On one fine morning, I was informed by manager that I would be travelling to Germany for a ten day period.This initially didnt excite me as always a trip to new place would do and may be it was because I had to travel all alone and that would be a difficult task being a talkative gal I am :).
I had one weekend which I could use for sight seeing over there and suddenly realised I had a friend,Anil PJ in Austria who was eagerly looking for some company to roam around and discussed about a trip and finalised to visit Vienna where he stayed.
Finally the day came when I had to travel and I was praying and hoping to see some snow fall in Germany where the weather was kinda sunny and no signs of snowfall.But it didnt disappoint me for long as well :)
My stay there were filled with meetings and discussions and meeting the develpopers but the evenings were all for myself where I roamed around Mannheim city.
Mannheim is a central place with decent crowd and you wouldnt get bored once you enter the place called parade platz which is like quadrants and has all sort of shopping malls overe there.You could visit Galleria, a shopping mall there for all good stuffs at reasonable price.But make sure you roam around and check out stuff before you make a purchase as you might be tempted to spend too much on the variety of chocolates you see in various shops.
I couldnt resist comparing Germany with our own country, though I felt I shouldnt. The trains and buses, trams were so on time, with all details provided in the platforms.Though people dont look so
friendly to outsiders, they never hesitated from helping, if you went up to ask for a help.I realized it many a times while travelling in train.
Automobile is one thing which cannot stop talking about. You can find all makes of cars over here and the beautiful roads supporting them to glide thruogh.There are roads called Autobahns where you
can drive without any speed limits and there is cut off only on minimum speed you can be on that road which is 60 km (can u imagine such roads here in Bangalore??? :D )
My lonelyliness grew with days passing by and I was waiting for the weekend where I could meet my friend and started my journey to Vienna on friday evening.With lots of fears of traveling alone, I
set my step into the train in Frankfurt and I felt safe with company I gotto travel to Austria.It was nice to know that people there talked about our so called Bollywood adn spoke about the songs and dances in movies :)
On reaching Vienna, we set out to iceskiing spot,"Semmering" as planned by PJ. There was no sign of snowfall anywhere on the way and I was kind of disappointed.
Hoping for a snowfall, We put on those heavy gears for skiing and set to do some skiing(if at all we did!) falling and raising all through.... Suddenly I could see flakes falling on and Yes Snowfall had started and the first snowfall of my life left me thrilled and amazed.We spent our whole day there. the long walk in the snowfall was something which I loved a lot where we missed our way back and found it again, much before our departure train arrived.
The Next day we went to Schunnbrunn palace in Vienna. I will not write about the history of the palace but its simplicity. The palace looked very simple from outer view but was rich in interiors.I cannot provide the pics here as we were not allowed to click pics of the palace. One can see the King's simple life and the Queen's lavish and the craze for Chinese art.You can see couple of room walls all filled with the flower vases designed in Chinese art.The whole palace areas is so huge and beautiful with ponds inside and a view point to see whole of the place from a height.It has one big zoo with lots of animals which I hadn't seen back here in India. I loved the maintenance of the zoo and felt pity for the animals in our own Bannerghatta national park.I heard from my friend that the place is best visited during summer to see the plants and trees in full color.
The pleasant stay in Austria ended so fast with Vienna sending me off again with a snowfall.
Our team colleagues had arranged for a visit to Blackforest one day after office hours. The Black forest valley looked so beautiful in the evening and I thought of going back during summer.The drive was very pleasant with a drive in a 2km length tunnel which was built under the river Rhine and through the valley where many Russian families resided on small hills with their big Bungalow kind houses. The view reminded me of the scenes from "walk on the clouds" movie.
On reaching the Black forest, I found a lake called mummelsee which was frozen due to the cold weather.My colleague helped me with the legend prevailing there about the place.It was supposed to be filled with spirits who helped the villagers and which the father of the spirits didn't like. Since it was late in the evening, we couldn't spend much time overe there and headed to a local restaurant ending the day with delicious food served.Also the place is famous for the kukuwah(kuku watches) and you could bring home one of it if you wish to listen to it every hour :)
Finally my days in Germany came to an end with lots of mixed kind of memories and chocolate shopping :)
Places visited: Vienna, Semmering
Famous for : Palace,Ice skiiing.
Blackforest: Hill station with view through valleys.
Shopping which is worth : Leatherbags,jackets,kitchen knives,chocolates.
If you happen to shop ni Galleria in Mannheim, make sure to collect a duty free bill/slip they provide you along with your invoice.This can be showed in Germany consulate to avail the taxed amount
back into your pocket.
Stay: My stay was in Mannheim in "Intercity Hotel" situated very next to the central station. The best part about this hotel was that it provided complimentary train pass which I could use to travel through that zone.
Places you could also visit:
If you have enough weekends ort free weekdays, you plan to see many places within or out of Germany.You should feel lucky to visit Germany as it is a neighbour to several beautiful countries that none of your weekends g waste, if you are one travel freak.You could choose to go to Heidelberg,Struttgart which are very close to Mannheim and as heard, have beautiful castle(Mannheim too has a castle and a museum )
If you would like to go further you have many other places within Germany or else you could also plan to visit Paris,Swiss,Prague,Venice,Rome or Madrid and have a splendid trip.
Adding some more pics clicked in the palace zoo and many others....