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Old 25th November 2011, 22:20   #241
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

Thread bookmarked and will be saved for offline use too. This is one trip I have been planning for ages. Europe unlike the way people usually visit.

The Yeti ignited the fire with his honeymoon travelogue and you have fuelled it big time now. Thanks to the details, you have cut my work down to a bare minimum!
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Old 26th November 2011, 12:32   #242
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

Lovely pics & narration Tanveer. Have been following this thread since the day you put up that excellent teaser of a (first) post.

A small suggestion - if you are planning to mark all your pics with your name, can I suggest you to use a smaller and lesser intruding font; or better a watermark. Some of the beautiful pics look really bad with your name protruding out in that black font.
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Old 27th November 2011, 01:11   #243
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

Awesome, awesome travelogue - Tanveer!
This is the definitive Europe travelogue on Team BHP that helps a no-frills visitor get the most out of the continent.
All points are very well covered and this is truly a ready reckoner for a potential visitor.

One question though - didn't you visit Geneva?

Last edited by aryasanyal : 27th November 2011 at 01:12.
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Old 29th November 2011, 18:36   #244
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

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Originally Posted by bullock-Car View Post
Thank you tsk,
for these beautiful almost surreal pictures, your travelogues are to be blamed for reigniting the nomadic DNA's in other members.
Just wonderful.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mohit View Post
Thread bookmarked and will be saved for offline use too. This is one trip I have been planning for ages. Europe unlike the way people usually visit.

The Yeti ignited the fire with his honeymoon travelogue and you have fuelled it big time now. Thanks to the details, you have cut my work down to a bare minimum!
thanks for your comments
Quote:
Originally Posted by ninjatalli View Post
Lovely pics & narration Tanveer. Have been following this thread since the day you put up that excellent teaser of a (first) post.

A small suggestion - if you are planning to mark all your pics with your name, can I suggest you to use a smaller and lesser intruding font; or better a watermark. Some of the beautiful pics look really bad with your name protruding out in that black font.
Suggestion noted. Watermark much smaller in all future pics
Quote:
Originally Posted by aryasanyal View Post
Awesome, awesome travelogue - Tanveer!
This is the definitive Europe travelogue on Team BHP that helps a no-frills visitor get the most out of the continent.
All points are very well covered and this is truly a ready reckoner for a potential visitor.

One question though - didn't you visit Geneva?
Thanks!
We did not go to Geneva. We decided to do justice to whatever we saw, and this meant.... seeing not everything. Moreover, all cities are similar. You see one, you see all !
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Old 29th November 2011, 18:50   #245
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Default Day 8 #4 : Goodbye Jungfrau

The first thing I click going down is this

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Its a snow plough, and its red, like most things swiss. It has a purpose. To crete tracks where you can sledge down, or ski, after paying of course. We decided to frolic in the snow, for free.
There were other options like ziplining etc., but roaming in the snow seemed to the best idea. Before that, we had a small snack. After all backpack was full of food, and eating pinni at Jungfrau seemed like a great idea!

There was no dearth of snow of course!
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Classic Alp view. This is what Jungfrau is famous for. The classic snow field and peak view of snow covered mountains.
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Where we are standing is actually the origin of the Aletsch glacier
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Down below is "paid zone" as I call it. You can ski, sledge, or take a guide to do a glacier walk.
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Up above you can walk to a hut, but its an hour away. Not for the faint hearted. Surely not to be done in sneakers!
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This is Blue glacial ice
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And this, is the Aletsch
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We walk to a ravine
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ITs sure deep. The indundations you saw in Aletsch in yesterdays pics are as big as this. Sure looked small from high above. Guess what, the black lines(Moraine lines) on the glacier are bigger than the helicopter
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another view of the Alps and brilliant blue skies
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Snow is packed, so we do not have wet socks(very uncomfortable you know!). The footprints show that.
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The brave go trekking
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And the rich go snow sledging
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As for us. Its past 11am. and we have missed our 11:00am train. I take out my sheet. If we catch the 11am train, which we cannot catch because there is no time machine, we would have been at the "First" station at 1332. Now its 11:30 train for us. Time to rush

Goodbye Jungfrau.....
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And goodbye Aletsch!
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Our train starts at 11:30, as expected. And we start our short journey downhill.... to Klein Schedigg.
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Old 29th November 2011, 19:21   #246
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Default Day 8 #5 : To Klein Schedigg

As mentioned before, the journey from Jungfrau-K.Schedigg is 80% through tunnels. Earlier we had planned to get down at Eiger Gletscher, and then walk to K.Schedigg. But unfortunately, with 11:30 train we decided to ride it all.

Here is where the train comes out of the tunnel
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The north face of Eiger
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These yellow fences are designed to keep cows out of the tracks
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A small lake. Below you see the walking path
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A small "tunnel"
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More views of the path and the greens
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The Alps, and the rail track

It takes almost an hour to reach the K.Schedigg. Downhill, is not faster than uphill.
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From here we have to catch the train to Grindelwald. We had come from Lauterbrunnen in the morning, and we have no intention of rushing back yet. Today will be a packed day as promised.

I ask the train driver, and he confirms that the train is going to leave in 10 minutes. So I have time to aimlessly click
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Right above the station, likes a meadow, in which graze cows.
The train you see is the Grindelwald train. Its yellow, as opposed to the Red Jungfrau train.

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As the time of departure nears, we get in, and find a seat. She is going to be our lovely companion for the journey!
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Old 29th November 2011, 19:34   #247
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

Brilliant captures! Brilliant coverage! You're one hell of a story teller.

Love those snowscapes and underexposed dark blues due to predominance of white. Just love it!!
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Old 30th November 2011, 18:38   #248
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Default Day 8 #6 Grindelwald!

'She' is a St. Bernard. The real deal.
Once upon a time, when GPS was not commonplace, and technology for tracking still in its infancy, St.Bernards would go in the snow looking for stranded or injured skiers. They would have a cask tied to their neck filled with essentials. After the striken soul would take the cask, they would run back to their base, and notify their handlers about someone needing assistance.
The finest were bred at the St. Bernard Monastory, located on the St. Bernard pass.
Then came GPS, and tracking, and using those was much cheaper than rearing a St. Bernard. The cost of raising and maintaining these dogs is huge, and thus, the monastory stopped rearing these dogs.
Now they exist as swiss poster childs. At many places, you can pay a frank and get yourself clicked with these massive and grand dogs.
Kind of sad really, from a rescue and recover machine, being reduced to paris hilton of dog world.

She is also one of those. Somewhere, she will stand, and people will get clicked with her.
She sure does not like this
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So... she takes a nap
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I decide I had done enough paparazzi business on her.. and train my camera outside. To the wonderful views
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We are going to Grindelwald
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Cows graze the meadows
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Which are bright green, like what meadows should be
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The outskirts of Grindelwald... our station approaches.

And then we get off.
So does she, and she does not need a leash to guide her. She can probably guide you through a snowstorm with eyes closed
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As for us... its 13:08. We decide to make a run for it to the cable car station for "First".

The town of Grindelwald
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The station
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We are in a hurry, but for some things you stop
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And then, we have ice cream. Some indulgences are necessary, esp since it costs 2 Fr for 2 scoops. Its delicious, like all ice cream in Europe. There are chocolates too, but they cost more...

And then, calories replenished, we sprint to take the cable car to 'first'.. and due to our Bernese Oberland pass, its free!
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Old 2nd December 2011, 13:02   #249
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

I read this travelogue yesterday at one go. Amazing narration tsk sir! Thank you for the TL. I have been a fan of your travelogues and I have read all of them even before getting on t-bhp. This travelogue will be my guide when I myself plan for a trip to Europe.
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Old 5th December 2011, 18:38   #250
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Default Day 8 #7: First to Bachalpsee

First is a minor summit below the mountain of Schwarzhorn. you can hike to first if you have time, but people seldom do that.
Even the more adventrous take the cable car, and then go on the lovely hikes in the region.
Some take their mountain bikes up the cable car, and then ride down at breakneck speed.

As part of our Jungfrau day, we had decided to do the hike to Bachalpsee
Its one of the most common hikes in the area, and is only 7kms(return trip).

It can be done in an hour, but then you have to stop for the views, right?

the lovely views start as soon as you catch the cable car.
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I would term it as one of the most beautiful cable car rides you can take in Switzerland. With our Bernese Oberland pass, it was free too!

View of the glaciers
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As you approach the summit, the town of Grindelwald becomes smaller and smaller, and in the view come the two grand glaciers
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you can even walk to the glaciers. They are called the upper and lower glaciers, and there are viewpoints which offer up close and personal views, but then, when you have just 5 days in hand, you have to make choices!

Look upwards, and you see cows grazing on the grass
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From the "first" station, the walk is easy and not too steep.
And the views are awesome
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I have one eye on the views, and other on the clock. Swiss rail transport system is like clockwork, and we have to catch our train to Interlaken around 4:30, and then onto Thun.
Its past 2pm already
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The upper glacier, up close and personal
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Of course there are other ways to enjoy the views. You can "fly" too!
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Or you can sit with the mountain climber cows
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But for us, its time for speed. 2:45 pm we get our fix of the lake of Bachalpsee, which is actually two lakes. One is a dam which provides water to the town below
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Nevertheless, its beautiful!
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So much walking gives rise to hunger, and we decide to have our lunch at this bench
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The mountain you see is the Schreckhorn

Quick lunch later, we decide to head to the bigger Bachalpsee section.
And then I hear barking.

Two Rottweilers are running towards us. I ready my camera as a weapon, as they jump on us........
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Old 5th December 2011, 19:09   #251
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rudra Sen View Post
Brilliant captures! Brilliant coverage! You're one hell of a story teller.

Love those snowscapes and underexposed dark blues due to predominance of white. Just love it!!
Thanks Rudra. I would try to make some Black sky B&Ws out of this!
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Originally Posted by flycatcher View Post
I read this travelogue yesterday at one go. Amazing narration tsk sir! Thank you for the TL. I have been a fan of your travelogues and I have read all of them even before getting on t-bhp. This travelogue will be my guide when I myself plan for a trip to Europe.
Thanks flycatcher. I am glad this tlog could be of help to you!
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Old 5th December 2011, 19:19   #252
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

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Thanks Rudra. I would try to make some Black sky B&Ws out of this!
YES!! You can get some really good black and white with huge tonal range. Just go for it.
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Old 6th December 2011, 12:32   #253
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

So what did the Rottweilers do ? (All that snow & green grass was getting rather boring, you know !
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Old 6th December 2011, 18:14   #254
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Default Day 8 #8 : An ode to Bachalpsee

The first rottweiler almost jumps I fling my camera, and then, there is a whistle. He lands missing the camera by inches, and then scuttles back. The other one is aready on its way back.

Both dogs run back to a family sitting at the edge of the lake.
The morons are actually grinning.

I pass them, and then loudly comment to my wife, "Some people have less sense than their dogs". Its only then they mumble a half hearted apology.

Shaken, but not stirred, we decide to admire the lake.

I take a lot of pictures, will post some of them here

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Behind us, a cow admires the lake, as she chews and chews. Her purpose in life is set. Chew and give milk
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Before you chew, you must eat, and the one behind it doing just that
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We could have sat there forever too, but time is short, and we must make the run back. There is a train to catch!
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As we rush towards the cable car station, it starts to get cloudy.... damn!
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Old 6th December 2011, 18:21   #255
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Default Day 8 #9 - Our Trek map

I took a GPS log of our trek.
Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days-20110903.jpg

total of 6.9 kms.

Here is the Elevation profile
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We did the return almost jogging. Even though it was mostly downhill, it was tiring, esp with backpacks.

why were we jogging... more on that later.
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