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Old 17th October 2011, 10:07   #181
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
...
The below statue is over great significance, but I have no idea what that is
Attachment 826685
...
This is the statue of St. Paul.

Quote:
Originally Posted by yosbert View Post
Is that the church organ in, ummm lets see, 9th picture from the top? Must say it looks quite impressive. Wish you had a closeup of that one.
...
That is indeed a pipe organ. Tanveer did you also hear it being played?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lsp View Post
Must be one of the many Saints. Below is the pic of some saints in front of Cathedral Salzburg, Austria. The saint in your picture seems to be holding a similar kind of staff in his hand.
Attachment 826764
L-R St. Rupert, St. Paul, St. Peter and St. Virgil.
The second statue from the left is of St. Peter and the third one is of St. Paul.
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Old 17th October 2011, 18:59   #182
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Default Day 4 #5 : Innsbruck - The END - Schloss Umbrass

I know many of you are now bored out of your wits.
Over the past 3 days, and god only knows how many pages, I have shown you cathedrals and statues, and cathedrals and statues, and market squares and street performers.
you are wondering... where are the alps, there are those glaciers, and where are those waterfalls!

Well I promise, last post with all that is this one.

We had also gotten kind of like overwhelmed with all this history vistory business, and the cathedrals.

So plan was simple. See the castle, and then just get the hell out of innsbruck, and do an alpen drive.

Now here was my miscalculation.

The Schloss Umbrass was actually near our hotel, and on the way to the city, we could have stopped and seen it.

however, since castles up there do not look like castles, but just like houses, we missed it.

Hence we were wasting time now walking up a steep hill through a forest like thing.

Just walking.
Now that is not really a very bad thing, you do get nice city views
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and you walk through quaint little villages
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And its almost 3pm in the afternoon, we are at the castle.

First a very famous wall with the king. He suffered from Hirsuteness
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The castle itself is quite ordinary
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Like most castles, it towers above the city
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The design is chequerboard
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Its clear we do not need to spend much time here
So we start our walk back to the city. If only we had brought the car, we would have saved an hour!
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Familiar car... eh?
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That said, the city is indeed one of the lovliest
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And the people there, they love flowers
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And so ended our tour.

We caught our regular bus back, to the Olympia world.

Now, a big problem in Europe is toilets. Most of them are paid.
Luckily, somebody at olymiaworld (which is a stadia-swimmingpool thingy) somedoy forgot the lock the doors, so we saved some money there

And after that it was simple.

We had to drive.
Drive out of the city, into the mountains.

Where to go?
Its 4pm (almost), we have 3 hours of usable light left, and we had to choose.
Choice was not too difficult.

We would see something which we have not planned in the next 7 days.
What would that be?

Glaciers? Well lots of them in switzerland, and ditto for mountain peaks.
Waterfalls? Lots of them too, but something at the back of my mind said, check out the Krimml waterfall anyways.

Its near
It has a nice sceninc road going to it

so The next destination was Krimml.
And in ZaNavi, I entered the town of Gerlos, because the road to the waterfall ascended from there.

So late afternoon, on a sunny Tuesday evening, we started our alpen drive, to see a gigantic waterfall called Krimml.


This post also marks the end of "city touring" for quite some pages.

See you in the next post!
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Old 17th October 2011, 19:02   #183
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

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Originally Posted by pjbiju View Post
This is the statue of St. Paul.



That is indeed a pipe organ. Tanveer did you also hear it being played?



The second statue from the left is of St. Peter and the third one is of St. Paul.
Nope, the pipe organ is played mostly on Sundays I guess, or at the time of Mass.
Since this was "tourist time", we just got angry stares from old people trying to pray in peace and quiet. Not our fault. We were quiet, but can't say the same about the guided tour with an overly animated tour guide gesticulating wildly and speaking in machine gun German!
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Old 18th October 2011, 09:55   #184
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

Your coverage of the Basilica/Cathedral as everything else is - to use your words - jaw dropping. You are very good with words and camera - Tanveer.
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Old 18th October 2011, 12:02   #185
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

I am not too sure if I will be going for a Europe tour anytime soon. But until then, here is my chance for a virtual one! Crisp pictures and crisper narration, loving every bit of it, keep them coming!!
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Old 18th October 2011, 15:44   #186
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

Come on tsk-you are teasing us with the waiting, the language and to top it all mouth watering pictures. Just waiting with bated breath to open BHP and see and read your posts!!!
Great show-Innsbruck it is-here we come-next May. Cannot wait till the morrow-keep it coming.
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Old 19th October 2011, 15:20   #187
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

TSK, thank you! Its one of the best narrated travelogues that I read.
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Old 19th October 2011, 16:30   #188
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You are indeed extremely lucky to have been able to conceive, plan and execute a trip like this Sir. I've done a few places in Europe and a few driving trips here and there, but something like this has been a pipe dream. Thanks for bringing it to us, so at least we can share in the awesome experience.
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Old 19th October 2011, 22:47   #189
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjbiju View Post
This is the statue of St. Paul.
....
The second statue from the left is of St. Peter and the third one is of St. Paul.
I stand corrected good sir!! thank you.
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Old 20th October 2011, 00:13   #190
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Default Day 4 #6: To Gerlos... And Krimml!

Almost 100kms east of Innsbruck lie the Krimml falls. With 3 hours of decent light left, it was time to hit the open road.
Thankfully, the town of Gerlos was well defined, and ZaNavi guided us without any problems.
The sky was also clear, and blue, and the grass, well it was green just like grass should be.
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But traffic was neither clear like the sky, nor green like the grass. It was grey colored, the color of trucks.
And tunnels
They go by a lot faster in Need for Speed.
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Little past 5 we were in the quaint little town of Gerlos, and at the rather stern speed limit of 50kmph, we followed a suzuki Jimny towards the pass, and the falls.
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When you ascend from the town towards the falls, you come across a Dam-Lake, called the speicher durlaßboden.

The car parking was around 10 minutes walk from the top, so we decided to pause, and take a look at the lake.
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Alpen countries are dotted with countless such Dam/Reservoirs which serve as sources of drinking water to the cities in the valleys.

View from the top
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The Biker and the cows.
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To be honest, if we had been bikers, we would have enjoyed a lot more, because these twisties are made for bikes. From their speed all over the alps, I also think nobody bothers about bikers following speed limit!

After a few minutes at the lake, it was time to make haste again. Here I really wished, that I had saved time at Innsbruck. The fact that the castle does not look like a castle had robbed us of almost 2 hours!
But no use crying of spilt milk, esp since we had no milk right then. That reminds me, in case you are wondering what did we have after b.fast? Well nothing, except for "pinnis", those who know what are they, good, those who don't, I suggest google image search.
Anyways, I am digressing.
We stopped, close to the falls, not real close, but some kms close, to take a pic from far away.
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Can you see the falls? They start from the top and fall all the way down to the valley.

Also at the falls, a suzuki swift. Whats so special? Well look at the 4x4 tag near right tail light. Most suzuki swifts we saw there were 4x4s. I guess it has to do with the snow they all get. Or maybe they just have good taste!
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But there was not much time to admire that for now, coz the falls were waiting, but before that came a toll gate.
7.5 EU return. Just like I had asked at the Grossglocker pass toll gate yesterday, and then saved 30+ EU, here also was time to ask, whether it would be worthwhile to visit the falls, since darkness would be upon us in little over an hour.

But sometimes, no matter how hard you try.... sometimes, the question you phrase is silly.
So I asked
"Are the falls open?"
"The falls are always open".

And so, it was destined, we will be 7.5 EU poorer.
For the waterfall.

WE reached the car park around six(free parking, yay!), and then proceeded towards the Krimml water falls.

In Europe, everything, except the falls, closes after 5pm, and so had the information center of the Hohe Tauern national park
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But we could see the falls, and all we needed to do was, keep walking!
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Old 20th October 2011, 19:42   #191
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Default Day 4 #7: Krimml Falls!

The Krimml falls are huge. Not just in the volume of water, but also in the height. Since the mountain they come down is sort of a step mountain, you can climb the trail higher and higher and get to different viewpoints, to see falls at various stages.
Due to the lack of time, we decided to walk about 1km till the first viewpoint, and then spend the rest of the evening at the bottom.

View from a higher viewpoint
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Walking down, we reach the base. The spray is quite a bit, and we are getting splashed
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To take a good exposure, you have to get close, and this is what happens then. Your camera gets coated with water. Good the D7000 is weather sealed.
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This means, we have to retreat to a safe location, devoid of spray, and this location is quite far away. The man standing and getting drenched will give you a fair idea of the size of the fall!
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Our viewpoint is quite sheltered though
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We spent around 15-20 minutes here. Tomorrow is going to be a very long day, so we would have to get back, but before that, I decided to brave the torrents, and get close and personal!
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7pm, its time to say goodbye!
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A hotel(?) on the walk back
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A restaurant!
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tourist season is over, and these places are quite deserted.
Moreover, its middle of the week.

Our ride. Lots of other cars also parked, but we saw very few people
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Sun will set soon, and fog is coming down
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But for us, its a clear run home
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The open road to Innsbruck avaits!
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A quaint village on the way
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Its past 7:30 when we finally hit Gerlos. Sistrans is another 1.5 hours away
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Finally, around 9 in the night we are at our hotel.
Our job is not just to eat MTR, but also plan ahead.

There is no WIFI connection in the room(weak signal), so I spend around 1 hour loitering around to download switzerland map on sygic.
Its switches on fine, and I am able to activate the 7 day trial.

Tomorrow, a fair bit of our journey will traverse the Austrian and Italian alps, but I am confident of taking that route using google and zanavi, and with swiss map loaded, things are looking good!

Finally, quite late in the night, we can finally rest, a big big day awaits us ahead!

For those interested, here is our "Track"
Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days-1319119492-08302-122.160.203.110.jpg

Elevation profile.
The peaks are the Gerlos pass, and the start and end points are high because we were staying in Sistrans, on a hill above Innsbruck
Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days-1319119574-08396-p-122.160.203.110.jpg
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Old 21st October 2011, 12:28   #192
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Thumbs up Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

Excellent log and excellent pictures, Tanvir bhai! I am speechless!

5 Stars is too less for this log!!!
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Old 21st October 2011, 13:58   #193
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Default Re: Day 4 #7: Krimml Falls!

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post

Elevation profile.
The peaks are the Gerlos pass, and the start and end points are high because we were staying in Sistrans, on a hill above Innsbruck
Attachment 829998
How come you ended up at a lower elevation than where you started from?
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Old 21st October 2011, 14:22   #194
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Default Re: Day 4 #7: Krimml Falls!

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Originally Posted by anilisanil View Post
How come you ended up at a lower elevation than where you started from?
That is probably errornous reading, as GPS was getting a fix in the morning. If you see, at the start, elevation changes without distance changes, this can happen only if you drop the car from a great height, and I am very sure, the car was not dropped over 200 meters, since it was fully functional, and its not a Hilux
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Old 21st October 2011, 18:35   #195
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Default Day 5 #1: When the road awaits

Bags are packed.
We are ready
Breakfast has been transferred from the table to our stomachs.
Anticipating no food till night, when we would probably cook our first meal in many days.... we give in to the sin of Gluttony.
For today, will be the day, we drive across countries, across borders, across mountain passes, on the Alpen roads, to Switzerland.

Yes, the most exciting and most anticipated part of the Journey was about to start.
There was excitement of course, and there was apprehension.
Driving on an Autobahn, or through towns and villages in Austria is good, and I had done that without any mishaps or major issues(except for missing turnouts).... but driving in Switzerland was a daunting task in itself.

First and formost, Europe is not one country. Its just like India, where every state has its rules. For example, in some states you need to have yellow strip on headlights, some want black, some want on side and some want on top. After complying with al regulations, you would end up with tape covering your entire headlights.

As far as Europe was concerned, we were confident our car was street legal, but then there were things like vignettes, and regulations, and road signs, and blah blah.

Switzerland, is not completely a part of EU, so signboards are slightly different(eg freeways are coded green and not blue).

Moreover, the swiss hate cars. When they see a car, they try to throw it in a cliff. They want you to take that train, or the Gondola, or whatever contraption they built up there in the mountains.
And then there are the cows. Dangerous ones, more ferocious than Bengal tigers. They can run across the road.

And last but not the least, many other dangers also lurk on swiss roads. One of them is cops. Armed with gadets which would shame terminator, they hide in the bushes, one with the cows, to snare you lest you get even a teeny weeny bit above the speed limit, or if you forget to switch off your engine at red light, or if you dare do do any tunnel blasting.

So it was indeed a daunting task.
I had gone through the "swiss drivers handbook", but going through it is like saying I browsed through wikipedia and now I can recite it in one go.

So all in all, exiting times.
But, as they say in all the Zen and art of existance books, you need to rise above all this, and live for now.
For now, we were still in Austria, and it was almost 8am

Time for some quick pics of the town.
As an omen, one of the first things I see is a porsche.
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In the quaint little town of Sistrans, it looks at home, and its loud exhaust is soothing and calming.

And then, there is the soothing sound of diesel clatter, big diesel clatter. Its a tractor
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A tractor an a porsche live in harmony in Austria, why can't they be friends here? I wonder.

and then the town church, illuminated by the sun, with blue skies in the background. You could sit here, and just watch
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The empty morning roads
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They start getting busy around 9, and then by 5 everybody is home to enjoy life. Wonderful aint it. Unlike us donkeys who start at 8am running battle royale on the roads, and then continuing the battle royale late evening.

And right opposite our hotel, there is somebody with excellent taste in choice of vehicles
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and last but not the least, our hotel Gasthof Post. At 56EU per night, its a good deal, esp since the breakfast has eggs! And do not forget the WIFI too. Even if the signal is too weak in most rooms.
Booking.com: hotel Gasthof Post - Sistrans, Sistrans, Austria - 57 Guest reviews. Book your hotel now!

A pic of the facade
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Finally, its 8pm, the 90 american donkeys in french skin are all wamed up, and ready for the road.... Bring it on!

Last edited by tsk1979 : 21st October 2011 at 18:37.
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