Monday, July 2, 2007

AT - Obertraun

On Monday I left for Obertraun - Dachstein, located on the Hallstattersee and in the legendary Salzkammergut. This has got to be among the most beautiful regions in Austria... just amazing. Everyone must visit the Hallstattersee at least once in their lifetime.

Obertraun is a tiny town completely encircled by mountains, though it has the Hallstattersee (lake) to the west. For the nerds reading: my first impression was that this would make a perfect Gondolin. To the southeast is the tallest of the mountains, Dachstein, where my lodging, Gasthof Dachsteinhof, was located right at the foot of it. The light rain on my arrival was like a soft shower and it was about a mile to reach my gasthof. Fortunately, it was easy to find (there are basically only 3 roads in Obertraun).

Along the way, I noticed that the stormwater system is open in a number of areas such that people have direct access from their homes. I suppose it makes sense: this water is about as clean as it gets: fresh from the sky.

My gasthof keeper was not particularly inviting at first, but warmed up once I stuck around for dinner. I unloaded my gear and had a massive dinner of garlic soup, Wiener schnitzel, apfelstrudel, salad, and some cake thing in vanilla sauce. I was starving and it was extremely tasty. My room was traditionally decorated and had a spectacularly comfortable bed, with complete darkness outside (the mountains & clouds hid the moon) and the sound of a babbling brook all night.

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