Alex's Alliterative Adventures

Thoughts on Programming, Life, and Travel

Austria 3 – Ice Caves and Salt Mine

September 24, 2008

This morning started with a visit to the Höhlenwelt ice caves in the Dach Stein. We rode a cable car above the cloud line, coming to a stop about 1500m above sea level, above the first layer of clouds.

We hiked our way to the ice caves, a system of caves where the cold winter air and plentiful spring meltwater generate a yearlong supply of ice, which goes hand with massive caves formed by thousands of years of erosion.

The clouds had cleared by the time we returned to the surface, which made for a great drive to the nearby town of Hallstatt, where we visited a saltmine. They had not one, but two slides.

We trod down the mountain side, passing a number of outdoor material elevators the mountain folk use to send their groceries home.

We spent some time walking through the small town, eating scrumptious homemade ice cream and listening to a faintly played tuba melody. We saw local children feeding waterfowl in the lake’s edge of their backyard, and we saw some bizarre water-art.

I also found the world’s greatest hat. It was almost worth the 80 euros they were charging.

We arrived home tired and famished, and gorged ourselves on home cooked Austrian dishes. Food always tastes better after a day of activity. We drank Sturm with our meal, an Austrian treat I discovered at the restaurant last night. It’s kind of like a premature wine. It tastes non-alcoholic, like juice, but it has just as much alcohol as wine does. It’s the sort of dangerous beverage I can get behind.

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