No wonder that the word has spread like wildfire about this cozy little Austrian village nestled in the heart of Salzburger land, about an hour and a half south of Salzburg. It's got it all - typical Austrian charm, a deep blue lake, tall mountains that surround it from all sides, and even a salt mine cave up on a hill that overlooks the valley below and be reached by a steep ride on the cable car.
Hallstatt is so picturesque that they even built a copy of it in China..so don't be surprised to see lots of Asian buses if you go to visit.
The village itself is relatively small - we were able to see it in a couple of hours walking at a leisurely pace and stopping to take pictures.
After strolling through Hallstatt and stopping by the lake for a swim (Simi) and a beer (Subby), we found another place that is almost even more beautiful and a lot less touristy - Lake Gosau (Gosausee).
The water was wonderfully refreshing but those views are simply the most magical views one can see while swimming, all the while hearing the cow bells in the background.
"The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why." - Mark Twain