July 23, 2010 12:00 AM

Communing With Nature In Austria's Hallstatt

It's rare that a town's charm will get me out of bed early. The postcard-pretty, lake-cuddling town of Hallstatt, two hours south of Salzburg, is one of those places. First thing in the morning, I head to the high end of town to look at the glassy waters of Lake Hallstatt. With the town's church spire mirrored in the tranquil water, a shuttle boat cuts through its reflection, like a knife putting a swirl in the icing on a big cake. For just a moment, it disturbs this oasis of peace.

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