travel

Wolfgangsee & Hallstatt, Austria

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We did a day trip to both Wolfgangsee and Hallstatt. Wolfgangsee was on the way to Hallstatt, so we didn’t have to do any detours.

Wolfgangsee

It was a such a beautiful day. I remember it so vividly because the sun was bright and the sky was in the shade of azure. It was 18°C and I only had on a jumper. The road trip to Wolfgangsee was accompanied with tid bits, soft drinks and a 90s pop song playlist. Our (Nazeef’s and mine) lips hummed in unison subconsciously as we take in the outrageously picture-perfect scenery of our surrounding. I remember muttering to myself “SubhanAllah, how beautiful” a few times. It was unreal. Hills after hills, lakes after lakes – mixtures of green, blue, yellow, brown. So vast, endless, as though the scenery was a moving painting you see in museums. We had a hard time keeping our mouths close throughout the journey to Wolfgangsee because we were in awe.

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It only took about an hour to reach Wolfgangsee from Salzburg. At first we didn’t know where to park, there weren’t any allocated parking spots for visitors. Because there were houses by the lake, we almost parked illegally within a house compound. Thankfully we did find a parking spot, in a small field by the lake.

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Wolfgangsee was one of my favourite spots of the #nzfnzleurope trip. The lake was crystal clear, the surrounding peaceful and still. Calm waves lapped against the brim rhythmically, soothing to be heard. Small ripples formed on the smooth, vast surface with every step we took on the jetty. The lake was the colour of turquoise – so clear you can literally count the pebbles on the bottom of the lake. The air was clean, fresh – a delight to one’s respiratory system.

Wherever we looked, we were overwhelmed with the beauty of nature. I myself had to fight the urge to take a deep plunge into the lake to submerge myself. Turn myself into a mermaid or something (is there such thing as a muslimah mermaid lol)(oh here’s a joke: What does a muslimah mermaid wear? A BUR-kini. Geddit? Hahahahhaa) I honestly didn’t want to leave. The weather was perfect for a picnic sesh which we regretfully did not consider before coming. I practically sulked and dragged my feet to the car when Nazeef said we needed to hit the road. I really, really recommend everyone to take some time to visit Wolfgangsee. It is worth it, I promise.

Hallstatt

If Wolfgangsee was my favourite spot, Hallstatt would be Nazeef’s. As mentioned previously, I have an affinity with buildings with historical values, but Nazeef has a huge affinity with nature’s surroundings. He loves going to places with amazing sceneries ie mountain, lakes, cliffs, the ocean etc. So Hallstatt was the perfect place for him. A two hours drive from Salzburg, Hallstatt is a village in Austria’s mountainous Salzkammergut region. Wherever we go, we were surrounded by rocky mountains – which made the mood gloomy and sombre. It was colder in Hallstatt, so we had to wear more layers.

The main attractions for Hallstatt are their salt mines and viewing platform. There are two viewing platforms: the 5 “fingers” and the Hallstatt Skywalk ‘WORLD HERITAGE VIEW’. But the 5 “fingers” was closed so we went for the latter. The parking spot was about five minutes away by foot from the entrance. Once arrived we were told that we can’t go for the salt mine tour because only children above 4 years old are allowed. So we bought the tickets for the funicular railway which costed €16 for return rides.

To reach the skywalk, we hiked for about 5 minutes. My heart was beating wildly in my chest as I pass through each checkpoints. Even the path leading towards the skywalk showed hints of breathtaking view, and I was ecstatic to reach the end. When we finally did, I was blown away. The view was STUNNING. I could not emphasize enough (note the capslocked word? That’s the best I can do). I think we were all stunned and rooted to our spot because the view was spectacular. As I watch the crepuscular rays beam from the sky towards the valley, feel the hollow wind blew harshly against my skin, I was hit by an intangible feeling of longing. The feeling of looking at photographs vs looking at it through your own two eyes… indescribable.

I think we spent a long time at the skywalk taking gazillion photos and just resting our chins at the platform, sighing at the beautiful sight.

After descending, we took our car and headed to Hallstatter See located next to the town of Hallstatt. The scenery looked like it was cut out from a postcard! The village looked as though it was glued together to the lake; almost as if their existence was codependent. The reflection of the village mirrored at the surface of the lake, creating an illusion.

The trip to both Wolfgangsee and Hallstatt was a feast to our eyes. There’s a feeling of accomplishment in our hearts as we head back to our hotel. The sightings that we encountered will forever be embedded in our minds, and no matter how much the memory tries to erase itself overtime, I will not allow it. “To travel is to live” – this saying makes so much sense. If a memory of you traveling makes you feel so much more alive, it should motivate you to do more of it.

Wolfgangsee and Hallstatt, checked! Up next on the blog: Český Krumlov and Prague.

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