Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Hallstatt Salt Mine

We’ve been blasting through all these tourist attractions! The money keeps flying out of our wallets, but I really enjoy seeing all the different things. It’s not every day that we’re in Austria, and can visit Europe’s oldest Salt Mine! Salt has been mined in Hallstatt since 600 BC. I can’t even imagine how different things must have been then.

The last part of the drive there reminded me a little bit of the road trip to Oregon we made in 2007. Just driving through beautiful woods down towards the water. Hallstatt is located right a lake and a steep mountain, so in order to keep the traffic out, they have carved a tunnel right behind the city. Somehow this caused us to miss the entire town (we weren’t smart enough to leave our car in the parking lot and just walk into town)

We’re been in several types of cable cars now. This one was on a sort of track instead of hanging from a cable. As we were walking up the path, we heard someone say something like: “watch out what you say, they may be Canadian”. Of course the kids were quick in correcting them, and soon Sterling was playing/teasing with the little girl. It turns out, these people are from Durango. Our ultimate dream location. We started chatting, and ended up spending the rest of the afternoon with Laurien, Betsy, and her parents. Maybe we’ll be neighbors if we ever get to move to Durango.When you say something has been turned “touristy”, you might as well use the salt mines as a definition. It reminded me a little bit of Disney World. But in a fun way. At the beginning of the tour they give each person a mining costume. After you walk 300 meters into the mountain through a small tunnel
You take a slide down deeper into the mountain, where they have a light show over an underground lake.
After taking another tunnel down even deeper, and seeing a 3000 year old mineshaft
You finally get on a tiny little train that takes you back out of the mountain
All together very well put together. Not too cheesy, and a smidge dangerous; which always add a plus point. Speaking of dangerous; Betsy had seen a rock face with ladders on the way up, and wanted to check it out. This trail was way too dangerous of the kids, so Joe stayed behind while Betsy and I explored. A cable was secured into trees and rocks, for an extra safeguard on the small trail right next to a death drop.
It was a great adrenaline rush, and I was a little bummed out when we had to turn back in lou of time, and mortal danger. On the way back we saw a little memorial for a guy who had died on this trail. Serious business!

No comments:

Share buttons