The Beer Trail

In another world and time, gerontologist a trip to Europe would have meant a detailed blog-entry. But I am back already after a packed week travelling in trams and trains of Austria and Germany (with a short detour into Hungary), grip and it’s a week already, and I haven’t even thought of updating this space. Nay, even there, while viewing and visiting those lovely gardens and castles and palaces (and yeah, a slice of their night-life), I didn’t ‘think’ of how it would end up as a post. Perhaps, it was better then. At least, I ‘saw’ and ‘felt’ more, because I knew I had to convey it all to the readers.

Now, I just went through the motions, like a normal tourist – a snap here, a video shoot there, an awe-struck glance on the expansive landscape, and a jaw-dropping gaze on the Autobahns, and then rush to the bus for another ‘sight’ to ‘see’. In fact, these travel agency organized structured itinaries, though well-meaning, can be tiresome and bothersome. You just manage to get enough time to capture the best in your camera. The sensations, and the feelings, and the emotions, are thereafter meant to be felt once you are back, and view the recordings – that is, if you get time to transfer the data from camera to computer.

Last time, in South Africa, I didn’t have a camera. I ‘tied up’ with a colleague – who meant to give me the photos I had clicked once back in Mumbai. Six months later, I have yet to get them – and frankly, it’s not entirely his fault. Even I had forgotten about it. This time, I had made an expensive purchase (Sony Handycam) before leaving. The videos are all languishing in the hard-disk, waiting to be ‘converted’ into some glossy film (which I had intended to).

The seven day trip had the following highlights:

– Vienna: a quaint and neat town, with superb architecture. They also know how to enjoy life (and value it as well). The Euro Cup quarter-finals (Turkey v/s Croatia) was a sight to behold as fans crowded the market place, drinking beer, dancing, hooting and generally having gala time. Our cricket ‘craze’ can’t hold a candle to their devotion!

– Budapest: Remember Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam? And the scene where Ajay Devgan is drunk in front of a bridge (also, shown in the climax, when Ash and Ajay click a snap) – saw that upfront and live. It’s a beautiful bridge over the Danube, but more than that, it’s their Parliament building which takes your breath away.

– Salzburg: It’s the home of Sound of Music – they have a complete tour on it. We didn’t do that. But we loved the small lanes and bylanes and the taverns and the little arches over the river cutting through the town. We also visited Mozart’s home.

– Salt Mine & Swarovsky Museum: Salzburg means the ‘home of salt’ and is known for its saltmines. The Europeans are surely enterprising. They leave no chance or opportunity wasted to earn extra money. Imagine converting a bland salt mine into a unique joy-ride. Enter by a rickety train, slide down through polished rails (with your heart stuck in your throat) and row over ‘salt water’ in the dark – all of it deep inside the mountain. Similarly, Swarovsky – the crystal people – have built a museum.

A thought that never left me – we must be having several mines and many art-work more beautiful than Swarovsky crystals – it just needs imagination to convert them into a roaring tourist hub!

– Munich: Beer and Bavaria go hand in hand. In fact, beer is cheaper than water. And easily available. And better tasting. We stayed here the longest.

– Dachau Concentration Camp: If you are in Germany, Hitler can’t be so easily wished away (though his signs are now few and far). Dachau Camp, one of the initial atrocity centers, is a few miles north of Munich, and leaves you shivering. Walking through the gas chambers, and standing in front of incinerators, and looking at the barren floors that held lifeless corpses strewn like discarded rags, gives you goosebumps. You can only pray that you are alive and happy and away from all the pain that people went through during those dark, sad years.

Neuschwanstein Castle– I thought those fairy tale castles existed only in fairy tales. But they are there. In stone and sand. And it was a mindblowing sight to behold them live. Do click on the link.You will be love it. And watching it live is a different sensation altogether.

9 Responses to “The Beer Trail”

  1. Juneli says:

    So most exciting travels are happening after you reaching the most happening city. Great. 😀

    And congrates for the Sony Handycame :). Now you come Nepal to shoot 😛

    “….Beer and Bavaria go hand in hand. In fact, beer is cheaper than water. And easily available. And better tasting. We stayed here the longest.” Ha ha ha ha….. :))

  2. Juneli says:

    Hope you will post some photos very soon :).

  3. Varun Sood says:

    hey gimme d videos…n d choclates u brought were awesome…

  4. kaush says:

    I was about to email you and see why you didnt replyand what you had been upto in europe but just thought of checking your site!

    Wow yaar kya trip liya hai! damn. I have always wanted to see Neuschwanstein Castle. In fact ever since I first saw it wanted to get married there. If only my dad was big shot (okay more than a big shot) it would have been handy. Anywho…sounds like a nice trip

    and what yaar, the first para sounds so depressing that you were not thinking about the readers just strolling through like a normal tourist…sob

    Beer and Bavaria! Damn! They have the Bavarian beer at the grocery store here but I am sure its nowhere near what the authentic stuff tastes like!

  5. priyangini says:


    You missed quite a few really rainy days in Mumbai. good for you. I can see you had a good time. I just saw sound of music, would have loved to see Salzburg. The concentration camp must have really interesting too, I have always wondered whether such places really existed or it was some crazy guy’s wretched imagination.

    Also echoing Kaush, what is this talk about not thinkign about penning these experiences down, kya ho gaya hai? Are we really losing the upcoming writer you once were? C’mon the Indian Literature scene is thristing for you.

    The Beer must have been the highlight of the trip. You would have really loved to grin and beer it I am sure. Probably its back to the grind for you. I miss Mumbai, how is it doing?

  6. Juneli – Yeah, i will post photos…but when , can’t say 😛

    Varun – U r always welcome 😀 And yes, next when i m @ ur place will show u the videos/photos – huge size, can’t email them…

    Kaushi & Priyangini Thanks for the long long comments… reminds me of the ol’ days :))

    Kaushi – yeah ideal place to get married and go off for a honeymoon trip. In fact, en route there is something called ‘lovers route/road’ which is basically beautiful countryside interspersed with cottages/motels, for you know what ;-))

    Pri – yeah the beer was toooo good. And not lost, but the writer is on the back-seat for sometime. u know i always bounce back 🙂

    Mumbai is fine – not rained much since i returned…but there was one slight hitch here… personal… will relate in a post once i m back frm my tour this week…

  7. Harshad Jangla says:

    Welcome back.Glad u enjoyed the tour. Shall look forward to get some pic here.
    Keep writing plz.
    -Harshad Jangla
    Atlanta, USA

  8. anks says:

    hey, long long time since i was here…. looks like you did have a good trip… and you didn’t think of blogging about it is perfectly understandable – after all, blogging has taken a back seat in your life… and i hope that is because you are way too busy and loving it!


  9. Seema says:

    Beautiful description albiet a short one of a wonderful holiday. Hope you are coping well with the post holiday blues 🙂

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