In 1734, the “Man in the Salt” was uncovered deep in the mountains above the Austrian village of Hallstatt. With a history dating back more than 7000 years, the Hallstatt salt mine is the oldest in the world. You can find out all about it on a guide tour of the mine (not recommended for the claustrophobic).
First, take the funicular from the village on a three-minute near-vertical ride to the Hallstatt upper valley, at 838 metres. Then there’s a short but steepish hike to the visitor centre, where you’ll be kitted out in colourful overalls to protect your clothes during the underground tour.
Deep in the mine, the highlight is getting from one level to another by way of long wooden slides; the longest is 64 metres. As you near the bottom, a camera takes your photo. You’ll be warned of this, but still, finding a smile rather than a scream was quite beyond me! The camera also measures your speed as you whizz by. For the faint-hearted, there are stairs beside the slide.
A Glass Half Full travelled to Halstatt as a guest of the Austrian National Tourist Board.