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Old 20th March 2016, 18:34   #1
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Default The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe

"So many roads. So many detours. So many choices. So many mistakes.”

“Can we really afford to do Europe now ? Maybe we should do another far eastern trip and leave Europe for a future date”

“Is it the right season ? It may be very cold there”

“Should we take our 5 year old brat along ? No – he wont be able to walk so much”?

Too many choices can overwhelm us and cause us to not choose at all.

This is about our first experience to Eastern Europe - about travelling to places not traditionally popular with Indian tourists.

This is my first travelogue and hopefully shall not be my last. Also this isn't about our road trip, but rather an attempt to share the experiences and joys of travelling to middle & eastern part of Europe.

All the pics are hand clicked - and though not "Shot with an Iphone 6" - they are shot on Iphone 5s & Nexus 5

This travelogue is not only about travel, its about discovering the wanderer in us

Its about being up close to a part of History - The Berlin Wall
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-berlin-22.jpg

About Monument Gates that have witnessed centuries of transformations
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-berlin-day-2-35.jpg

About the German Parliament - the REICHSTAG - chugging along in the right direction
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-berlin-day-3-33.jpg

About Places where streets are cobbled and pedestrian walks are smooth
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-prague-day-2-6.jpg

About Bridges which evoke romance in every stone and tile
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-prague-day-2-22.jpg

About chasing Rainbows over tiled roofs
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-prague-day-3-23.jpg

Rivers which are so clean you can literally drink the water
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-prague-day23-28.jpg

traversing massive rivers dividing cities in half

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-budapest-9.jpg

Witnessing a city bathed in golden light
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-budapest-15.jpg

about clicking with some epic poses
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-budapest-26.jpg

About the wonders of Having a Hot mineral bath amidst Icy cold weather
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-budapest-29.jpg

About the beautiful cat & mouse game between dawn and dusk - the twilight zone
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-budapest-39.jpg

About the iconic "Hum dil de chuke sanam" bridge
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-budapest-57.jpg

About the first sighting of Alpine scenery
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-salzburg-22.jpg

About quaint houses with picket fences just like Enid Blyton novels
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-salzburg-3.jpg

About selfie clicking sprees
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-salzburg-63.jpg

Discovering villages covered in snow
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-wolfgang-day-1-2.jpg

About lakes with crystal clear waters
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-wolfgang-day-1-6.jpg

About perfectly timed clicks
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-wolfgang-day-1-19.jpg

Why is this cotton lying on the ground?
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-wolfgang-day-1-22.jpg

Staying at villages deep in the Alps
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-wolfgang-day-1-29.jpg

Letting out pent-up frustrations
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-wolfgang-day-1-49.jpg

Travelling to kingdoms in the middle of the lake
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-wolfgang-day-2-82.jpg

About Mighty European palaces
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-vienna-1.jpg

About Magical Operas
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-vienna-3.jpg

Like Karan Johar said - "Its all about loving your Parents (in-laws)"
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-prague-day-3-7.jpg

Its about the "Sanskaari Middle Europe Trip" & how it began..

Quick Facts:

Destinations covered : Berlin, Prague, Budapest, Salzburg, Wolfgang, Vienna
No of Days: 14 days
Travel Dates: March 25th to April 9th
No of People: 5 Adults + 1 brat
Rewards: Pleasant memories for a lifetime

Last edited by mentalmaxout : 21st March 2016 at 17:09.
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Old 20th March 2016, 20:55   #2
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Default re: The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe

Very nice. I love your captions and I love your happy photos.
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Old 20th March 2016, 21:23   #3
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Brilliant pics. So, was this a trip planned all by yourself or did you book a holiday package. Also, I am planning to do Europe in Oct/Nov 2016 and had similar places on my mind. Wanted to ask you if renting a car out and driving thorough your destination is a good idea
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Old 20th March 2016, 21:30   #4
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Default re: The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe

Quote:
Originally Posted by joelchandra View Post
Brilliant pics. So, was this a trip planned all by yourself or did you book a holiday package. Also, I am planning to do Europe in Oct/Nov 2016 and had similar places on my mind. Wanted to ask you if renting a car out and driving thorough your destination is a good idea
Planned all by myself. As regards driving, all these places are 4-5 hours away by trains. The best place to drive would be in the region beyond Salzbur - Salskammergut
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Old 20th March 2016, 21:48   #5
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This is the story of how we fulfilled a long pending bucket list item. How did it all start ?

Well, in 1994, a lot of Indians became aware of the beauty of Europe and the Alps. All thanks to this crazy couple
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-ddlj.png

They showed us how easy it is to fall in love with each other ……. & with Europe.

However, as it happens with other things, Europe was soon put in “Not right now - Maybe someday” section of my small & cluttered mind.

In 1996, Mr. Tom Cruise started his Mission Impossible series and the opening scenes showed the mysticism and intrigue of Prague – the Czech capital in the former USSR occupied Eastern Europe. The cobbled streets, the blue night lights, the threat of KGB spies jumping out of every nook & corner, hostile non-english speaking locals – all of it built up another dream – Someday I will visit Prague.

The scene


But then, my board exams happened, and it was again put in “Don’t joke , u can never go there” section of the mind.

Fast forwarding to September 2014 – in between I fell in love, graduated, became a boring banker, proposed, got married, quit my job, became an entrepreneur, had a baby boy, started another venture & so on & so forth. In between did multiple trips to South east Asia, New Zealand, covered most part of India. But EUROPE? Never thought I could afford it !!

In September 2014, we were discussing about planning another trip. The discussion went as follows

Me – “ How about planning a Winter trip to Kashmir”?

The wife – “I am not coming to such a dangerous place”

Me – C’mon. U know its my dream to see snow

Wife – "There are better places than the god-forsaken terrorist infested Kashmir"

Me – "Don’t say that. We will warn the terrorists that you are coming. & we will ensure their safety while you are in Kashmir"

Suddenly I experience a blackout and wake up the next morning with a big Bump on the head !

Discussion continues after 2 days

Me – "ok, if not Kashmir, where do we go ?"

Wife – "How about Andaman. I hear its very nice"

Me – "yes, ok !"

So Andamans it is. People must be wondering where is this TL headed – from Europe to Kashmir to Andaman. But please bear with me

While I check flight prices for Andaman – Mumbai, I suddenly discover that by adding a few extra bucks, I can actually do a Thailand trip…..again !!

Me – “U know, I spoke to a friend ….(dare not admit its my suggestion), he said by putting a few extra cash you can have a 10-12 day holiday in Thailand, whereas Andaman will be a 4-5 day affair max”

Wife – "Thailand again ? Sigh !! Whats it with you and Thailand !!"

Me – grinning. (must keep my mouth shut & look genuinely surprised!”)

So my preparations began for a Thailand trip – me, wife & the brat. A fortnight passed and travel plans were still being developed.

Meanwhile I was fortunate to attend a travel meet in Mumbai where I was lucky to interact with Ansoo Gupta. She is a CEO of a digital advertising company who has travelled to more than 53 countries. She is a very popular speaker at travel meets & regularly conducts travel workshops in various cities across India. Posting a link to her video



So it was on a lazy Sunday afternoon that i attended her workshop. The main idea was to network with other travellers. And she started the meet with the question

“Whats holding you back to visit your dream destination?”

My answers were
“Money – I had just started a new venture & needed to be conservative about spending”

“Time – I only had time in March last week till April first week & that’s the worst season to travel to Europe”

Kid – my kid is too small (5 years) & will not enjoy a backpacking-cum-walking trip & I cannot lug him around in Europe

Needless to say that evening, after my doubts were squashed, I came back home a crazed man with the newly acquired belief “I can visit Europe for cheap!!”

And so the real travelogue begins !!

From Kashmir to Andamans to Thailand to jet setting to the opposite side of the world, my travel preparations began in true earnest !

WHERE TO GO ?

One problem that nearly everyone faces when choosing European cities to visit is that the most popular ones also tend to be the most expensive. Many people start a Europe trip only to discover that it feels like they are being pick-pocketed all day because trivial-sounding expenses add up so quickly.

The main objective was to cover middle & eastern Europe which would allow us to make the trip in our budget at the same time glimpse the quintessential Alps and get a taste of Europes vast diversity & cultures. After a lot of interactions with friends, colleagues, online forums, expert advice etc, zeroed down on our locations and started searching for itineraries. At the onset, I & the wife were clear that after 8 years of marriage, we needed some time alone, which meant we would do the trip without our 5 year old BRAT (or so we thought)

Managing our expenses

We also decided to do a combination of backpacking & moderate luxury for this European sojourn. Which means, we will stay in a mixture of hostels & hotels, use public transport & walk a lot, Eat local& be smart with our food choices which would then allow us to splurge on savouring the sights & sounds of the region we were visiting. We also wanted each region we visited to be unique and different from the last which would allow us a varied experience which would be a lasting memory

With these in mind, we decided the following locations
• Berlin
• Prague
• Budapest
• Salzburg
• Wolfgang
• Vienna

Each of the cities listed above is strong enough to be the highlight of almost any trip, and fortunately they are relatively close together so they would work really well as a group. On the map they sort of form a box, so skipping one is easy, and there are plenty of side stops and trips possible in between for shorter or longer stays.


We had also toyed with the idea of visiting Krakow in Poland – but were ultimately not too keen to visit Poland and Auschwitz camp. The rationale behind selecting each of the above cities were

Berlin – Modern lively city. I am a History buff & was very keen to visit Berlin due to the World War II stories. Also its an easy city to start our European initiation since it has a large English speaking population & its youth & vibrancy

Prague – Tom Cruise & its cobbled streets


Budapest – lovely old world charm, its public baths


Salzburg, Wolfgang & Vienna – Ending the trip with a taste of the true European & alpine feeling

With the itinerary chalked out, we booked our air tickets in early December 2014 for our trip in March 2015. It was a very hard decision to leave my young brat behind, and honestly speaking neither me nor the wife were happy but we rode along. I had already thought about the title of my travelogue post my return –“Husband & wife on a romantic second honeymoon !!”

It is said that the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray" - Read on to find what happens next

Last edited by mentalmaxout : 21st March 2016 at 18:48.
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Old 20th March 2016, 22:09   #6
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On a nice Sunday morning in Early December, we were having breakfast with my in laws. By this time I was enjoying being the blue-eyed boy at my in-laws !! My father –in-law looked at me with his chest swelled in pride while my mother-in-law lovingly ruffled my hair while serving me hot jalebis & gathiyas. Amidst all the happiness, suddenly the wife put forth the suggestion to my in-laws “Why don’t you guys also join us? ”

Suddenly I was starting to blank out, I dropped my spoon, and started at her with my mouth wide open. What the hell was she doing ? What will happen to our romantic second honeymoon? What will happen to our plans of going pub hopping, serenading with cows in the alps etc..

I had never travelled with my in-laws earlier. As a result, my impression at my sasural was that of a good dutiful son-in-law. I was scared that after spending 14 days together, my image may take a beating !!

Meanwhile the Father-in-law too was in shock and wore an expression like this
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-amrish.jpg

He almost dropped his plate and fell off the chair. EUROPE?? - "Yeh tumne Kya keh diya ?"

In all honesty, I think my father-in-law was more shocked than me & the sudden possibility of his fortune diminishing due to a Europe trip seemed to be giving him ulcers.

The wife then went to elaborate on how my in-laws too needed a long holiday never having gone out of India, and how we would cover a lot of beautiful regions etc, whereas I was coming to terms with the possibility that my travelogue title “Dutiful Son-in-law goes to Europe with the in-laws” didn’t quite sound right.

After a couple of hours of convincing, cajoling, pleading, threatening & daughter-to-father bonding, my father in law finally recovered and had this expression

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-amrish-puri2.jpg

So now it was set – the in-laws were joining us along with my 18 year old saala saaheb. The wife also pointed out that now the brat can also join us.

She felt that this would also effectively help us with our biggest dilemma – the in-laws would be taking care of the brat on the trip, allowing us both ample opportunities to spend quality time and coochie-coo in the alps amidst cows and alpine villages.

Tickets, visas etc

After checking various permutations & combinations regarding our entry and exit points with regards to dates and costs, we planned to enter via Berlin & exit via Vienna. Getting the visas was a simple affair and did the process myself. Train bookings though was a different game altogether

While designing the itinerary we wanted to commute between cities in trains. A quick research indicated that point to point tickets would prove to be cheaper than the Eurorail passes.

Links for booking rail travels
Germany - www.bahn.com
Austria - http://www.oebb.at/en
Czech Republic - https://www.cd.cz/en/
Hungary - http://www.mavcsoport.hu/en

Our preference was to try for overnight train travel or take early morning trains so we reach the next destinations on time. The easiest website to book were the German and Austrian rail sites. While the Czech & Hungarian rail sites posed a different challenge altogether due to numerous linguistic challenges. (link on How to use the Hungarian railway site- http://www.seat61.com/websites/mav-s...#.VtsCfTbwzq0)

Unlike the great indian IRCTC where train fares are fixed irrespective of when you book, all the above rail sites price their tickets differently. While the German & austrian rail sites open bookings 90 days prior, the Czech & Hungarian brethren open bookings 60 days prior. The pricing is similar to the airlines model- sooner you book, cheaper it is. Also be sure whether you are selecting a first class, chair car, coupe etc.


Travel Packing light - Oh really ?


“Excess baggage is a symptom of something we are missing on the inside – a fear that we won’t be accepted for what we are, as if our selves are not enough. We bring too much of our past experience, the clutter of our emotions. These things get in the way and keep us from getting close to others. Then we are left with the task of having to find someone else to carry it, whether it is our luggage or our loneliness.”
-Mary Morris

What a great Quote !!

I am a bit of a Hitler when it comes to packing. My general modus operandi for travel is to pack in everything i need & then throw half of it out. And since this was a backpacking cum leisure trip, it was of the utmost importance that we travel light - especially since we would have to lug all our luggage ourselves. So over a dinner with the in-laws, i made an impassioned plea regards keeping our luggage to a minimum.

And this is what i get


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We are Gujaratis … and Gujaratis rarely travel light. We pack according to a 5N/6D holiday when going for a one day picnic. It stems from the innate business desires for deriving maximum ROI on their investments (air tickets paid) - meaning utilising every Kg, inch, cm & mm allowed in baggage weight & also a few extra kilos which we will request the airline staff to allow. The major component of extra weight was…. as you guessed it….Food


A gujarati’s staple diet consists of theplas, chundos, dhoklas, meggi and other assorted snakes (rofl). In fact, most gujjus would tell you that the Swiss & european economies which rely heavily on tourism, would collapse if the quintessential gujju snakes and foods are unavailable on tours there. Besides, after a day of sightseeing and after we eat local pijjas, pastas, burgers etc, what happens when we return to the hotel and are still hungry. Hence we need extra packets of everything…


Phones - since we would be moving between countries, we decided not to take local sims, but use hotel wifis, to call using Skype, Google hangouts, whatsapp calling etc. And we would be using our phones to click snaps.


So finally, Tickets booked with some amazing year end discounts, hotel & hostel bookings amended, inter country rail travel planned & packing done.

And so the great Indian sanskaari Europe trip began –

The main star cast was

ME - Ex-banker, metaphysically wrinkle free, avid reader, ready-to-smile traveler, in love with comic books and cartoons. For the duration of this travelogue , I am playing the role of "the son-in-law cum shravan to my in-laws"


The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-me.jpg


The wife with her Bauji & Maa / Amrish Puri & Farida Jalal/ Alok Nath & Reema Lagoo


The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-wife-laws.jpg


My dear Saala saaheb - Not the "Jo Jijaji bolenge, main Karoonga" variety

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-saala-saaheb.jpg


&

a last minute addition to the trip

The BRAT

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-brat2.jpg
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Old 21st March 2016, 05:04   #7
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Wow that's a beautifully crafted travelogue. Brilliant pictures along with amazing way of narration. I'm planning a trip to Germany, Czech and Austria in the coming months as well and would love to get some tips here as to what all places to explore there. Keep it coming sir. Looking forward to reading more of your Euro trip.
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Old 21st March 2016, 11:13   #8
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Default re: The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe

Nice Travelogue there Maulik. Keep the story coming.

Equating your FIL to Amrish Puri = Epic!! Maybe you should make him read this, he may turn into one
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Old 21st March 2016, 19:33   #9
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Day 1 - 25th March - Mumbai - Istanbul - Berlin : The arrival

Its midnight, still a few hours for our Taxi to the airport. Anyone who has ever seen a Gujarati family go on holiday - the scene is familiar. 5 large suitcases, pretending to be 23 kgs each, packed to the brim & threatening to explode.

The problem is that they were 26-28 kgs each.

Food is heavy, and so are the extra accesories like scarves, monkey caps, couple of gloves, jackets & a bit of extra clothes for every day.

The aim was to stay below 25 kgs. Airlines in India often allow you 2-2.5kgs extra per suitcase. if u ask nicely and grin…and if the counter officer has woken on the right side of the bed.

Then there is the problem of hand baggage. We have 2 each. Both look like an obese person with several layers of tyres around the waist, ready to burst.

We arrive at the airport, scared and glance furtively at our check in counter executive. We are scared, very scared that she will disallow the extra luggage and order us to reduce the weight which would mean throw out our most prized possessions - food. To a Gujarati tourist, throwing out clothes to reduce weight is ok; But ask us to throw out our precious possession – food, and often you will get incredulous stares, followed vehement screaming, shrieking and shouting – as if sacrificing a kidney would have been easier.

The friendly counter lady first looks at us, and then our luggage. Her eyes pop at 5*27.5kg. They pop even more when she looks at our hand baggage

“Are these within the 7 kg limit ?” she asks…I mutter a feeble “Yes”, while looking here and there. Anywhere but at her. She looks at me suspiciously, and then says “Okay”.

Our first and most difficult hurdle crossed, we were overjoyed and proceeded to roam around the excellent Mumbai T2 terminal. A couple of hours later, we board the Turkish Airlines flight and settle into our luxurious cattle class seats with our fellow cows and buffaloes ..err…passengers. Our next halt - Berlin via Mission Istanbul (changeover)

A few pics from Mumbai Airport

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-029.jpg

The BRAT's ultimate dream - Owning his own Auto Rickshaw

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-031.jpg

The Happy family
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-035.jpg

The "cliched" Selfie-in the flight
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-172.jpg

Istanbul Airport

Our first halt is Istanbul from where we would board a connecting flight to Berlin. Turkish Airlines are known to have good food and we needed no second invitation to gorge ourselves on some great culinary delights. Meanwhile, the in-laws , the wife & the brat catch up on some sleep. Me, I am too excited and pass my time watching some motivational movies about Kidnappings, murder, blood & gore.

We landed at Istanbul Airport and had 2 hours to kill. A tip for Istanbul - The Dondurma ice creams at Istanbul Airport are quite nice.

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-037.jpg

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Scoring brownie points with the Mother-in-law - A useful ally to have on your side in the contingent event of future domestic skirmishes with The Wife
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-039.jpg


As an ice cream, it was a solid dollop of chocolate or strawberry or various flavours (overpriced), however the ice cream sellers try and add a bit of fun and charm. our vendor was a very jolly guy & he and the Brat hit it off quite well.

Please check the video


Our connecting flight to Berlin has no food for cattle class, no AV and also very few passengers. The seats are well spaced, and I could finally get some time to myself & some shut eye.

But you know what, when I think about it, it does not matter. The hectic planning, the presence of in-laws, the cramped seats, the cattle class, the long flight. I am finally ticking a dream, We are going to Europe - the land of the Alps !! yay!!!

Goodbye Istanbul, See you back in 14 days
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Old 21st March 2016, 21:42   #10
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Day 1 contd

Berlin

Berlin is like being abroad in Germany. It's German, but not provincial.

The place where modern History was shaped - World War2, Cold war, Berlin wall - the city has seen it all. As a Berliner would say - Berlin is Poor, but sexy

The flight lands dot on time. Thankfully the airport is smallish and directions are well written. We head outside the airport and take a Berlin Welcome card for 72 hours. This is an absolute value buy @ 26.70 euros per person & the Brat travels FREE. The Berlin WelcomeCard gives you free transport on the city's buses and trains as well as discounts of up to 50 per cent at some 200 partners. It also comes with a practical guide to the city, a map, the city's rail network, tours, and information about all participating discount partners

A note about the Berlin Welcome card
One way of seeing a lot of the city in a short time is with the Berlin Pass or the Berlin welcome Card. - posting a link to the Welcome Card http://www.berlin.de/en/tourism/1895...ecard.en.html)

Unlike most other huge capitals, Berlin doesn’t have a great number of “checklist attractions,” and the city itself is the primary highlight.

In short, if your aim is to cover a lot of museums, then the Berlin pass is worth it. If you intend to just touch upon a couple of museums, the Berlin Welcome Card is cheaper and well suited to your needs.

In my research, had figured out that Berlin has an amazing public transportation system consisting of trams, buses, and subways, and all of it in the entire city is included in the Berlin Welcome Card. This is a huge and spread-out city, so we knew that we would be using the public transport probably 4 or 5 times per day.

Another advantage of the Berlin Welcome Card is that buying individual day passes each day can be stressful and confusing, even in the larger subway stations. Having the transit pass in hand when we arrive and never having to stand in line and struggle with German-language machines and attendants is a worthwhile luxury.

After validating the welcomepass , we head to the bus station adjoining the airport and take the Express Bus TXL from outside Terminal A/B to Berlin Hauptbahnoff ( Main Train Station) from where we will take the local train to head to our hostel. The Airport express bus took us around 20 minutes and passed through some lovely city sights on the way to our destination - the Impressive Berlin Hauptbahnoff

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While i am busy admiring the Hauptbahnoff - the wife lets out a shout "Who will pick this bag?" she asks

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-045.jpg


For first time travellers to Germany, The Berlin Hauptbahnoff is an experience in itself. Its a massive railway complex with three tiers of train stations - the S-bahn (suburban railway), the U-bahn (underground railway) & Intercity trains. The upper level of the station has six tracks (two of which arwe used for the Berlin S-Bahn). The lower level has eight tracks for main-line trains, plus a further island platform for the Berlin U-Bahn. There is no rail connection between the upper and lower level track in the station area (or anywhere else nearby). 1800 trains call at the station per day and the daily number of passengers is estimated to be at 350,000.

The station also hosts several international trains, and the most distant cities reached are Novosibirsk (Russia) and Astana (Kazakhstan)

It also houses a mall, several high end luxury stores and a plethora of eateries and super markets. For those interested in architecture and engineering marvels, it may well be worth to spend half a day here.

Reaching Our Hostel

Back to our travel, we have booked our stay at the Hostel Plus Berlin http://plushostels.com/plusberlin and to reach, we head to the dedicated S-Bahn (fast suburban train) platforms, and take a train. We pass through five stations - Friedrichstrasse, Hackescher Markt, Alexanderplatz, Jannowitzbrucke and Ostbahnhof - and then get off the train at Warschauer Strasse. The train journey took us about 20 minutes.

We get off the station and the hostel is about 5 minutes walk from there. However the wind has picked up, and out come the gloves, coats, monkey caps, scarves etc. It got so nippy, that by the time we reached the hostel, we resembled badly gift wrapped parcels
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-053.jpg

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& the cold wind picks up in Berlin - Out came the scarf, thermals, jackets, overcoats, monkey caps, windcheaters, gloves, mufflers etc - constant companions till the end of the journey. Wonder why I spent time dieting

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The Hostel Experience

Mention the word “hostel” to a typical indian traveller and it conjures up images of dark, dingy, dimly lit rooms with dank corridors, smelly bathrooms and leaky faucets. However, in Europe atleast, nothing could be farther from the truth.

Hostels are possibly the best type of accommodation for backpacking in Europe. They’re inexpensive, they’re located in every European city, and they’re full of other young travelers. Hosteling is the best way to meet tons of interesting people from all over the world. You’re surrounded by like-minded travelers who all share the love of adventure and a love for having fun. They are also usually located in the heart of the city, so you’re close to all the action. Most hostels will have multiple options when it comes to the type of dorm rooms available. Nearly every hostel will have a couple of private rooms (one bed/one bunk bed), but all will have dorms of various sizes.

If u remember, this was intended to be a couples second honeymoon and we wanted to experience a few days of backpacking which meant staying in hostels, interacting with locals, pub hopping etc. However, this since then had metamorphosed into a sanskaari trip with the in-laws and i was a bit skeptical as to how my in-laws would feel about staying in a hostel amidst teens, wanderers, giggly girls and beer guzzling guys

However my fears were quite baseless, as the hostel was filled with travellers of all ages, including a group of 70+ year old British travellers. Suffice it to say, by the end of our stay at Berlin, it were my in-laws who had the most fun socialising and swapping stories with similar aged travellers.

We had rented 2 private rooms which came at approx 50 USD each and the dear saala saaheb decided to bunk in a dorm with a couple of spaniards and a norwegian.

The check-in process was smooth. The staff at the counter, mostly students, were quite helpful and knowledgeable. The Hostel itself was situated in an erstwhile school and was quite charming.

A few random clicks of our Hostel

Checking in
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-hostel-12.jpg

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-hostel-13.jpg

The Hostel was an erstwhile school - The exterior

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The Courtyard & Interiors

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The Lobby at Night

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-hostel-1.jpg

The Brat too enjoyed the stay. Seen here with one of his friends

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-hostel-7.jpg

A Big Football ? Can i kick it ??

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-hostel-8.jpg

Tired & jet lagged, we lugged our stuff into our rooms and slept for a couple of hours.


Day 1 Continued - Evening time

The weather meanwhile, in the evening, had turned windy, chilly with a bit of a drizzle. The general aim for our first day was to acclimatise, soak up the environs and generally relax. So while the in-laws decided to rest at the hostel, myself, the wife, the brat & the saala saheb decided to have a stroll around the city to acquaint ourselves with the layout, plan for tomorrow and grab a bite.

Getting familiar with Berlin on foot

As i had described earlier, I wanted to visit Berlin for the History lessons. Lets understand what this city has gone through
- Engine room of the WWII - Hitler and his armies
- Genocide of countless millions jews
- Bombs and utter demolition by the allies at the end of WWII
- Division into 2 parts - East Germany occupied by the Soviets & West Germany occupied by the Allies
- Creation of the Berlin Wall - dividing families overnight
- Breaking of the Berlin Wall in 1989 & reunification of East & West Germany

We had planned 3 nights to explore the city and on the first evening, while the in-laws rested and recharged their batteries, we set out.

For a first day orientation, walking down Unter den Linden street is a great way to orient oneself with the city and its systems. Unter den Linden, literally means “under the Linden trees” is one of the best boulevards in Europe and is often compared to the Champs Elysees of Paris. It extends right from Brandenburg Gate to the TV tower and is doable by walking. All the major sights - The Reichstag, Memorial to Murdered Jews, Alexanderplatz, Bebelplatz, Museum Island etc are accessible easily from Unter den Linden street. Hence it was a great way to get familiar with Berlin

Braving the wind & the cold & the jet lag
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-berlin-day-1-night-5.jpg

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-berlin-day-1-night-1.jpg

Straße (or Strasse) is the German word for street . Friedrichstrasse is one of the better places to stay for tourists in Berlin

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-berlin-day-1-night-6.jpg

The Humboldt University of Berlin is one of Berlin's oldest universities, founded on 15 October 1810 as the University of Berlin. Its notable alumni include founder of Marxism Karl Marx, The 1st German chancellor Otto Von Bismarck, India's former President Zakir Hussain, the Brothers Grimm & even Albert Einstein taught here for a brief while

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-berlin-day-1-night-2.jpg

The Berliner Dome Cathedral on Museum Island

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-berlin-day-1-night-3.jpg

The River Spree which flows through Berlin
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We took a metro to FriedrichStrasse and started the walk. The weather in the meantime turned cold and being late winter, sunset sets in early close to 7 pm. We walked past Bebel Platz, the German History Museum, the Museum Island up to the TV tower. Had a dinner of Pizza and called it a night and returned back to the hostel.

While the ladies and the brat dozed off, the men went down to the hostel pub for quality father-in-law & son-in-law bonding time, pretty much like this.

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OR like this

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-082.jpg

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Old 22nd March 2016, 16:05   #11
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Day 2 : Berlin

Breakfast in the Hostel was a simple but adequate affair. Often the experience of breakfast in the hostel is not limited only to the food, but rather it's shaped by the talk around the table, by your fellow travellers. And needless to say, it was a great hour we spent, savouring the food as well as discussions

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The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-day-2-71.jpg

While our plates were polished clean, the saala saaheb was in envious company resulting in very little food actually consumed

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-day-2-72.jpg

After a scrumptious breakfast consisting of cereals, beans & toast, assortment of juices and fruits, we set out for exploring the city. Our plan for today - a cycling tour around the city

One of Berlin’s main characteristics is its incredibly wide streets. This feature makes cycling in the city a breeze. Riders actually have space here; they are not confined to narrow bike lanes that double as a place for parking cars. Dedicated bike paths are off-limits even to pedestrians. The sheer amount of room to pedal makes Berlin arguably one of the safest cities for cyclists in the world. There are even laws (and fines for breaking them) that are meant to increase safety and responsible among cyclists.

Berlin is also quite flat, so tourists can cruise around the bike paths and get to all the city's best sights and attractions without breaking a sweat. While planning our itinerary, i thought cycling would be a great way to get a bit of exercise and also see the city in a much more accessible & intimate way.

Of course I had kept this small matter from my In-laws, mainly to avoid a rerun of the "wide eyes, open mouth" expressions . As we left from our hostel in the morning, I & the wife had conveniently forgotten to mention about the cycling tour. Upon reaching Alexanderplatz & the TV tower where the offices of Bike tours are, the conversation went like this

(Index FIL = father-in-law, MIL = Mother-in-law, B= Brat, M=me, W=wife, S= S= saala saheb)

FIL - “Wow, what a nice TV tower”

MIL - “look at all those cute cycles. Are they free ? (true gujarati blood )

M - “giggle, giggle”

W - “those cycles are for us, we are doing a cycling tour today”
.
.
.
.
.
.
(silence)
.
.
.
.
.
.
B - “yayy i will take one full cycle”

S - “i don’t mind”

FIL - (remembers the one time he had a scooter accident and fell off) looks at me with genuine hurt in his eyes

MIL - (remembers her time from college when she used to ride a cycle) looks at me with pride !!
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
(silence)
.
.
.
.
B - “where is my cycle”

FIL - “you children carry on… i will sit & wait for you”

MIL - (thinking - “can i still ride? will i be able to cycle”)

After fifteen minutes of the erstwhile repeated scenes - viz convincing, cajoling, pleading, threatening & daughter-to-father bonding, my father in law finally recovered and again had this expression,

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-ddlj.jpg

The decision was made. FIL & MIL will join the bike tour. I was sure that at the end of the trip, this would be one of the highlights of the tour for them ! After a few minutes of practicing, both of them are good to go.

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Handling the Brat though was a difficult affair. As witnessed in the above conversation, he wanted his own full cycle and would not take a "NO" for an answer (dogged bull-headedness - must have got the genes from the mother). This situation, as some bosses will tell you, is akin to handling your disgruntled & obsessed star employee asking for a pay raise ! The best solution to this often is "to give them a raise in designation without giving them a pay raise" So the brat gets his own child seat cycle (attached to ours) with one and only one mission - YOU are the main driver, YOU will be the one pedalling, YOU are the one responsible for us keeping up-to-speed with the rest of the group ! (Perfect employee motivation techniques - Making him believe in himself !! )

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-day-2-43.jpg

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-day-2-44.jpg

Notice the effort the BRAT's putting in !!

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On tours like these, the guide and the group plays a very important role. Luckily for us, the guide was a bubbly giggly "Alia-bhatt" type girl from Washington DC who was studying in Berlin and doubled up as a tour guide.
Post a brief interaction and a round of introductions, we were good to go.

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-day-2-4.jpg


The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-day-2-5.jpg

The tour covered most of the city's highlights and included visits to
- Checkpoint Charlie
- Berlin Wall
- The Holocaust memorial to the murdered Jews
- Hitlers Bunker
- the Watch Tower
- and a few other sights along the way

More about each of these in the following posts
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Old 22nd March 2016, 17:54   #12
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Day 2 : Berlin contd.

"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race.- H. G. Wells"

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Along we went, pedalling around the city. I was quite enjoying the ride since I had managed an "arrangement" with the BRAT. He would get to do the "easy" part of pedalling and cycling vigorously keeping pace with the group, while i would handle the "toughest" parts of putting my feet up, navigating & clicking pics !

The saasu maa seemed to be enjoying her time
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-day-2-22.jpg

Whereas i could not say the same about Dear Sasurji !! He seemed to be huffing and puffing while gripping the bike handles tight till his knuckles turned white !! I had a feeling that had he fallen, my picture would soon be struck off the family portrait !!

We stopped at several sights along the way

The Spree River
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The Humboldt University by day
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The guide was good at taking well timed stops to help us catch our breath and also passing on useful information along the way.

At one of the pitstops ! At such times its important to concentrate & listen to the guide. Alas, the saala saaheb seemed more intent on reading his phone messages (maybe from his new found hostel friends) and the BRAT seemed more focussed on his BIKE
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-day-2-8.jpg

I spied a great photo op with the backdrop of the Berlin Concert House and quickly whisked away the wife for a romantic personal photo

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But the moment ended soon - the cavalry rode in

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How could the BRAT be left behind !! Watch him saunter towards us and coolly pose in his signature ishtyle

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Meanwhile the Saasu maa did what most Indian women do - check out "Who's wearing what?" She took a fancy to the guides cap and braids

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Slowly, we meandered towards one of Berlin's most iconic landmarks - "Checkpoint Charlie"

WARNING !! - History Lesson starts

To understand the importance of Checkpoint Charlie, let us first delve a bit into the Berlin Wall

Have a look at the Picture the Guide drew for us

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-day-2-14.jpg

Didnt understand ? Ok - its much clearer !!

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-day-2-15.jpg

After Hitler was defeated, the Allies (US/UK/France/ Russia etc) took over Berlin and most parts of Germany. As spoils of the war, each one wanted a share of Berlin - the Capital City ! So the city was split into 2 parts - The "L" shaped Blue line in the centre. To its Left was "West Berlin - US, UK etc . Basically the "West" - with capitalism, cinemas, free economy, no restrictions on its citizens, Macdonalds, Pizza joints, etc.

To the Right of the "L" was the Soviet occupied "East Berlin" - conservative, suspicious, communism, lots of restrictions, state sponsored entertainment - Basically very boring side !!

From 1948 - 1961, Citizens could pretty much choose which side they wanted to live on and could freely move, crossing between East & West Berlin!!. Before the Russians realised, over a million people migrated fromEast Berlin to the Western side. Until it dawned on the Russians, that if this contiunues, very soon they will have no "subjects" left in their "kingdom" to rule !! So UP came the Berlin Wall in 1961 which overnight blocked all entry & exit points. Anybody who tried to climb the wall was shot down, killed, arrested, tortured etc. And it was all done under the guise of "Protecting our Russian friends from the corrupt people of the West"

This was the start of the Cold War. At the height of the cold war, Checkpoint Charlie (or "Checkpoint C") was the name given by the Western Allies to the best-known Berlin Wall crossing point between East Berlin and West Berlin, during the Cold War. It was one of the few places to be able to cross over from East to West (with permissions) - similar to India's Wagah Border.

Have a look at the picture of Checkpoint Charlie in 1950s (courtesy- internet)
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Unfortunately today its reduced to a photo op with mostly stage actors posing as soldiers and charging for pictures.

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Coming from the East (Russian) side, you would see this
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And from the American side, you would see this
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The touristy family "Seflie"
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-day-2-66.jpg

Next Halt - Brief stop at the Berlin Wall

Although the Berlin Wall was demolished in 1989, someparts of the wall still remain, as a stark reminder to its grim history. Interestingly, even today you may find some pieces of the wall sold on ebay or other auction sites as your chance to own a piece of history. (More about the Berlin wall later)

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The BRAT seemed tired from his cycling exploits it seems - No stamina nowadays in the younger generation
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-day-2-83.jpg

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Day 2 Berlin contd..

Next we cycle our way to a symbolic landmark - The Holocaust Memorial to the murdered jews

Just south of the Brandenburg Gate is Berlin’s Holocaust Memorial, with its 2711 gray concrete slabs, or stelae. They are identical in their horizontal dimensions (reminiscent of coffins), differing vertically (from eight inches to more than fifteen feet tall), arranged in a precise rectilinear array over 4.7 acres, allowing for long, straight, and narrow alleys between them, along which the ground undulates.

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This site is the Field of Stelae, otherwise known to the world as the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe - a stark reminder of Berlin’s self admission of guilt. However, the abstract monument invites a series of questions since it bears no marker indicating the title or even the purpose of this massive memorial.

The Architect, a Jew himself, Peter Eisenman purposefully designed an abstract monument. Since the enormity and scale of the horror of the Holocaust is such that any attempt to represent it by traditional means is inevitably inadequate, Eisenman deliberately broke from established concepts of memorialization and adopted a radical approach of avoiding all symbolism. The number of slabs, differing heights, and grid-like structure do not have any representational significance and interpretation is left up to the viewer. However as one wanders through its rows, you do get a feeling of helplessness, as the entire slabs are designed to tower over you, inducing fear & claustrophobia - to give u a small insight into the plight of the victims.

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A paradox of our times - the concrete slabs are treated with a chemical which keeps the exterior smooth & protects them against graffiti or any other forms of markings. Ironically the chemical used to treat these blocks is made by the same company which half a century ago made nerve gases used in the numerous gas chambers across Germanys prison camps for the jews Genocide - a humbling turnaround.

Just opposite the Holocaust memorial, lies a site belonging to the Man who was responsible for the Genocide of the Jews.

HITLER's DEATH BUNKER

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-hitler-bunker.jpg

Believe it or NOT !! This unremarkable Building Parking lot is the site below which was Hitler's Bunker - where he and his newly wedded wife Eva Braun, committed suicide !!

Imagine the scenario - inspite of Hitler’s grandiose plans and belief, Germany was being pummelled in the final days of the war. Berlin was burning and Soviet tanks were advancing relentlessly when Adolf Hitler committed suicide on 30 April 1945, alongside Eva Braun, his long-time female companion, hours after their marriage. It is said that the fate of Mussolini (he was said to have been killed, his body mutilated and thrown to the dogs in the gutter) prompted Hitler to meticulously plan his suicide. After his death, he also didnt want his body to be discovered by the Russian army & hence he and his wife Eva consumed poison, and just to be doubly sure of his death, Hitler proceeded to shoot himself in the skull with a gun. His close aides then burnt Hitlers body to completely obliterate the great Fuehrer’s body and remains. However, the Russians soon arrived at the site, recovered a part of his jawbone secretly and blew up the bunker. Since Hitlers remains were never found, the Russians fanned the controversy that Hitler was still alive and absconding.

Today, a parking lot covers the site, revealing its dark history only via an information panel with a diagram of the vast bunker network, construction data and the site's post-WWII history.Its a simple parking compound, easy to miss, and ironically in a building playground, which is inhabited by a lot of Jews. The grave is unmarked with the clear intention of acknowledging Berlin’s past dark history, without glorifying it

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AN EAST BERLIN (RUSSIAN) WATCHTOWER
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-watch-tower.jpg

One of the only reminders of the dark days during the cold war, Watch Towers like these were built all over East Germany (USSR occupied).

Contrary to what people think, the Berlin Wall was basically built not to allow the Westerners to come in, but to keep the East germans barricaded and stop the exodus migration to the free lifestyle of West Germany. Due to shortage of troops, Russians sometimes employed local East Germans to man these watch towers situated close to the wall, with clear orders of shoot at sight anybody trying to escape. Imagine the plight of the poor East Germans - they sometimes had to shoot their own friends, neighbours, family members who were trying to escape.

Enough of the History Lesson - Back to Fun with the IN-laws

RANDOM SIGHTINGS & FUN during the cycling trip

Taken while riding a bike - Dont drink & drive... luckily i didnt drive
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-day-2-23.jpg

The signal on The East Berlin (Russian side) - notice the Commie hat
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& finally it turned green - took some time - like most things communist ??
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-day-2-64.jpg

Noticed this funny Cycle - everyone sits around and pedals, propelling the bike forward !! Pretty much sums up the Russian Communist idealogy to me - Everyone works very little, yet the system keeps chugging along slowly, not knowing who has pedalled harder than others
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-day-2-24.jpg

The dear Saala Saaheb spying some cars to GIFT his dear Jijaji
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The next best food for Gujaratis after Pau bhaji - PIJJA !!
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The Berlin Cathedral
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Hail Mogambo...er Hitler pose !!
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The wife Caught me napping...er..snapping !!
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The cycling tour ends on this lawn facing the German Parliament - The dome ahead
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A Group Photo - The Brat seems to be zonked out, whereas the FIL & MIL's faces seem to show relief that the cycling ordeal finally ended
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Reward as promised for a Hard working performance today by the BRAT
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-day-2-36.jpg


The Secret to a good sanskaari Trip - Always keep the Wife's parents Happy !!
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Customary Touristy Family "SEFLIEs"
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With that we move to the last site for the day - the Impressive German Parliament or the Reichstag !!

to be contd...

Last edited by mentalmaxout : 22nd March 2016 at 19:08.
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Day 2 Berlin contd...

Reichstag - the German Parliament

Since the German capital and government moved from Bonn to Berlin in 1999, the Reichstag building has housed the Bundestag, as Germany’s main legislative body is known. Besides a visit to the dome and upper terrace, it is also possible to tour the Bundestag chamber with reservations and a tour guide.

I had a difficult time deciding whether to visit the Reichstag dome by day or by night. I solved the dilemma by doing both, and I can recommend that. Whether you go during the day or in the evening, be sure to plan ahead. Visitors can no longer just show up and stand in line with crowds of people. For security reasons, all visitors must now go online and make a reservation for a specific date and time – and go through airline-style security.

We had made a reservation almost a month ago for our dates. Unfortunately I couldnt get a reservation for the Bundestag (Parliament) chamber. However, a visit to its glass dome is one of the highlights of the tour. With its gently sloping spiralling stairway, replete with motion sensor based audio guides, the experience is one to savour. With crisp commentary coupled with clear views of Berlin skyline extending in all directions, this tour gave us a fantastic perspective of how Berlin & modern day Germany was built brick-by-brick. As one reaches the terrace of the Parliament, one can choose if you wish to spend time relaxing on the roof top or descend down to the gardens facing the Reichstag.

Some pictures

All plugged in to the Commentary
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-berlin-day-1-53.jpg

The BRAT points the TV Tower from where we started the tour - Thats how much the poor kid cycled today

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-berlin-day-1-55.jpg

Our version of Leonardo "Bhai" & Kate "ben" TITANIC pose

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-berlin-day-3-18.jpg

Who says Men dont agree - maybe spotted a local pub somewhere !!
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-berlin-day-3-33.jpg

Doing what Men do Best - Lie down & do NOTHING !!
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-berlin-day-3-21.jpg

U see that hole ?? u know what is it ??? No ??
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-235.jpg

Neither do i Go back to sleep
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-238.jpg

So comes to an end a Looooongggg Day !! We grab a bite and take the metro back to our Hostel !!

Speaking of Trains, how can i forget this famous scene in DDLJ

The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-ddlj.jpg

When in Europe - How can I not do the DDLJ Shahrukh Khan pose - hanging out of a train and looking out for random Simrans running on the platform.
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-282.jpg

But instead of Simran, this cartoon came along
The Sanskari Middle Europe Trip - From Berlin to Vienna via Eastern Europe-283.jpg

Well... moving onwards to the next Day - Our Last day at Berlin. How will it unfold ?

Last edited by mentalmaxout : 23rd March 2016 at 00:07.
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Old 23rd March 2016, 11:31   #15
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Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!

Beautiful family, beautiful holiday! Rating 5 stars.

Some parts had me . Hats off to your writing skill. It's well & truly a gift. This travelogue is going straight to the homepage!
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