Hallstatt, often labeled as one of the most beautiful small towns in Europe and one long been in my radar, turned out to be the biggest letdown of this trip so far. While it had so many things going for it – alpine lake location, soaring snow-capped mountains, easy enough accessibility, small-town feel and architecture – it was completely overshadowed by the throngs of tourists that made the whole place look like Florida Spring Break. A victim of its own marketing, it was absolutely overrun with tourists even on this Christmas day, which I was hoping was a reason for most people to stay in after a long night of celebrating. Trying to find the classic viewing spot seen in most postcard images was torturous and I should have known I was in for a huge letdown after having to search for parking quite away from the center, and wading through short, loud, ugly-dressed tourists just to get in and around the area. I’m absolutely hard pressed to talk about it much less recommend it to anyone and I can only imagine how even more of an abomination it would get when it’s in peak busy season. Thank god we had seen Achensee the day before, there are a luckily other options in Austria out there.