Visited on:29th May 2004
Recently I visited a country called "Österreich" and went to its
capital "Wein"! Actually these are the local names of "Austria" and
"Vienna" respectively. We started for Vienna Friday morning from my
place in Frankfurt (in Germany) in my friend's BMW and soon we were
cruising at 200 kmph. (Germany is probably the only country without any
First thing I did after reaching Vienna was to taste some delicious
'Huhnchen Schnitzel'. Then we visited the number one attraction of
Vienna "Schönbrunn Palace" which was the summer residence of Austrian
Monarchs. I had seen this palace on Discovery channel's Lonely Planet
travel series and I never thought I would actually come here one day.
The palace stuns you with its beauty. The rooms are decorated in white
and gold colours with lots of mirrors and ceiling frescos. Each room is
steeped in history and many of them have set the scene for historic
events.. It was here that 6 year old Mozart gave his first live
concert. Napoleon's 21 year old son died in the Napoleon's room here.
Heads of US and USSR met here at the height of cold war. Not to mention
the famous Vienna conference. Unfortunately for commoners like us
photography is not allowed inside the palace.
In the evening we went to a place called "Ring Boulevard" at the heart
of the city which was a ring of fortification in ancient times. It was
a happening place with lots of shops and open air Restaurants where
lots of people were enjoying the summer with a beer. It was too
tempting for some of us so we decided to settle for in one of those
open air restaurants overlooking a massive Gothic Church.
We stayed in a youth hostel for a night in Vienna. Next morning we were
off to the historic 'First District' where there are lots of monuments.
You can see a typical European historic statue at every street and
corner. You can see palaces, churches and museums having a typical
European architecture. To name few
-Two imposing adjacent twin buildings of Museum of Natural history and Kunshistoriches Museum
-Hoffburg palace and chapel
-Schmetterlinghaus (Butterfly House)
-Church of Teutonic Order
You are taken straight to the 16-17th century when you roaming around
in this 1st district of Vienna. I also tried my hand at rock climbing
at one square where a sports event was organised and any passer-by
We had to leave Vienna in the evening. Of course, we could not see the
complete city in two days but it was a wonderful experience in Vienna.
If you happen to be Europe, my suggestion is don't just go to Paris and
Rome. Visit Vienna too.
Written By: Gajendra Shirsat
Visited on:9th Oct 2004
I have something to thank TCS for. TCS sponsored my visit to Amsterdam. I Went there for a training!
We started from "amacha" Frankfurt on Friday evening. We travelled by
ICE train which moves at a speed of 200-300 kmph. We touched the land
of the Dutch at 11.00pm.
A few things about Amsterdam. Its the capital of Netherlands (Holland)
and was (still is) one of the major ports of the world. Its from here
that Dutch explorers set out to sail around the world. Its based on
banks of Amstel river and hence the name probably. Many of you must
have got a glimpse of Amsterdam in Amitabh's movie Silsila in which a
few songs were shot in the beautiful Tulip gardens here.
Practically everybody speaks English here, so a friendly country for
English speaking people. We put up ourselves at a Hotel near
Amsterdam's Schiphol Airport. We left the hotel at around 8 pm to see
the nightlife of Amsterdam. A place called Dam Square is located at 10
min walk from the Amsterdam Central Station and its the centre of
activities in Amsterdam. There are lot of places of significance here
like the War Memorial, The Palace of Dutch Royalty (Orange), Royal
Church, Amsterdam Stock Exchange and Madame Tussuad's wax Museum (the
only museum in Amsterdam u should see if you are short of time).
Next day we went for canal ride around Amsterdam. A canal cruise is
definitely the most authentic way of seeing Amsterdam. Amsterdam city
is famous for its canals which are omnipresent there (Some facts and
figures, Amsterdam has 165 canals, 1281 bridges!). These canals were
formed in 17th century. But many of them were filled in around the
start of the 20th century, mainly for sanitary reasons. The remaining
canals are still pretty filthy, but there's nothing like seeing
Amsterdam by boat. While boating u have those typical houses leaning
and looming on both sides of the canal, bridges arch over the canals,
some of them opening for tall water traffic. The ride lasts for one
hour and takes u around Amsterdam.
During the canal ride we noticed a few things about houses in
Amsterdam. They hardly keep distance between two adjacent houses
probably due to lack of space in the city and all houses are max 2-3
storeys with a hook at the top floor for lifting the furniture rather
than carrying it on the top floors through stairs.
After lunch we visited Madame Tussaud's wax museum where Hollywood star
Arnold welcomed us. (Well, not exactly, rather his wax statue). This
was my first visit to Madame Tussaud's and it's mind blowing. They have
a lot of celebrities and politician's statues. You'll find statues of
Piece Brosnan, Sean Connery, Charlie Chaplin, Bush, Pope, Dalai
Lama,Gandhiji,Nelson Mandela,Elvis,MJ,Nicholas Cage, Princess Diana etc
We left Amsterdam on Sunday night by ICE. Don't miss Amsterdam if u r
in Europe. If at all u have plans to visit, go between march and May
because you can even see much talked about Tulip Gardens there.
Written By: Gajendra Shirsat