Saturday, December 01, 2007

Edelweiss and Apfelstrudels!

Edelweiss, Edelweiss
Every morning you
greet me
Small and white,
Clean and bright,
You look happy to meet

Blossom of snow
May you bloom and grow,
Bloom and grow
Edelweiss, Edelweiss,
Bless my homeland forever

Nice poem isn’t it…When I was a kid I used to sing this and enthrall my folks during weekend get-togethers(just kiddin..due to scientific reasons if I ever sang it might cause the dead to come out of the coffins)…But unfortunately most of you know that this is indeed a song from “The Sound of Music” and probably the sweetest song of all times.. ;-P

As I had mentioned in a blog before I was away on vacation to the place where Julia Andrews pranced in the Alps with a bunch of kids in wartime Austria…The flight to Vienna was pleasant thanks to Lufthansa airhostesses who makes you feel that you’re a judge in a Milan fashion show while they are walking down the aisle as if in a ramp show…and who said flying isn’t fun anymore...and when that 6 foot Claudia Schiffer look-alike said “auf weidersehen” while getting out of the aircraft I was heartbroken..;-(

Neways a old friend of mine was joining the trip from UK and I had a plenty of time waiting for him to arrive…This guy who has been staying in England for sometime isn’t really well versed in German…When we met at the hotel he looked crestfallen and told me that the people in Austria seems to be very racist .While coming to the hotel he kept asking local passerby’s for directions and he said he was showered with expletives straight on the face all the way…Now it didn’t take much long to figure out coz I had faced the same trouble during the first few days in Germany...For the uninformed the Germany word for “Okay” is “aahsoo”..As you see this word when pronounced in a particular slang can be interpreted as a widely popular expletive. I had to do a bit of convincing there that Austrians are actually very nice people…

Talking of Vienna I must say I absolutely loved the city...Smaller compared to other European capitals like Paris…Berlin…or Rome...This city is bathed in typical European charm...Gothic style churches...Wagner architecture...and trendy shops too.

The next day took a train to Salzburg…the same train in which Shahrukh goes Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenga in every film…Checked in at the hostel and set out for a tour of the town...We did a packaged tour of Bavarian Alps and the salt mines where we were shown the Eagles nest...Hitler’s guesthouse which was completed bombed after the war...It was so ironic that such a evil man was born in one of the most beautiful places of the world...I couldn’t stop wondering at the anti-climax of it...

The tour guide was a funny chap whose interesting quotes kept the tour in good vibes...Like on of the announcements…

You can leave your luggage when u get out of the bus...our driver is a thorough professional”
After a short pause he says...”Robert will make sure that you won’t even notice it”

That evening was spending roaming the narrow alleys of the town where Mozart was born...and ofcoz had lot of Gluhwein, Apfelpunsch and Orangepunsch to keep our spirits high!!

The tour we took on the second day must definitely be called the highlight of the whole trip…Called the ‘Sound of music tour’ which takes you to all the main locations where the movie was shot..

Now here we had a Brit woman as the guide and she was at her humorous best...And ofcoz to our embarrassment she cajoled all of us to sing ‘Do-Re-Mi’ during the bus ride…Considering the ‘Sinatra like’ voice I have it was such a pleasure…all I could do was a 'LaLaLaLa' in between laced with 'HoiHoi..HoiHoi' which was hopelessly out of rhythm inside the bus…The stares just reminded me how a powerful German punch on my Indian face could crush my jaws…

The places we were taken to was simply stunning and I was transported in time to the settings of Sound of Music...The best part was in the end we had to fill a feedback form where one of the questions was the number of times we had watched the movie...that’s when my travel mate confessed that he hadn’t ever heard of the movie...forget having seen it..!!

During the ride the guide was pointing out one of the beautiful villas on the way and mentioned for the info of the ladies in the bus that it was owned by the most eligible bachelor in Austria...And of coz after a short pause and by the time all the guys in the bus were sulking at being brushed aside she revealed that the owner was apparently a 90 year old eligible young guy..

Back in Austria we visited all the well known palaces, museums and touristy areas…and not so touristy areas like the Mozart toilet which is one of a kind in the world where you can relieve yourself to Mozart’s symphonies…Nice marketing there..;-P

The trip was memorable having been able to meet a old friend after a long time and seeing a place which is almost picture postcard like…I must say the country beat my expectation and infact Switzerland you would have been nowhere but for your banks and marketing!!..


Cuckoo said...

Vienna is one of my favourite places. Small like Geneva but more beautiful and serene.
And know what ? I also went there to meet an old friend on my way back to India. :)

Thanks for sharing the pictures, memories came alive.

anN-series said...

All these countries jus hours away, but no money in hand..Y am i on a student budget!! hopefully next yr I get to globetrot..

lovely pics and the task of keeping text minimum as always.

"When I was a kid I used to sing this and enthrall my folks during weekend get-togethers"

I did this too (but more out of compulsion by folks). my songs were the 'farewell' song and 'my favourite things'. I am still at times known as 'sun has gone to bed' girl!!!

(yay i am the 2nd to comment-not 34th, 47th or 15th)

Alexis said...

Nice song, excellent pictures, beautiful place and riveting narration...

I really envy you Mats :-(

Priya said...


Its in my list too. Since its fasr from dk, and price is too high we r still under the cover. Glad u went for sound of music tour. They have one in US, Vermont where they got settled when they moved from Austria. Lovely indeed.

silverine said...

Awesome pictures! Good travelogue too. The "Sound of Music " tour is first on my list when I go to Austria! That is coming summer :)

mathew said...

wow..cant think of a better place for a stopover on the way to india..i have been to geneva before and like u said vienna beats it!!;-)

@Ann series
thanks..and btw i was kiddin about the singing thing..and have edited the post to avoid anymmore such misunderstandings..;-p

I loved the songs Edelweiss and "my favourite things" the most in the movie..and ofcoz Juila Andrews..sigh!!

thanks a lot..and the enjoyment is costing lot of money too..:-P
btw i got my parents to buy a copy of RD and they told me to convey their wishes to you..

yeah..the Trump family started the resort in Vermont after they went bankrupt in Europe..heard that its a popular skiing resort there..

wow..i assure u wont regret are goin there at the best possible time..i was there offseason and the silver lining was far less crowds..

spend atleast a few days in Salzburg..u ll love it..
I hope to read a better travelogue next summer.:-)

Mishmash ! said...

WOW ! such a pristine beauty !! You re getting good at travelogues...I liked this one better :)

Needless to say , I am a bit jealous too :P Btw, we want more pictures :)

P.S So...met any Simran in the train? :P

Anonymous said...

some guys haben all the luck!

Still Searching said...

I loved Vienna too! I forget the name of the big castle there, but that was amazing! And the Danube tower was awesome too, I almost bungee jumped from there.. I actually bungee jumped at the Prater Amusement park finally.. I couldn't go to Salzburg, which is a regret.. looks lovely.. and I'm not sure how you felt, but for me it would be a great dampner to realize that my travel mate has not even heard of the Sound of Music! lol!

eljo said...

Beautiful write-up and awesome pics! Now the problem is that the song "Edelweiss" is stuck in my head like a broken record. I am humming it nonstop and I am getting strange looks from my colleagues :-)

Adorable Pancreas said...

Did you sing 'so long, farewell' when you left?

I want to go to Austria too! Waaah! :(

Anonymous said...

wowie ...wat a beautiful place to meet up an ol friend ...

alakananda said...

there you go again gallivanting all across europe and leaving us stewing in envy. hah!

Rejil Krishnan said...

adipoli envying u...:)

VIDYA said...

woeeyyy lowely pics thr!!! :)

u have such amazing trips. :)

Ajith Prasad Balakrishnan said...

Man..u r having really a good time..Enjoy [:)]..Btw, couldnt u locate any Indian girl in that 'Dilwale' train ;) ?

Nanditha Prabhu said...

your travelogues too are great to read. u are making me jealous though!such beautiful pics!

B said...

sweet poem. and OMG. what grand pics! :) L-O-V-E-L-Y .......

B said...

aww u sang doremi on the bus...... LOL. post is funny

Neer said...

i cant stress the point of envy i have reached here....! ah, but am happy for you and heyyy danke schon! for all the tales... !

p.s: yep, i did pay attention in my german classes! :p

good read!

Zee said...

oh i simply love sound of music! how many times i must've seen it as a child and recently when i caught it on dvd after many years, i had a tear in my eye. as a child, i didn't understand much of the movie but after studying history the movie just seemed so so sooooo significant!

i hope i get to see austria someday...just like i hope to see bali and switzerland and greece and italy and france and israel someday!!! :)

pls put up more pictures of the sound of music tour pls pls!

Di said...

i still havent watched Sound of Music despite knowing almost everything about it :((( will make it a point to watch it soooon :)

mathew said...

Hahaha..Simran vannu illa.;-P
Yeah..absolutely loved the place.. :-)

You know the first time I read your blogger name..i read it as Daily RUM..i thought of suggesting you to AA..;-P

@Still searching
Phew..bungee adrenalin rush of that kind for me..;-P
Yeah..we had been to Prater as well..just took the giant wheel ride..

Thank you..yeah..i was playing it all day for a few days after I came back to the annoyance of my roomies..

@Adorable Pancreas
Hahaha..they played that at the end of the tour..:-)

Yeah..infact we are meeting up again in Spain this Xmas..


mathew said...


Yeah..i must say I got lucky atleast there..

Unfortunately no..but had a good time admiring the videshi damsels..

But I guess I haven’t traveled as much as you..Japan is one place I would like to see..

@Red Soul
;-P..dont worry..i dint see sing long enough..

Wow..Bitte schon..;-P
I wish I learned German before coming here..:-)

Yeah..infact I saw it as a kid and just loved it for the songs..but later on when I saw it in the background of history it was even more touching.. some place to go..and Greece are giving me ideas..;-P

You should one has ever lived in the earth who has said the movie is bad..must see classic..

Dhanya said...

Austria is my fav place as well :) sound of music tour, Berchtesgaden, K√∂nigssee , ice caves ,.. I don't mind visiting these places again n again.. And even I had ur friend's experience.. I took the sound of music tour coz it was covering the austrian country sides.. even I hadn't watched the movie then.. So when they sang the ‘Do-Re-Mi' I had to be totally silent! Anyway first thing i did after my return was to watch the movie :)

SeePearrl said...

vowww lovely pics? looks like you are a professional photographer!! :)

J said...

Nice travelogue and pics. You seem to be travelling a lot huh? Good, now I can tell the husband what a nice holiday Vienna will make! :)

Congrats on completing two years of rambling!!! Keep going, Love reding your posts!:)

Anonymous said...

I dared to sing Edelweiss in my blog once :D
And wow you been to all those places? The Do-ro-me song and the Abbey and the Hills-are-alive song - do they all remain the same? Did you get to see the Von Trapp house?

You are one lucky fellar. I started watching TSOM since I was 10, and pictured self in the 10-year old Brigitta's role. I graduated to Maria's now :D