Real Hallstatt or alternative Hallstatt??
So you know that fairytale village you've never heard of? The one that keeps showing up in your Instagram newsfeed as your favorite bloggers are hopping from one place to the next while you're stuck at your desk wishing you were somewhere else?
Turns out, it's a real place. Not only that, but it lives up to all the hype that your favorite bloggers are buzzing about. While the town is just as picturesque and perfect as it seems in photos, getting there is no easy feat. At 10:00 PM the night before we were .3 seconds away from calling the adventure off. Sitting in our Airbnb on our telephones, exhausted from the day's (unpredictable) journey to Salzburg, we couldn't find reliable transportation companies and were on the verge of canceling the one trip we had been looking forward to for months.
We [reluctantly] bought tickets through OBB (which hadn't proven to be our friend up to this point) and worked out a way. Cliché as the saying is, "if there's a will, there's a way." And we found it. Two buses, a train, a ferry ride (which made the whole deal worth it), and two and a half hours later, we washed ashore to the opposite side of the lake onto the ferry dock at Hallstatt's entrance.
Hallstatt is a historic salt-mining town, built onto the side of a mountain that leads to the old mines. Each road is slightly more elevated than the last, with stairs and steep paths as you climb to explore the following. The roads are narrow, bordered with vines growing up the rock walls and water flowing down them. Repeating how much this resembles a real life fairytale village just doesn't do it justice.
But for all that's said about this wonderful place, it's not unique. Nope, there is a town in China that looks JUST like Hallstatt. Why? Because there was just an obsession with Hallstatt by Chinese tourists that they decided to build one of their own. No joke. So now I leave you with the question, yet again: Real Hallstatt or alternative Hallstatt?