Hallstatt and Berlin

One of the most well-known places in Austria is the small town of Hallstatt in Upper Austria. It is especially popular among Chinese tourists since they have a Hallstatt of their own; a whole city built to be a replica of the Austrian Hallstatt. 

Lake Hallstat with clouds and mountains in the distance.
The weather was perfect although it was still cold

After weekends of travel outside of Austria, Kara and I finally found some time to visit Hallstatt for the weekend. We took a train to the nearby city of Obertraun and stayed in an Airbnb in that area.

Hallstatt itself is a small town and the number of tourists they get is sometimes more than the town can handle.

2 female students in front of lake Hallstatt.
Kara and me in front of Lake Hallstatt

The views in this area of Austria are amazing. We decide to go around November, which meant that the area did get some snow but only in the mountains. The result became fall with a touch of winter wonderland.

View from the train to Obertraun of tall buildings with cloud covered mountains in the background.
View from the train to Obertraun

The town itself was not full as full of tourists as we thought it would have been. But I think we were just lucky going during the “off-season.” One of the most iconic and recognizable buildings in Hallstatt is the church which towers over the lake.


single standing piece of Berlin wall with a skyscraper in the background
The left was east Berlin and the right was the west.

The weekend after that we made the trip to Berlin, Germany. The problem with choosing a place to go to in Germany is it’s so big that it’s hard to choose one place. However, the capital of a country is always a good place to start. I was excited to be visiting Berlin mainly because of its history. We had learned so much about WWII in class and Berlin was a city full of both remembrance and exploration; especially surrounding the Berlin Wall.

sign that reads "you are leaving the American sector" in English, Russian, French, and German
Sign warning people in English, Russian, French, and German that they were leaving the American sector

Check Point Charlie was an interesting take on the American perspective of the conditions with the allies after the war. Again, it was great to be able to see all these places I learned about in real life, it made understanding the history and its importance more rewarding. One of my favorite things we did in Berlin was visit the DDR Museum, an interactive museum about the lifestyle lived in East Germany.

three women in front of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany
Us in front of the Brandenburg Gate

Studying abroad is an experience unlike any other. The classes I have taken along with the trips I have taken have really allowed me to understand history, culture, and global relations with deeper consideration for them.