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Old 26th September 2011, 16:17   #121
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

Hats off to you tsk1979. This has been a brilliant travelogue and there is still more to come. Looking forward to the rest. Probably, at some point in the future, I would hope to do a trip like this. I have already done such a trip (to Singapore and Malaysia) 3 years back where I myself booked accommodation and travel over the net and I really loved it. I am definitely not a fan of organized tours where all you do is just follow the sheep.

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Old 26th September 2011, 18:44   #122
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Default Day 2: #6 To Hofburg...

After the parliament, its a question of "What next".
Well Vienna has so much to show you, that you can get lost in what next.
So, we decided just to walk in a direction opposite to our next destination.
After we got bored/tired walking, we would hop in the tram.

So then began the walk!
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Right next to the parliament was the Ratahous.
Its not a Rat House. Its a theater
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We walk through a market which is closed due to sunday
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I decide to click a car. Its an Alfa, something worth clicking, I guess
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We see some more buildings. Real nice buildings. Buildings with Murals and art.
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And we see a wonderful church undergoing restoration
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This basically means, much of it was covered with netting, and on weekdays extensive repairs would be done to restore it to its original glory.
Thats the reason centuries old buildings and statues look like new.

If pigeon poops on it, they clean it
If paint fades, they repaint it with the exact same shade.
If somebody drops a bomb on it from an aircraft(Europe had a lot of bomb dropping business more than half a century ago) they rebuild it.

Since time is limited, we cut short our wanderings, and arrive at hofburg
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The above contraption is some sort of vintage bus, where you can pay to take a historical ride around the hofburg palace.

Like all palaces up there, hofburg is also a dissapointment, except for the statues. They sure rock

The building is under restoration, and this gentleman greets us outside
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As you can see both legs of the horse are up in there.
Statues and horses follow a strict code of conduct.
If all legs of horse are in air, that means the dude died a normal death.
If one leg is up, it means he died from battle wounds, but not on the battlefield
If both legs are up, it means blaze of glory, and Bon Jovi will sing a song for him.

The wall of the palace is decorated with flags from lots of countries, all European I think
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another gentleman who died in battle
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A furry crown
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Roof at an arch
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Another statue
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I guess that atlas at the roof
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The Scene
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Old 26th September 2011, 23:21   #123
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

Rathaus is nothing but the Town Hall, it houses some offices of the state normally.

For example in Germany, you'll have to get yourself registered at the nearest Rathaus from your place of stay. That way they'll have an account of where you are in the country, you get a number and a tax card to pay your taxes, etc. Another interesting thing is they will let you know the schools nearby if your kid aged 6 or over, and even help you with getting admission. THis was my personal experience from various Rathaus'es in Germany.

Don't know these days if it had become a theater too

Last edited by laluks : 26th September 2011 at 23:22.
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Old 27th September 2011, 00:45   #124
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Default Re: Day 2 #5: The Parliament

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
I guess if they were to make a statue in front of our parliament, they would use the goddess of stupidity, or maybe put up the statue of a donkey there?
Thanks to Mayawati, we don't have to put much effort into thinking of that.

Coming back to the travelogue, awsome pics and awsome planning!
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Old 27th September 2011, 09:21   #125
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

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Originally Posted by laluks View Post
Rathaus is nothing but the Town Hall, it houses some offices of the state normally.

For example in Germany, you'll have to get yourself registered at the nearest Rathaus from your place of stay. That way they'll have an account of where you are in the country, you get a number and a tax card to pay your taxes, etc. Another interesting thing is they will let you know the schools nearby if your kid aged 6 or over, and even help you with getting admission. THis was my personal experience from various Rathaus'es in Germany.

Don't know these days if it had become a theater too
Well there were lots of signs about movie screenings etc., with a big crowd outside the Ratahouse.
I guess they work by day, and then play by night
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Old 27th September 2011, 10:08   #126
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

Thanks Tanveer. A great travelogue this.

During my experiences of Europe, the one thing that I have enjoyed most, apart from the statues and grandiose buildings, is the general atmosphere that prevails in any village, town or city (usually the old parts). I just walk around, and try and soak in as much as possible of the goings-on.
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Old 27th September 2011, 12:21   #127
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Default Day 2: #7 Walk to the city center

From hofburg, we decided to walk to the city center(Stephenplatz) instead of taking metro or other forms of public transport.
Old city is one area where you would love walking, to soak it all in as roy says!

A fountain around hofburg
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Statues on the roof.
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A spire with a clock. See, they are obsessed with time
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A facade
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Road to the city center
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Sometimes, domes are a delight to click
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And statues, well they always are a delight. No matter, how many you see, every statue tells its own story. I really do not know what the story is, but I am sure this also tells a story
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Man over beast is a theme which is widely used
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A courtyard
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With this ended our palace visit, and we started our long walk through the streets of Wein.
It did not take long to reach the city center, and as is the case of most western city centers, the street performers were present. Some sing, some dance, while other paint themselves. Like this one
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At that moment, we decided to do the unthinkable. Something truly truly horrific and revolting.
We decided to spend 4 Euros, to purchase two cones of ice cream.
2 Euro would get us 3 scoops in a cone from the street vendor, who was advertising, "Italian Gelato".

Since Italian Gelato costs aorund 150rs for 3 scoops in India, here was the chance of have Italian Gelato in Austria for lesser money.

I do not remember the flavors we ordered, but it was a big mistake. A costly one.
It was so good, that we proceeded to have a second helping.

In 5 minutes we had spent 8 Europs for 4 cones of ice-cream. This was our first eating out experience in Europe.

Since ice-cream is a weakness, I knew, we were going to spend on ice-cream wherever we could


Food store replenished, it was time to visit the Stephensdom(Cathedral) Again.
Last night we had visited it, but light was poor. With sun shining, it should be better.

And so we ventured, into the Stephens-Dom
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Old 27th September 2011, 15:24   #128
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Default Day 2: #8 Stephensdom and Stephensplatz

Our one day in Wein was already into second half.
We had one more destination to cover later in the evening. A walk on the side of danube river.
Meanwhile, for now, we had to see the St. Stephens Cathedral again

Unfortunately, due to lack of windows, and overall shade of interiors, it was still quite dark. Time to crank up the ISO I guess.

Being a sunday afternoon, it was quite full too. Infact there were old people everywhere. Very old people. some of them looked 200 years old. And they had all come in a package tour.
And when a package tour descends anywhere, there is bound to be chaos and noise, however, in this case, there was only chaos, no noise. You see, European old people are very quiet, esp in places in Cathedrals and churches.
But I am sure you do not want to read a thesis on auditary qualities of 200 year old people, so I will start with the pictures
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Mother Teresa, or more Accurately St. theresa also finds a place here
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The chequered floor.
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With light being poor, and access to main area restricted due to the crowd, we decided we had seen all we want to see.

Outside it was sunny.
So I decided to click a sunny pic
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I missed my 10-24 here.

Roamed around aimlessly for few minutes
A street performer
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And then it was time to say goodbye to the city center
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We would now catch the train back to our hotel, get our jackets, and get the 3kg tripod which caused so much grief in packing.

It was time to do the Danube
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Old 28th September 2011, 11:18   #129
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

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Originally Posted by ramkya1 View Post
Tanveer,

Missed this somehow........ great thread. Loved the awesome photos and narration, especially the logics and arguments for choices. This is a ready recknor to the, saves me days of research, thanks for sharing your thoughts.

A do it yourself trip makes much more sense to me too; you can cover more places and stretch the rupee a great lot. When we did the UK trip, we did it with a drive trip and B&B options; finished in almost 50% of what most agencies quoted. Choosing places with wi-fi and breakfast is a great way to save costs and stocking up from departmental stores is another way too.

The statues are so well maintained, a great way to attract tourists. The entrances could be killers, they make so much money from puny little castles, cathedrals and historic places, we also skipped most of them. Even the best of them in India are free of entrance fees

Awaiting more...... there's a lot more to Europe than what we had seen and I plan to do a drive holiday there in future. Saving your data for future use.

--Ramky
======
Thanks Ramky
Indeed, even if you stick to exteriors, you never have enough time to see everything!
Quote:
Originally Posted by addyhemmige View Post
Hats off to you tsk1979. This has been a brilliant travelogue and there is still more to come. Looking forward to the rest. Probably, at some point in the future, I would hope to do a trip like this. I have already done such a trip (to Singapore and Malaysia) 3 years back where I myself booked accommodation and travel over the net and I really loved it. I am definitely not a fan of organized tours where all you do is just follow the sheep.
In Europe you actually save much more than what you save for far east, esp when you do multiple countries.
That said, for a week long trip to Switzerland, myswitzerland.com packages also have competitive price. They include, hotel, airfare and tickets for excursions, rest you are on your own

Quote:
Originally Posted by roy_libran View Post
Thanks Tanveer. A great travelogue this.

During my experiences of Europe, the one thing that I have enjoyed most, apart from the statues and grandiose buildings, is the general atmosphere that prevails in any village, town or city (usually the old parts). I just walk around, and try and soak in as much as possible of the goings-on.
yes, the atmostphere is simply mind blowing.
Places like Napa in US have tried to copy it, but frankly speaking, they fall woefully short. Europa is Europa!
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Old 28th September 2011, 14:48   #130
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

I hope you are aware that you have visited world's 2nd most livable city.
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Old 28th September 2011, 15:06   #131
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

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I hope you are aware that you have visited world's 2nd most livable city.
Second most? I guess it should be the most livable city in the world
BTW, who is the first?
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Old 28th September 2011, 15:39   #132
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Default Re: Day 2: #8 Stephensdom and Stephensplatz

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post

A spire with a clock. See, they are obsessed with time


Man over beast is a theme which is widely used
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post

At that moment, we decided to do the unthinkable. Something truly truly horrific and revolting.
We decided to spend 4 Euros, to purchase two cones of ice cream.
Quote:
Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post

Infact there were old people everywhere. Very old people. some of them looked 200 years old. And they had all come in a package tour.

Wonderful travelogue tanveer, your photography skills were already great but now the best part of your writeups is the Satire and ease with which you can describe things in a funny way.

Loving all the narration.

and kudos to your spirit of travelling.

keep it coming dude.
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Old 28th September 2011, 16:05   #133
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

Gosh, your travelogue is so enticing I stopped all my work & hooked on to it from Page 1 to Page 9. Its simply excellent & words fail to justify the beauty of all those statues, palaces et al.

BTW: Melbourne is supposed to be the most Liveable city in the world, followed by Vienna, Munich (I guess). Which Indian city ranks the highest & at what position? As far as I remember its Mumbai, rank I don't remember... Any 1 wanna chip in with the no?
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Old 28th September 2011, 16:07   #134
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Default Re: Sonata Europa - 5 countries, 4000kms and 15 days

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
Second most? I guess it should be the most livable city in the world
BTW, who is the first?
Melbourne - World's most livable cities - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 29th September 2011, 01:15   #135
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Default Re: Day 2: #6 To Hofburg...

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Originally Posted by tsk1979 View Post
As you can see both legs of the horse are up in there.
Statues and horses follow a strict code of conduct.
If all legs of horse are in air, that means the dude died a normal death.
If one leg is up, it means he died from battle wounds, but not on the battlefield
If both legs are up, it means blaze of glory, and Bon Jovi will sing a song for him.
This code of conduct is actually a myth as per StraightDope.com.

The Straight Dope: In statues, does the number of feet the horse has off the ground indicate the fate of the rider?

I wonder how they build horse statues with all legs up in the air (I've never actually seen one). Would it balance on it's tail, or they stick a bamboo thru the bottom like in the merry-go-rounds?
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