Dreaming in Austria

Photographers adore cliques  It’s true. A real living clique is like a stumbling on a movie set, or a dream crossing into reality. Majestic swans gliding on glassy mountain lakes, red flowers growing on windowsills, old skis stored above doorways, whimsical red balloons floating about for no reason – I never thought such things existed. At least, not all in the same place. Let me introduce you to Hallstatt, Austria, a ridiculously picturesque village in the Austrian Alps.

Hallstatt, Austria-2

Photography is often a quest to find order and harmony in the mis-matched mess of the real world. We strive for a carefully framed perspective with one central idea. But Hallstatt takes away all the hard word of avoiding gaudy billboards and neon signs. For a lover of classic European architecture, it is, more or less, visual perfection.

austria 3

This place so won the heart of a Chinese businessman that he sent a group  with measuring tapes and the charge to completely recreate this town in China. Believe it. And they’ve done incredibly well. But as with all Chinese knock-offs, it isn’t quite as good as the original. They can’t recreate the theatrical backdrop of alpine cliffs, the nearby salt mine and the very real history and culture of the people who are indigenous to this unique part of the world. 


Needless to say, I loved Hallstatt, but I couldn’t help thinking.. is this place for real? Is this where cliques are born?
Enjoy these images and trust me, no photoshop tricks necessary.

Hallstatt, Austria-14

Hallstatt, Austria-4


Hallstatt, Austria-17

Hallstatt, Austria-18


  1. Reply
    Amy Cherry Thursday, 7 November 2013

    Hi! I love your photos of Hallstatt Austria!
    What dates were you there? looks like fall. I am making a trip there & would love it to look just like it did in your pics, the colours are amazing!
    Thanks :) Amy

    • Reply
      Elyse Thursday, 7 November 2013

      Hi Amy,
      Travelling to Austria! Lucky you! I was there in early November. I think this day out was actually the 4th November. I hope you have a great time. Elyse.

  2. Reply
    Mary Luther Saturday, 15 July 2017

    My daughter and I are going to Salzburg end of August. Is this town pretty close? We are looking for quaint towns to stay in rather than the cities. Did you stay anywhere in town that you would recommend? Thanks for making the intro to this beautiful place!

    • Reply
      Elyse Tuesday, 18 July 2017

      Hi Mary,
      Yes, this gorgeous town is close to Salzburg. We went onto there for lunch later that day. I think it is about an hour drive, but I’m not sure. Hopefully Google will be able to tell you. I definitely recommend staying in Hallstatt if you can! Unfortunately I was travelling for work, so we stayed in Linz which is where the office was located. Sorry I can’t offer any accommodation recommendations. I do love Airbnb though. I use it whenever I travel. Have a great trip with your daughter. I’m jealous!

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