Home of the White Gold: Salzkammergut

Entrance to the salt mine visitor center, along with a funny cut-out of a miner who appeared to “guide” us at various points.

Welcome to the oldest working salt mine in the world, from the Celtic era. And yes, they have found some pretty cool remains over the years.

Waiting for our turn to board the funicular railway up the mountain.

The previous bunch of 25 visitors are boarded.

Ready to glide up the rail.

Whoa! Good thing there’s room for the car going down and the car coming up to pass each other at just the right point.

The Rudolfsturm, a medieval building that served as the mine foreman’s house at times, and today, our restaurant for lunch.

Steps to the observation platform near our lunch table.

Birds-eye view of Hallstatt.

D’s bride!

Our view for lunch; one we will enjoy the rest of our lives.

There’s the far side of the lake, along with the road through town, on the right.

We’re in Central Europe, so it’s time for some savory goulash.

Hiking through green, fresh woods.

High elevation means we’re going to stop for a pretty flower.

To enter the mines, visitors wear rugged and funny-colored canvas smocks and pants. It’s good not only for the cool temperatures inside, but the clay and moisture you bump into, and the wood slides the miners would use to descend rapidly to the depths.

In we go!

That entrance is getting pretty far away, as we walk deeper into the mine.

Time to go deeper. Slide!

The almost-runaway mine train that our group of visitors straddled to clatter and race out of a tunnel and into the sunlight, and the end of our tour.

Forest stream.

More forest.

Time to go back down to the valley, and this is where D wondered aloud about “the brakes on this thing.”

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