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The Austrian Adventure – Part 2

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Exploring new places and their culture has always enthralled Sandhya Raghunandan. Here’s her story. If you too want your travel story featured here, email us at stories@pickyourtrail.com

This is the second in the two-part series of ‘Traveller Diaries’ from Pick Your Trail. Read the first part here 

Singing in Salzburg ~

Our train journey to Salzburg was about two and a half hours. The silence was interrupted only with frequent ‘Wow’s and ‘amazing view’ – so taken were we with the picturesque scenery. We settled into a centrally located hotel and set off early next morning to explore the town. With the looming clouds, our first purchase in the city turned out to be an umbrella!

Salzburg is where the movie ‘Sound of Music’ was filmed and going on a tour of these locations brought a surge of nostalgia in all of us. As we explored the countryside where Captain Von Trapp, Maria and the children must have sung those delightful songs, we could’t help break into song ourselves. There was a moment I choked on my emotions as I sang ‘Do Re Mi..’ with everyone.

mirabell gardens (sound of music
Mirabell Gardens where ‘Sound of Music’ was shot; Photo: Sandhya Raghunandan

I felt young, innocent and childlike, and went back to my happy childhood. The tour ended on a sweet note with some mouthwatering Apple Strudel, the traditional Austrian pastry.

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Image Credit : blog.ryanair.com

We next embarked on the more adventurous Berchtesgaden Trail, which took us across the Bavarian Alps into the most beautiful pockets of Germany. This trail seemed to have taken us straight into the lap of nature itself. High up in the mountains, perched at the edge of a cliff was the Eagle’s Nest – a tea house built for Hitler at 6000 ft elevation. We were probably looking at a place where military strategies took birth!

Prague beckons ~

This train journey to Prague was not exactly a silent one. Our travel companion was a Czech national who regaled us with stories of his country. Before we knew it, we were at Prague’s station – Praha Hlavni Nadrazi.

Yet another surprise awaited us at our hotel – a delicious cake – courtesy Pick Your Trail. What a lovely way to start exploring another exciting country!

The next morning we set off for a most unique tour – a Segway Tour around Prague. Being our first time on a Segway, it took us a couple of minutes to master the machine and then we were off maneuvering our way to the historic centre of Prague. We whizzed our way through memorial gardens, past the Gothic structure of the Tyn Church, over the Charles Bridge and finally to the largest castle in the world, the Prague Castle. The Segway is the most extraordinary experience; zipping around on this gave an almost liberated feeling!

segway ride (1)
Photo: Sandhya Raghunandan

We spent the rest of the day walking across the Charles Bridge , enjoying the view of the Vlatava River, listening to street musicians and looking at beautiful knick-knacks. The relaxed afternoon gave us a beautiful chance to walk around, feeling the influence of the city’s historic past and trying to absorb the culture of this unknown city.

prague castle 2. (1)
Prague Castle; Photo: Sandhya Raghunandan

The next day we travelled to the Spa City – Karlovy Vary, an elegant town near Prague. On the way, the Moser Glass Factory was a brilliant stop over to see how Prague’s famous glass makers craft their ware. At Karlovy Vary, we allowed ourselves to wander around tasting some thermal waters. We discovered that the town located in Western Bohemia, Czech Republic is very popular amongst celebrities.The Karlovy Vary Film Festival takes place here. Yet another film world link would be the Grand Hotel, where the James Bond movie, Casino Royale was shot.

Sklar - oříznuto
Image Credit : www.ckeduco.cz

After our peep into the world of celebrities, we returned to Prague for our last day of our sojourn. The final day of our trip was spent walking all around the city of Prague. We walked once more down the 700 year old Charles Bridge, listening to legends and tales of the land. Prague carries an atmosphere of mystic and magic and a walk down the Alchemist Street or Golden Lane as it is known only proved it right.

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Image Credit : www.hauntednorthamerica.org

When it was time to head back home in India, we gathered our happy thoughts, magical moments and packed our bags. Feeling energised and enriched by the cultural experience we had had over the 12 days, we bid adieu to Czech Republic.

Thus ends the story of Sandhya’s adventure in Austria. Do you want yourself an adventure too? Write to us!

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