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Archive for the ‘urlaub’ Category

Holland

Bicycles – Check. Windmills – Check. Flat Land everywhere – Mostly. Orange – Lots of it. Photos – Yup!

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I Like Wien!

Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Strauss, Wagner, Schubert. Many composers lived at least part of their life in Austria. As a result there are many “Mozart lived here!” sort of attractions in Vienna. There’s free entry on Sunday! But after visiting 1 or 2 you realise that it’s just a house to show some of their personal belongings and sell their CDs. In fact, for Beethoven’s house, they write “Beethoven lived here – but not in this apartment, but the one opposite”.

The Schönbrunn Schloß lives up to its name – einen Schön (beautiful) Schloß (palace in this case). The palace in itself is not very exciting, but the story behind it is interesting though messy. A workaholic Franz Josef, an unsatisfied traveller Elisabeth, a suicidal son and a daughter married out to preserve friendly relations with France, only to be guillotined, just to name a few. The view from the Gloriette in the garden is lovely too.

The Danube seems to have changed its course over the years at this certain place along the river. There’s the old Donau, the Donau and the new Donau. A little island has been created in between 2 of them, and on this Sunday many people are out here cycling and walking. Charming. There’s also lots of graffiti along the bridge of the Danube. Some sound like death notes to their girlfriends before they jump, while others are poetic. Many of the artworks would probably make it into the top positions of art competitions.

No trip to Vienna would be complete without an Opera. Since my night train timing prevented me from watching anything at the Staatsoper, I settled for an evening show at the Volksoper, das Land des Lächelns (The Land of Smiles). For the storyline you can check the internet, but imo wasn’t the best of storylines. It was all in German as expected, my €2 standing place put me somewhere where I could not see the English supertitles. So I roughly understood the conversations (of which there was surprisingly a lot of), but could not make out the singing.

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Madness in Milano

Milan is nice. Many really old buildings, lovely architecture, contrasted with the new buildings sprouting out all around. It’s full of colour, and while walking down the many alleys I always have this feeling of turning back to soak in the view and atmosphere of the streets. The Duomo di Milano is breathtaking, the Gallerio Vittorio Emanuele looks more like a museum than a shopping street.

::Duomo di Milano::

The streets are mostly named after people in the city’s history, adding to its flavour. Some are also after famous people and the sights. There is little or no evidence of town planning. Roads bend one way then the other, seemingly trying to avoid pre-existing buildings. A huge road can suddenly become a small one. The signs are not clear either.

When one asks for directions, they get Italian answers. I tried doing that numerous times, and on all but one occassion the reply was in fluent Italian. And some of them would even ask me questions, to which I’d just shake my head and say “non, non”. This explains why I got lost 4 times in the 2 hours that I was there.

Which explains why I took more than an hour finding my way back to the main train station, where I was supposed to take an €8 bus to Bergamo Airport to fly to Bratislava. I missed the bus by 5 minutes despite cutting short my planned route because I kept getting lost. I could not communicate to anyone that I was in urgent need of quick transport or I’d miss my plane. I ran to the taxi stand and pointed to my flight itinerary print out which showed the time of my flight. I got into the taxi and all i could remember were my italian music terms from long ago. I just said things like “allegro. piu allegro.” The meter in the taxi ticked at fast as my heart was beating (on hindsight, about the same speed as you’d play an allegro piece).

I made it 5 minutes before check-in closed, but my whole trip was spoiled at the sight of the €100 receipt. The cost of my whole trip just doubled.

::Remnants of the Earliest Walls in the City::

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Europa Park!

::Internet has been down at my place::

I went to the Europa Park with the ESN today. I would not have heard of the place, except that SX gave me a writeup of it just before I left for Europe. It’s supposed to be one of the most popular amusement parks in Europe (after Disneyland probably). And it has the tallest roller coaster in Europe too =)

It was drizzling when we got there. I thought it was bad, but a friend told me rather positively that it’s the best day to visit the Park – Weekday, not so good weather. = No queues for the rides. True enough, we barely had to queue for anything as we tried out the stuff in super quick time. The Silver Star at a top speed of 127kmh and 4gs was great, we did it 4 times! Ask me for the video =x Other than the rides, there were things like Horror Houses, an Ice Skating Show, Rafting and Parrot Show. Lots of stuff for children too! We managed to finish the whole place within a day, such was the lack of people there.

::View from the Top::

Recommended:

  • EuroMir – coaster
  • Silver Star – coaster
  • 4D cinema – 3D + 5 senses
  • Matterhorn Blitz – crazy coaster
  • Atlantis Adventure – shooting game while on a (slower) coaster

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Back to the Equator

Just got back from Chiang Rai and Bangkok, and that concludes my Thailand visit this time around.

Got my accommodation in Bülachhof reserved for me already, so now need to start budgeting and getting my other stuff prepared. I’m still open for WG sharing, so do let me know! 🙂

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-equator boy is away from the equator 1-

away from the rain and gloom (and good weather for sleeping) in Singapore, to the sunny island of Phuket. see you guys soon 🙂

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