Fujiyama, Japan

Monday, 27 September 2010

Munich

Google Maps: Munich, Germany
Trip: CopenhagenSalzburg > Munich > Copenhagen

Oktoberfest was the only agenda when we reached Munich  As we arrived at the famous Theresienwiese we realized we were late. The tents were closing down. The girls in bavarian dress were looking amazingly hot - not to forget they were drunk. 


It was late night and we relaxed at the station. An early morning attack was required from us to occupy a better spot in the hanger-size tents that were erected in the Theresienwiese area which is a 15 minute walk from station.


We arrived at one of the tents at 7.30 AM. We were not alone. At least 2000 people were already there making a queue while it rained. The gates opened at 8 and beer was served at 9. By 10 we were clueless as to where we are and decided to walk around. Taking a few snacks we came to ground and decided to go.


As we came on our foot, we moved quickly. The next destination was Dachau. The notorious concentration camp was a source of awe and fear during WW2. The camp was revamped for tourists and had enough reading labels to keep up occupied for a couple of hours.


Our train was scheduled at 7.30 for Copenhagen and hence we decided to take off early. 


Sitting at Munich station was also worthwhile as those girls in bavarian dress at Okcoberfest were in abundant numbers at the station also.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Salzburg

Google Maps: Salzburg, Austria
Trip: Salzburg > Munich

Salzburg is home to the world's largest ice caves and we were going there for that exact thing. It is very close to Munich and consequently I decided to cover it on my Oktoberfest trip. Taking an overnight train to Munich and then another one to Salzburg we managed to reach at 12. The caves would close at 3.30 PM. We decided to take a tour bus which promptly put us at the gate of the caves at 2.30. 

View from Wurfen

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Zermatt

Google Maps: Zermatt, Switzerland
Trip: Luxembourg > Brussels > Amsterdam > Bruges > Fredrichshafen > Zermatt

My first impression of Zermatt was that it is overcrowded and expensive. The roads were narrow and I had no clue where to go first. Wisely I decided to get settled in a Youth Hostel first and then go for exploration work.

Huts @ Matterhorn trail

Monday, 20 September 2010

Fredrichshafen

Google Maps: Friedrichshafen, Germany
Trip: Luxembourg > Brussels > Amsterdam > Bruges > Fredrichshafen > Zermatt

I was woken up at Offenurg by the kind ticket checker. An hour of stay at the cold station and then I was again on move towards Konstanz. It was memorable peice of journey. Hills would rise at short notice, forests would cover the tracks and fog would hide everything for a while. The Black Forests reached their peak at Triberg and then subsided. The lakes were coming more frequently as the Rhine meandered between Germany and Switzerland - but not before swelling at the giant Lake Konstanz.

Lake Constanz, Fredrichshafen

Bruges

Google Maps: Brugge, Belgium
Trip: Luxembourg > Brussels > Amsterdam > Bruges > Fredrichshafen > Zermatt

I was alone and sleepy when I reached the sweet little town of Bruges when the clock was hitting noon. A small crowd of tourists was there to help me in direction and I moved with it. It was a Sunday after all.




Sunday, 19 September 2010

Amsterdam

Google Maps: Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Trip: Luxembourg > Brussels > Amsterdam > Bruges > Fredrichshafen > Zermatt

The city of fantasies was beautiful as well. Canals criss-crossing a bustling landmass inspired long walks. The three of us were there for our own reasons. We were planning a night out and hence no hostel bookings were done.


We started with a good lunch at McDonalds. I was craving for beer but had to wait before the others would part on their search. We did that sooner than I was expecting and decided to meet at the internet cafe near the station at midnight.


Saturday, 18 September 2010

Brussels

Google Maps: Brussels, Belgium
Trip: Luxembourg > Brussels > Amsterdam > Bruges > Fredrichshafen > Zermatt

We reached the capital of Belgium in the morning as we would have the entire day to explore the 'eccentric city'. The first item on agenda was to have the famous Belgian Beer. We strode towards Grote Markt. It is the centre of Brussels and is very near to the main railway station.

Grand  Place @ Brussels

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Luxembourg

Google Maps: Luxembourg
Trip: Luxembourg > Brussels > Amsterdam > Bruges > Fredrichshafen > Zermatt

Luxembourg is the fairy tale city of Europe. We started late night from Copenhagen by a City Night Line. The tiresome journey with three changes at Koln, Coblenz and Trier was proved worth it the moment we entered the realms of this city.

The most beautiful balcony of Europe @ Luxembourg

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Stockholm

Google Maps: Stockholm, Sweden
Trip: Copenhagen > Bergen > Voss > Stockholm

The land of Victoria Silvestedt - that is how I used to relate Sweden with. How correct I was. Stockholm, the capital city, boasts of blondes in such a huge number that it is difficult to keep up with admiration. Where hazel green eyes, golden flowing hair and voluptuous body are a commodity the city is truly a land of fantasies. We started our three days with the trip to one of the archipelago that comprises Stockholm.


Having a sumptuous lunch with some of the hottest exchange students and a stroll at the island, we came back for a night at Stureplan - the centre of friday night parties at Stockholm. We spend a couple of hours observing people before coming back to our abode.


The next day we planned for Vasa Museum and an elaborate stroll to Gamla Stan which is the oldest of the 13 islands that Stockholm is made of. We started with the Change of Guards and missed it by a whisker of a second.


Vasa Museum was huge and elegant. The story of a ship recovered after 300 years in the sea was elaborately displayed.


Gamla Stan was awesome with narrow streets and curious cosmopolitan crowd. We did not buy anything but the walk through the cobbled paths was enough to occupy us all.


The next day we had to go back to Copenhagen  We covered a building which is claimed to be the biggest spherical building in the world.


We were back to Copenhagen and faced a little hurdle when a train accident changed our train routes and we reached our destination one hour later.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Voss

Google Maps: Voss, Norway
Trip: Copenhagen > Bergen > Voss > Flåm > Sognefjorden > Oslo > Stockholm > Copenhagen

It was a short and lonely stay at Voss - for seven hours to be exact. I wanted to cover the entire stretch from Bergen - Oslo in daylight. The problem is there are limited trains from Oslo at night for Stockholm / Copenhagen  Hence Voss came into picture and how beautiful it turned out to be ! The first two hours I invested in walking uphill as much as possible. From up the view of Voss was amazingly simple. Seated comfortably by the side of an elegant lake the city couldn't be more peaceful.


One of the best thing about Europe is the pleasant weather which combines with less pollution to provide you enough oxygen and zeal to stay upbeat. Without much sleep the earlier night I was still fresh and still striving up the mountains that surrounded the town.



While coming down I managed to take quite a few pictures of the lake under the changing intensity of the sun. It was like a slow movie at play by the nature.


My train was late at midnight. The town entertained me till then. In these parts of the world in the middle of September it does not get dark before 9. The last couple of hours were spent finishing a novel which a friend had gifted a couple of months back.


Bergen

Google Maps: Bergen, Norway
Trip: Copenhagen > Bergen > Voss > Stockholm

The overnight train from Oslo to Bergen was half empty. We were able to stretch our legs as night approached. However the first couple of morning hours were crucial and so we set our mobile alarm for 5 AM. The morning was unforgettable. We were passing through fjords. Sky high mountains rose from nowhere and the train would have to tunnel through or meander as per the wishes of nature. We reached Bergen at around 7.


We refreshed ourselves at the station and went straight for the Information Office for a trip to fjords. The two famous fjords were more than 200 miles away and would take atleast two nights to visit. We were disappointed. Seeking instant redemption we went for Mount Floen through a elevator train. 



The view from top was worth more than other days because it was sunny with pleasant breeze at the top. I realized that I am at the edge of Europe.


We decided to walk down to the town as it was much more fun given the warm weather and multiple viewpoints.


Later we settled at Brygge which is a world heritage site thanks to its old port history. The fish market nearby was also enticing with fresh offerings.



At 3, I parted from my friend as I had plans for Stockholm the next evening with Sumeet and Rohit. But before that I had to travel to Voss which would serve two purposes. One I would be able to see the famous Oslo-Bergen rail link in daylight. Secondly Voss is simply beautiful from what I have heard.