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Old 25th March 2012, 18:08   #286
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

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Originally Posted by vinayrathore View Post
Super! Is what this thread is.

One question. Did you carry an International Drivers License? I've never carried it in Germany and Swiss in the past and never was asked but I believe Austria and Italy requires it?
Italy doesn't require it, i can confirm that. I just drove all through Italy last week on my Indian license (book type), including a Ferrari F 430
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Old 25th March 2012, 19:55   #287
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Default Day 11 #1 : The Road ahead

Its almost 7:30 as we set out on the road.
Today, our drive is long. Very long. We will see a high mountain lake, traverse some southern passes in the alps, and drive back to austria, the long way.
First, its time to tank up on fuel for ourselves
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There is a milk vending machine. Its 1 Fr for a liter of milk. If you take a bottle, you need to put 30c in a box. Of course, there are no checks or cameras to see. The system runs on trust.

1.3Fr later, we have a liter of milk to supplement our breakfast. We do not know when and where will we eat lunch, for now, its time to drive

The weather today is fantastic. I wonder, why did this weather not come 2 days earlier? But strange are the ways of nature
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We start the climb to the Grimsel pass. By now, I literally know the curves like the back of my hand. There is some fog, but nothing too dense
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Much before Grimsel, we take a left, towards East. Today, we are heading towards a pass called Susten. Its said to be one of the greatest driving roads, and it indeed is!
Before we reach the pass, its time for the "blue" detour. A narrow road leads to a lake called Engstlensee.

Its narrow. Real narrow with blind hairpins. Even our little MUV feels too wide for the road... And for the first time I use the horn.

After almost 10kms on the narrow road, we are there. Its 9am. Time to relax some, and soak in the mountain views
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The sky is clear, and blue, and the grass is green. And there are quite a few cows around
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The lake itself, is however a little dissapointing!
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There is a man with a handcart attached to his car. He goes around picking cow dung from main path and spreading it onto grass. Perfect recycling you see!

We decide to laze at the lake, and click some pics
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the water is clear, but not still enough for reflections
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Some views
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Cows doing their thing.
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The lake is fed by tiny waterfalls, generated by melting snows
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At the other end of the lake, there are people fishing. I wonder how fish ended up in this lake
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The cow however is not fishing. Its drinking water
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We spend 40 minutes at this lake
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And then start the short walk back to the car, clicking cows
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And then its time to hit the road again, but this time we make stops for photos. The run up was non stop
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Old 25th March 2012, 19:57   #288
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

Quote:
Originally Posted by vinayrathore View Post
Super! Is what this thread is.

One question. Did you carry an International Drivers License? I've never carried it in Germany and Swiss in the past and never was asked but I believe Austria and Italy requires it?

Would love to follow your footsteps during my next Europe assignment in May June. Can you share your GPS Tracks too?

Waiting for you to conclude this thread.
Yes I got an international drivers license. Nobody(not even rental) asked me for it. At the time of renting they wanted to see my Indian license.
However, I am told sometimes some italian cops can cause trouble, so good to have an IDL. You sure have heard the joke about 2 men in an Uno, and five men in a Quaddro... This is the faith most Europeans have in Italian cops.

As for the tracks, I will share all of them soon.
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Old 25th March 2012, 21:17   #289
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Yes I got an international drivers license. Nobody(not even rental) asked me for it. At the time of renting they wanted to see my Indian license.
However, I am told sometimes some italian cops can cause trouble, so good to have an IDL. You sure have heard the joke about 2 men in an Uno, and five men in a Quaddro... This is the faith most Europeans have in Italian cops.

As for the tracks, I will share all of them soon.
Me too heard similar stories about the Italian cops.

Got the point .
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Old 27th March 2012, 11:46   #290
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Default Day 11 #2 : To Susten!

On a trip like this, when you have to drive through 3 countries to reach your destination, time is always short. But you do not realize it in the morning. When all you want to do is stop and stare.. and of course click.

The downhill drive is supposed to be faster, but we covered these 10kms back to main road much slower!
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On the way back, we spotted this waterfall
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I had to stop and try to walk towards it, but all I got was wet shoes
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This is the farthest I could walk to
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Downwards, the mountains beckoned
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And cows ruled the roads. Just like India
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Many of them blocking the roads, and staring at us with annoyance. This was the only road, where I saw cows on road
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This road ran along a small river
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And the views.. were amazing. better than what we saw at the lake
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30 minutes past 10, we are at our main road. Time to gun the engines, and head for a pass called Susten
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the road was smooth, and fast, but then you have to stop. Far ahead the glaciers call
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Some like us do these roads in Picassos, while others, just take a mercedes!
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This is the road, said to be one of the best driving roads in the world. Not as famous as Stelvio though, but I must say, with only 90 horses under the hood, we enjoyed it much more than Stelvio!
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The scenery was different, with green and grey together
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And then there was the white too!
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Far above us, jets fly
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And so do we... Towards a pass called Susten, but now without stopping again and again
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This road is a hidden gem. Not many know about it. so its not a circus like Stelvio.
And at 11, we get our first views of the majestic Susten Glacier.
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Its going to be a long long drive today, and we are enjoying every second of it!
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Old 24th April 2012, 13:02   #291
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

It took me a week of reading whenever I got time. Twenty pages of captivating writing. Amazing story telling with pics to complement it. Tanveer, I hope you plan to complete it.
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Old 24th April 2012, 15:58   #292
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

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Originally Posted by austere_sly View Post
It took me a week of reading whenever I got time. Twenty pages of captivating writing. Amazing story telling with pics to complement it. Tanveer, I hope you plan to complete it.
Now that I am sure people are reading it, I am going to complete it. Got tied up at work, so as soon as I have some free time, I will put in a couple of updates.
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Old 27th April 2012, 11:41   #293
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

Of course people want to read your thread. In fact your thread has drawn me to the Travelogue section mate, otherwise I never used to visit this section. You have done a great work over here and please don't stop at all.

I have also asked several people to refer to this thread to fix their Europe plans.
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Old 27th April 2012, 13:07   #294
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

Took me an entire day to read, but what else can one do on a lazy Friday at work. Great thread and very well written.

Apart from the 2 gloomy days, everything went as per your plan. I have wien and Alps in my bucket list too. Looking forward to 4 more days of awesomeness in this thread.
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Old 27th April 2012, 16:04   #295
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

This weekend, I plan to put in a few more posts on this thread. Will try to complete next 3-4 days.
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Old 19th May 2012, 14:32   #296
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Default Day 11 #3 : Susten Pass and Glacier!

Susten turned out to be one of the most scenic passes we saw. Maybe it was the clear sunny weather, or maybe it was the glacier.
Furka also has the Belvedre, but when we saw it, it was coated in fog. But on susten, we could enjoy to our hearts content.

Green and white
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A smaller glacier
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The glacier sits about a km from the actual pass parking lot, and you can pay 5fr, and walk to glacial lake. Howevever, even if you do not do that, the views are great, infact better. No prizes for guessing that we saved the 5+5 fr.

A tunnel on the Susten pass road
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A closer look at the lake and the glacier
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The road again!
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More mountain vistas. Being at not a very high altitude as compared to other southern passes, Susten is quite green
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another wide angle shot of the Glacier
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Reflection in the grey glacier lake
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A lone biker enjoys the view
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Its 11:15 and we are on the pass parking lot. We decide to take a walk. there is a small lake near the top, and wind is not very high, which means.... reflections!
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This is the path which leads to the parking lot
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The signboard of the pass
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And then around 11:30, we decide to move on. The road ahead was long and curvy, and time was indeed short!
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Old 31st May 2012, 14:03   #297
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

Tanveer! Its Bliss!!

I am living right now the moments you lived and inspired me to make it to. Here is my tribute to this great thread. Conquered Stelvio pass yesterday!!

Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days-dscf5787.jpg
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Old 1st June 2012, 12:15   #298
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

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Originally Posted by vinayrathore View Post
Tanveer! Its Bliss!!

I am living right now the moments you lived and inspired me to make it to. Here is my tribute to this great thread. Conquered Stelvio pass yesterday!!

Attachment 934430
Attachment 934431
Hmm, the Team-BHP sticker still adorns the signboard
Did you take a bike on stelvio!?
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Old 1st June 2012, 12:34   #299
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Hmm, the Team-BHP sticker still adorns the signboard
Did you take a bike on stelvio!?
Its a different story altogether!

Call it fate or a coincidence, I too got the same Donkeys/Mules that you got for rent. Yes, I too got a Citreon C3 Picasso.

It almost died on some hairpins.
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Old 12th June 2012, 15:45   #300
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Default Day 11 #4 : To the Rhinefalls!

After susten lies the area of the Gotthard pass. It is more barren, with more grey than green. There is a tunnel under the gotthard pass, though the older route exists too.
However, we were going to merge into the Gotthard freeway much after the tunnel.
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Another pic right after susten. Look at the barren mountainsides
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Some wildflowers
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A small waterfall after the pass
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After this we decided to move on, towards gotthard
The road was deserted, and smooooth
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As the altitude lessened, green came back
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And then we were going along a lake. A lake with so many colors, that we had to take the turnout, and stop. And simply awe at its beauty!

Are these colors even real?
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The picture of the cruiseliner will give you a fair idea about the size of the lake.
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We wanted to stay on, but time was short, so it was time to bid goodbye!
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Finally around 1, we were at a brist 120 on the Gotthard freeway. The swiss make excellent photographers, so its best to stick to the limit unless you want a 200Fr photograph.
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And then, around 2:00 we were at our destination... The Rhinefalls!

Last edited by tsk1979 : 12th June 2012 at 15:49.
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