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Old 16th September 2012, 12:20   #316
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

An absolutely fascinating thread! There are certain things that I observed while going through all of this:

1. We do have places of natural beauty in India too, but Europe scores over us in matters of cleanliness, discipline, and the quality of roads (this I like most).

2. Tanveerbhai, you have a knack for writing. I do not know what you do as a profession, but surely you can take up writing as a second choice. Please wake up, I (and many other fellow members) have been visiting daily for more and more updates. I hope you have not gone into hibernation!!
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Old 21st September 2012, 18:22   #317
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Default Day 12 #3: To the hills

Like many castles, castle salzburg sits atop a hill. This is possible because the city of salzburg is ringed by hills.

So we decide to walk up. As usual, entry to castle costs money, which we won't be spending. Instead we will roam the woods, come to museum of modern art, and then head downwards to the Railway station.

As we climb up, the views get nice
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Gates to the castle
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Some more views
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Above, the castle looms
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This side of town is quite nice, and there are some nice big houses around with nice cars
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We decide to head towards the museum, through the woods
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And then we come across a watchtower. In olden times it would warn the city of approaching foes
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Its almost as high as the castle
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The city below
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Mountains
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A small palace in the city down below

After a few minutes here, we head through the woods. We get views of the city now and then. Salzburg is quite grand in its own way
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The Salzburg cathedral
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Tractor. This was not bombed in WWII simple because it was not built then. Otherwise, like the rest of everything, this tractor would also have been bombed
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A gate in on old wall
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The path through the woods
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Its almost 2:30pm when we arrive at the museum
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Old 21st September 2012, 18:33   #318
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Default Day 12 #4: Museum of Modern art, and the sound of music

The Salzburn museum of modern art is a must see, if you are intersted in modern art, or for that matter any art. Seriously, I do not kid you, if we were even remotely interested in such a thing, we would have gone inside. Since we are not, you have to be content with exteriors.

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So how do you define modern art?
Its simple. Imagine a very incompetent artist or sculptor. Earlier if they used to make hideous things instead of lovely figures, the king would behead them. But since we are more civilized now, we send them away to modern art zones, so that they may enjoy they lives, and we are not much offended either.

Otherwise... how do you explain this?
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The city views
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The museum
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Exhibits
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This is not an exhibit, though it looks like that
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But this one is
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After that we head down to the sound of music gardens
These are again, one of the most famous attractions of salzburg. The movie, sound of music was shot there
Its guarded by Unicorns

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One sits in the center, aspiring for the castle
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The gardens
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Like many other gardens, there are lots of flowers
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And the naked statues are back too!
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This gentleman is sad and upset. I understand why. If pigeons pooped on your head for centuries, even you would be upset
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We sit for some time, as I click a crow
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And then its time to scoot.
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Old 3rd November 2012, 03:26   #319
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Default Day 12 #5L Hellbrun and misc.

WE just had one main attraction left. Hellbrunn palace.
So we headed to the south of the city by bus. A journey lasting almost 40 minutes
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The claim to fame for this one is its trick fountains. The prince would get noblemen and noblewomen, and then suddenly they would be drenched. Or for a better word, a Holi for Europe, without the colors.
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Right outside the fountain area sit the gardens
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The fountain area
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The ponds have fish.. some are quite big, like this one, but you can't eat them
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Imagine you are having a meal, and suddenly you are drenched
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Stag with a runny nose
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Puppet show
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But before that we had to do something very important.
Buy a train ticket to Budapest

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There was a railjet at around 11am, which would see us in Budapest by 5pm. Fare, 39EU/PP + 5 EU seating charge(reservation)

Now in Europe, a train ticket allows you to board a train, but whether you will get a seat or not is not final until you actually buy a seat reservation. If you don't there is a good chance you have to make your journey standing or sitting on the floor.

We reach the counter, and I ask for 2 tickets, expecting a 90 EU charge.
Imagine my shock when I discover its 160 EU!

The 39EU charge is if you book atleast 2 days in advance. One day before its double!

Damn. I just curse myself. A slight oversight on my part has cost us almost 4500Rs. 4500 could have bought another excursion, paid for couple of meals, gotten a much nicer hotel at salzburg, gotten us a better car....

But the horse had bolted, the milk was spilt....

So all we had to do was head to our hotel.
I click an Alfa

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This shot was taken while waiting for bus
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And so was this
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I have no idea what the sign says. Why not use google translate to find out?

We had our MTR dinner, and decided to sleep early. After all, nothing much to see or do. Tomorrow, we will leave western Europe... A chapter would end!
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Old 5th November 2012, 11:07   #320
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Default Re: Day 12 #4: Museum of Modern art, and the sound of music

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
The Salzburn museum of modern art is a must see, if you are intersted in modern art, or for that matter any art.
So how do you define modern art?
Its simple. Imagine a very incompetent artist or sculptor. Earlier if they used to make hideous things instead of lovely figures, the king would behead them.
Hello Tanveer,

Good you skipped visiting inside Salzburg Museum of Modern Art.

We have been there during February 2011 & it was very difficult to understand the exhibits inside the Musuem. May be we were not that creative to understand the art displayed there.

But from a common man's perpective, the exhibits there are not worth spending your preciously time. Also there are many other interesting places in Salzburg.

Also hope you have been to Untersberg via Cable Car while in Salzburg.

Thanks,
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Old 5th November 2012, 12:46   #321
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

We were quite bored of Salzburg. So we skipped many things
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Old 13th November 2012, 11:32   #322
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Tanveer, I have just finished upto page 12, your drive to Insbruck. Excellent travelogue!

About a year back I had the opportunity to spend one and half day at Vienna. In my urge to see and experience the Austrian country side, I took a cruise up the Danube to the town of Melk. I hardly got to see and feel what I was looking for, which is exactly what you did in your trip.

I wouldn't be driving around in Europe, for various reasons. Is it possible to take an inter-city bus, get down in a village and spend the day-night there, and hop around the Austrian - Switzerland country side by bus? Do they have inter city bus like we do here or is it just trains ?
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Old 13th November 2012, 11:47   #323
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

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Tanveer, I have just finished upto page 12, your drive to Insbruck. Excellent travelogue!

About a year back I had the opportunity to spend one and half day at Vienna. In my urge to see and experience the Austrian country side, I took a cruise up the Danube to the town of Melk. I hardly got to see and feel what I was looking for, which is exactly what you did in your trip.

I wouldn't be driving around in Europe, for various reasons. Is it possible to take an inter-city bus, get down in a village and spend the day-night there, and hop around the Austrian - Switzerland country side by bus? Do they have inter city bus like we do here or is it just trains ?
There is an extensive bus network, Its called Post Buus.
Fares are economical. However, you have to get your timings right, as in many villages service is like one bus/hour. That said, on the major roads, buses are frequent
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Old 15th November 2012, 21:31   #324
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979
There is an extensive bus network, Its called Post Buus.
Fares are economical. However, you have to get your timings right, as in many villages service is like one bus/hour. That said, on the major roads, buses are frequent
Thanks for the info. Having tasted Europe, it's my dream to take my family there someday. One bus per hour is more than enough for the kind of itinerary I have in mind.
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Old 16th November 2012, 13:21   #325
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

I was in Europe from 22nd sept to 15th Oct and I reached Vienna on 12th Oct and the first thing that I did after getting off from my train from Prague was book a return ticket to Budapest. I found Vienna to be really very boring and I really started questioning my decision of spending so much time there. Like you I had also planned to go to Salzburg but I am really happy that at the last moment I chose Budapest. It was a really nice experience. Budapest was a better choice. If had known earlier I would have actually spent two days in Budapest instead of Vienna. Also my return ticket cost me 39 Euros and this was just a day in advance.

To make matters worse on the last day I was spending my last 2 hours in Vienna at westbanhof waiting to take the bus to the airport and was stopped by two undercover cops who checked my Passport and also verified my Visa number. It really pissed me off.

I really find it very racist of them. They never asked any fair skinned person for their IDs. German and Austrian Cops checked my Passport in every train that I took in their territory and skipped everyone else around including a chinese national. While coming back from Budapest Astrian Cops checked my passport and the passports of a couple sitting right in front of me and didnt bother with anyone else in the coach. Didnt have this problem anywhere else in Europe but only with German Speaking people.
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Old 11th December 2012, 16:10   #326
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

Tanveer, this is an excellent travelogue.

I was a Swiss resident for about 15 months during 2009/10. I had seen quite a few places there during this time. You have covered quite a few of them but let me give few comments on some.

Jungfrau, I felt, was an overhyped place. What I did not like was the super expensive ticket for the last train leg. There is this, Engleberg Titlis, peak that I liked more. The primary reason was, you could see the views as you climb up in the gondola. With Jungrau, the train journey through the tunnel did not please me much. Titlis too gives you excellent views of snow covered mountains.

The Engelberg village, base for Titlis, is a beautiful place. Its setting is similar to Manali. It is surrounded by mountains, some of which are snow covered. I'd have loved to spend 1 or 2 nights there but the hotels, as everywhere in Switzerland, were quite expensive. Had to remain satisfied with a daytrip.

I visited Zermatt, but the Matterhorn did not appeal me much. Even on a sunny day, I did not feel like going up by the gondolo. The view from Zermatt was okay for me.

The place/view that I liked the most was, Corniche Lavaux Vineyard along the Lake Geneva. The views from there are simply amazing. Would certainly recommend these if you decide to go back someday.

You are quite right about the Swiss traffic cops. I was so scared of them and the stories, that I never held the steering wheel during all of my stay there. And anyway, I feel rentals in Switzerland are expensive compared to other countries in Europe.
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Old 29th January 2013, 19:30   #327
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

Finally got my Schengen Visa today, after a rejection 12 years back.
Now,
Interlaken in the Swiss Alps - Tick
Mt. Titlis - Tick
Jungfrau on the world's highest cog-wheel train- Tick
Paris - Tick
See Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum - Tick
Lunch this Valentine's Day with my wife at the Eiffel Tower to celebrate our 20th anniversary, priceless - Tick

Next stop - see live the US Open, Wimbledon, Australian Open and the French open...
Then self drive through Europe, taking inspiration from your thread... God Willing.

Thanks Tanveer for such wonderful travelogues.

Last edited by dkaile : 29th January 2013 at 19:33.
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Old 29th January 2013, 20:16   #328
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

Thanks dkaile.
Once I finish with the Ladakh TL, I will resume this at the same speed.
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Old 4th February 2013, 20:56   #329
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

Quote:
Originally Posted by dkaile View Post
Finally got my Schengen Visa today, after a rejection 12 years back.
Now,
Interlaken in the Swiss Alps - Tick
Mt. Titlis - Tick
Jungfrau on the world's highest cog-wheel train- Tick
Paris - Tick
See Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum - Tick
Lunch this Valentine's Day with my wife at the Eiffel Tower to celebrate our 20th anniversary, priceless - Tick

Next stop - see live the US Open, Wimbledon, Australian Open and the French open...
Then self drive through Europe, taking inspiration from your thread... God Willing.

Thanks Tanveer for such wonderful travelogues.
dkaile, not sure if you have already left for Europe but would you be visiting Jungfrau and Titlis in February? It is still winter and these places would be quite cold and foggy at this time of the year.

Regarding Paris, if you have time, do visit Chateau de Versailles. It is nice place.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Thanks dkaile.
Once I finish with the Ladakh TL, I will resume this at the same speed.
Tanveer, now that Ladakh TL is over, can we expect this TL to resume? If not, can you please share the costs for the whole trip?
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Old 4th February 2013, 21:33   #330
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dkaile, not sure if you have already left for Europe but would you be visiting Jungfrau and Titlis in February? It is still winter and these places would be quite cold and foggy at this time of the year.

Regarding Paris, if you have time, do visit Chateau de Versailles. It is nice place.
Yes, it seems to have suddenly turned cooler in Interlaken. It was hovering at 8C last week. Anyways, leaving on 9th and while in Switzerland, why not enjoy the snow that we long for here in India.

Paris is hovering around 10C. Thanks for the suggestions, will try to make it possible on this short trip. Main attraction is being in Paris on Valentines Day for our 20th anniversary.
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