Thursday, April 21, 2016

Hallstatt and the Brine Pipeline Trail

Our original plan was to sleep in Bad Ischl for 3 nights, excurting to Hallstatt one day and hiking The Schafberg the other full day. But the weather forecast for the 2nd day called for rain and highs in the 40's F, so we cut the third night from the schedule and on our one full day excurted to Hallstatt then walked back towards Bad Ischl on a 10 km segment of the Soleweg or Brine Pipeline Trail. Hallstatt was beautiful as expected; the Brine Pipeline Trail was soooo good that we rate it as one-of-the-best-walks-ever!

Logistics for the day:
- Train from Bad Ischl to Hallstatt Station.
- Boat from Hallstatt Station to Hallstatt.
- Walk up to the Unseco Viewing Platform.
- Walk on the Brine Pipeline Trail to Steeg-Gosau Station.
- Train to Bad Ischl.

View from train approaching Hallstatt Station.
Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

Crossing the Lake to HallStatt.
Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

The cozy main square.
Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

There were lots of Asian tourists in Hallstatt.
Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

The views were tremendously good across the lake has we headed up to the UNESCO Viewing Platform directly above Hallstatt.
Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

An entrance to one of the many salt mines.
Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

Hallstatt, far below the trail switchbacks. Aside: Ever walk up, and up, to a viewpoint just to find that the actual view is blocked by trees and bushes from below that have grown up over the years? Not so in this part of Austria. They have perfect viewpoint management. ;-)
Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

The amazing, and free, Unesco Viewing Platform.
Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

We started down the Soleweg (Brine Pipeline Trail) on sets of metal stairs that seemed to have been slightly crushed by a falling tree. Later we saw that this section of the trail was closed. Yikes!
Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

The trail follows the pipeline that even today takes salt brine from the Hallstatt mines some fifty kilometers downhill to Ebensee for processing. Along the way we spotted pipes, from wood to plastic to metal.
Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

The trail continued to slope downward with great views of the lake and forest as we avoided the occasional avalanche and waterfall.
Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

Blazes and beech leaves.
Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

Whoops! Another closed section.
Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

As we approach Steeg-Gosau, the trail is just above the road and lake.
Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria

And finally we cross the Traun River and head to the train station.What a fine hike!
Bad Ischl & Hallstatt, Salzkammergut, Austria


3 comments:

Crash Eddy said...

For sure, most of the Blue Ridge Parkway overlooks are so overgrown that you can't view anything. We have preferred the Cherohala Skyway for exactly that reason but it, too, has become overgrown.

Crash Eddy said...

Google Maps photos include something named Photo Sphere. These are a 360 degree panorama which must be taken with a camera specifically meant for same. The PS from the Hallstatt ferry port gives a hint of the beautiful mountains surrounding the lake. Amazing how the camera can be in focus in 369 degrees.

Liz said...

Gorgeous views!