Dark clouds around 6:00pm turned into heavy showers around 7:30pm leaving everyone stranded on the roads. Not prepared for the sudden showers showed in everyones face, happiness for relief from heat and anxiety as to how to reach home. The rain was so heavy that a short movement of 10meters after getting down the bus to a shelter nearby left my pants and shirt drenched in water, not to forget my head. Thanks to Levis showroom guys in 4th Block Koramangala who allowed us to stand inside. Unfortunately for them their board crashed down in the heavy winds.
Update: When it rains in Bangalore electricity goes off. And the worst part was in some areas it was complete blackout till today morning there was no power. Pretty tough night with lot of mosquitoes going around and when covering with a blanket makes you sweat. Luckily I had Odomos ointment which I used to fight the mosquitoes and that was quite effective.
From Innsbruck I take the evening train to Wien. On the train I meet a student of Wien University who happened to be flipping through pages of lonely planet book. Under impression that it was for Wien I enquire to learn that it is for South India a journey which is under plan for them. Me being an Indian and a South Indian I share my knowledge about this beautiful country. And goes the conversation for few hours till we reach Wien.
At the station my host picks me up and we walk down to the place.
Its pretty easy to travel around in Wien also. Most of the touristic spots are located in the 1st district. Take a printout of the City Tour or the Ring Tour from this link. Rest is pretty simple.
On the first day I walk around the 1st district for 6hrs stopping at spots like Parliment, History Museum, SchornKirch. I paid 10euros for walking inside the History Museum which had a wonderful tagline “We don’t have emperors, We have only their jewels”.
The entry fee looked pretty high for me and so I stayed away from other museums, tho I dont think I missed much.
I complete almost 3/4th of the tour when I reach the river Danube. I spend about 1hr along the river side without doing anything. Some other time I would have thot why am I wasting time but here I was on vacation and had liberty to do what I wanted to do without thinking about work or anything else.
Then I walk along the river check out some clubs and then feeling hungry walk over to “Der Wien Deewan” restaurant. This restaurant is very unique. They serve Pakistani/North-Indian curry (3 varieties of chicken & 3 veg). You can take the curry with as much rice as you want. The concept is very simple “Pay as you wish”. How much ever you eat, whatever you feel like paying pay. This was started by a Pakistani who married an Austrian and settled in Wien. This is a definite must for whoever is touring this city.
On the second day I dont do much. Later in the afternoon, I meet two guys Dirk and Nick who are travelling around the World on their motorbikes. They, my host and me we have lunch and then some photoshoot time and then some conversation with the bikers am off to take the train back to Frankfurt which ends my vacation.
Nick had worked in India some years back and click here to follow them.
Sarlszburg, Innsbruck, Vienna are the three main touristic cities in Austria. Of the three, I skipped the first one to go to the second one.
I have travelled by plane, cruiser across countries. So this time I decided to take the Deutsche Bahn for travel to Austria from Germany and back. The normal fares are pretty high in train but there was a special offer by which I got my tickets for entire journey for less than half the usual price.
So from the city of Mannheim, I take the City Night Line to Sarlszburg and then change over to the next train to reach Innsbruck.
It was raining when I was leaving Mannheim not that the other days during my stay was any different.
Innsbruck is not a big city. Surrounded by snow covered mountains even during this time of the year the view is just mind blowing. Stand at one point maybe the Bergisel Ski Jump Stadium terrace and take a 360deg turn. From start to end of the turn you will be bowled over by the scenery and the beauty.
Bergisel is one of the main tourist spots in Innsbruck. You can either use the cable car or climb the staircase (255 steps approximately) to go up the terrace which is 50mt above Innsbruck. From Bergisel to the Castle there is a route by which one should be able to walk down but I did not try it neither did I go to the castle since I spent more than 2hrs at Bergisel. And it was pretty tiring walking up and down. I went to Bergisel on the second day of my stay in Innsbruck.
Earlier day after reaching Innsbruck station, thanks to couchsurfing I get a space to stay. So I go up to the place for surfing. After pretty good breakfast and a long chat getting to know each other I leave on my journey for next 5hrs. First thing I do is get a map of the city at the Tourist Information Center which is located in MuseumStrasse.
But before I went to the Information Center I walked through the old city and having been updated on the buildings by my host it was much easy. There is also Alpen Zoo nearby but coming from India watching animals in zoo’s don’t excite me!!!
Later I start my walk up the road towards HungerBurg. Having covered most distance and with less than 2kms to cover I do not find any space for pedestrians. I look around and finally give up and start my way down. The best would be to take the tram from Renweg to HungerBurg and that would be really amazing ride up and down. Dont miss it.
Travelling from Germany within the German region it is Konstanz, from the Swiss or Austria section it is called Bodensee. Its a big lake originating from the Alps flowing down through Austria is the intersection of the three countries.
You can just keep walking along the lake and if you have a valid visa for entering Switzerland you can within few minutes!!
Its a highly romantic place and a good getaway. Though you might not find lot of tourists from other countries who visit mostly the main cities in the countries.
When in Heidelberg, Germany dont miss having the drink Raki or Ouzo. Raki is Turkish speciality while Ouzo is Greek speciality. Both are made of sombu (in Tamil), Sönf (in Hindi) and tastes pretty good.
There are quite 4 french restaurants and the best among them is Jaegers Restaurant. Have not yet been there but the reviews are pretty good.
Dont miss Bombe Apfel @ Destille. This drink is Tobasco (chilly & pepper mix I believe) and more than 2 could give stomach problems if you are not from India!! 🙂
If you want real hot & spicy stuff check out Pizzeria (this is adjacent to Döner Kabab) on Haupstrasse. And ask for the chilly flakes. These made even an Andhraite from India shed water from eyes.
If you want some good and cheap Indian food head towards Raja Rani. Walking on Haupstrasse towards castle you will find Dubliner on the left side. Take the road opposite to Dubliner and keep walking inside you will find Raja Rani on right side. North Indian food not spicy.
When in Mannheim, Germany dont miss out Stars on ParadePlatz. Its complete glass and even you take lift with walls of glass to go up. Anyone with fear of heights would not like to be in the lift. The lounge is surrounded with glass and one can get a good view of the city especially at night time.
There are lot of Turkish restaurants near MarketPlatz and the best one being Sultan Imbis. Try out Döner with rice and salad.
On the road opposite to MarketPlatz, at number S4 you can find Enchiladas, the Mexican restaurant. The music is very typical and so are the food. Any item can be ordered with additional Jalapenos for more spice. Be there well before 8:00pm in the evening.
Check out this link if you want to party in Mannheim. The page is in German language but its not difficult to understand.
For evening snack, if you are interested in big pack of potatoes or chicken try out ‘Big Pommes’. The have outlet in Mannheim & Heidelberg. in Mannheim near MarketPlatz and in Heidelberg on Haupstrasse.
This is one program I would not like to miss but then since I got no television at home in India I would have to look out for recordings on youtube or from other friends.
This program is called ‘The Story of India’ and it is quite a promising program to be aired on Discovery Channel for 6 weeks on every Wednesday starting 16th April 2008.
This is a must watch program for everyone who still does not have much knowledge on Indian history. For other country viewers am not sure if it would be aired.