery and walked down (without our luggage) to the hotel to get our parking lot pass. We had a hard time parking as almost all the lots were full (including the only two which were free with our hotel). We ended up having to park in the farthest lot, pay like 4 euro, and ride a shuttle to get back. :( All in all, however, it could have gone much worse.
Our hotel is right across the little road (and I mean little - big enough only for one European sized car) from the lake! We have a beautiful room and a tiny little adorable balcony on the 3rd floor that overlooks the lake and the hotel's outdoor restaurant/cafe. After getting settled in, we wandered around the small town just to see what we could see (found an ATM, always important, and a little place to rent electric boats for the lake) and just enjoyed the more relaxed pace. There were tourists everywhere, but we knew their numbers would dwindle as the day ended.
We ate lunch at a cafe a little ways down from the hotel - had frankfurters and giant beers, and our first kaiserschmaren for dessert (sort of like a giant pancake with plum sauce and whipped cream - delicious!) I can guarantee that this will NOT be the last. Haha!
After lunch we lazed around in the room (did we take a nap today? I can't remember) and enjoyed the view from our windows and balcony! We literally didn't do anything else all day until dinner. It was WONDERFUL. Actually, I read a book, but that doesn't count.
Dinner was at their little restaurant on the water. I could not have asked for a more beautiful setting. Perfect weather, gorgeous lake with mountains, yummy food.... even a little cat prowling around looking for scraps (I always love seeing kitties on vacation)! I tried the carrot/orange soup and really enjoyed it. Creamy (there was real cream in it) and a little sweet. YUM. Jesse got chicken schnitzel, which he said was like a large, flat chicken finger -haha. It was probably his favorite meal so far (he really likes chicken fingers). And of course we got beer again (oh, excuse me: BIER). We tried quarkstrudel for dessert - quark is a European soft cheese. It was almost like a very slightly sweet cheesecake in a pastry. Another YUM. Jesse is already begging me to learn how to make pastries. Ha.
We're relaxing in the room again - such great weather here (just a tad cool, which is excellent). Can't wait for tomorrow - I think we might try out one of those electric boats on the lake!