This morning was cool and drizzly, but the rain complements the landscape at Hallstattersee. The clouds are all beneath the mountaintops, creating a fascinatingly beautiful albeit soaking effect. I saunter over to the rail station and hop on my meandering ride to Zell am See. The train ride went through rain and clouds (literally) and also traveled beneath clear blue skies on a few occasions. At some points in the 5 hour voyage it was almost unbearably hot, and at other points it was freezing cold. ...All without too much significant change in elevation; it's just how the weather patterns work, I suppose.
I am also becoming convinced that the majority of Austria is populated entirely by girls about 12 - 13 yrs old ... without fail, every stop on every train outside of Wien has involved the embarkation or disembarkation of a mass of shrieking lasses. Despite not knowing a word of the language, by the next station I think I could probably piece together every aspect there is to know of whatever boy their current clique's infatuation is.
Zell am See is a lakeside town bigger than those along the Hallstattersee, but still quite small at only a couple blocks wide. The town and lake are pretty, though no where near Hallstattersee.
After first hiking up the wrong road, I found the Hubertus Pension and was warmly greeted by the owners. The family which owns this gasthof is exceptionally nice and offers me more and more cake every time they see me. I even drank a cup of coffee since I would have felt bad to have passed it up (and let it be known that I am still a tea person -- how do people drink that stuff?! I ended up loading it with more cream than coffee.
I walked around about a third of the Zeller Lake before turning to walk back because my umbrella was becoming a hassle to manage once I began walking into the wind. I had managed to soak my feet and thighs, but not my shins. The lake could probably be circumnavigated within about 3 hours, and I’m sure it would be a lovely walk if it weren’t for the wet headwind I was facing on the southeastern portion.
For fans of the Band of Brothers miniseries (or of the real pursuits of Easy Company, of course), this town is where the company was based in Austria. It is where Cpt. Winters is seen diving into a lake – which would be the lake along which the town is situated.