Oct 12, 2005

Austria - A Heaven on Earth

Asin and Vikram are going to take-off to Austria for Majaa. Wow.. this brought back my fond memories of Austria. Few years ago, I visited Bad Gastein, a hilly town on the Alpine region, for a conference. What a refreshing change it was!! FYI, this was the place where most part of "Sound of Music" was shot. There was no university in that town but the conference organizers had rightly chosen Gastein for its scenic beauty. While Switzerland is the real 'hotspot' in Europe for Indian movies, I always wondered why no one went to Austria. Such a beautiful country. Those who have Google earth, type 'Bad Gastein, Austria' and enter to see the location of the place I am talking about. (Best when viewed from above 15- 20 000 feet). BTW, it is only a few miles away from Swizland.

Little bit of travelogue: I landed in Munich airport, Germany and took a bus to Gastein. It was a wonderful drive on a cool July afternoon. That was my first trip abroad and everything FELT sooo good... Cool breeze, clean air, broad roads, scenic driveways, etc.



I was put up in a hotel and got a double bed-room. Opened the balcony curtain and wow.. icy, cloudy Alps in front of my eyes!! Damn happy.




Turned my head to the other side and saw my neighbor home. Beautiful flowers.



Refreshed, wore a formal dress to attend the conference inaugural dinner. The conference center was located at such a wonderful place... there was a water fall, right next to the left wall.. !!



BTW, it was a conference on 'Synthetic Metals'. Sounds strange? Was very highly excited to see all the pioneers working in my field, whom I had seen only in fotos.

On the very first day, in one of the talks, someone from UK quoted our work which was published just 4 months ago. Oh man, I was on cloud nine.. My poster session went very well and made some good friends. It was a big success.

Was completely tied up with the tight sessions of the conference that I couldnt go for sight-seeing.. (would be a different story if I get such a chance now.. :-) ) On the last day, took a long walk on the mountain side along a clear stream. A truly unforgettable afternoon it was!! mmm.. looking forward to visiting the place all over again - but this time, not alone. :-)

16 comments:

Nitin said...

Raju, sounds awesome.I want to go to Switzerland, and Austria sometime. So ru studying Physics or Chemistry at UF?

Raju said...

Wow Nitin, that was real quick.. I was not even through with my post editing and I got ur comment..

I would recommend the entire Alpine region for a visit... Austria has some real beautiful places.

I am studying chemistry at UF.

tt_giant said...

Looks awesome. And you say all this in July (end of summer)?.

I would love to visit Swiss. Maybe I should add this place to my wish list too!. But, Ibiza is on the top of my list!!.

mitr_bayarea said...

wow...great pics..would definitely like to visit this place once during my lifetime...good luck for ur next visit with ur significant other and have fun.........

Raju said...

Deepak, July middle is about the right time to visit Europe, IMHO. Summer coming to an end.. and you get cool breeze in the morning and evening.

Those who saw "Sound of Music" would surely visit Gastein (and Salzburg, the nearby town); it is famous for its 'ice caves'.


Mitr, these were the result of my maiden attempt with a camera. Still managed to get some good pics. :-) Surely worth visiting.... Thanks for the wishes.. :-) How much I wished she too had travelled with me that time..

Nitin said...

Raju, ru good with Organic Chemistry? Man, I am having a tough time with it.

Raju said...

Nitin, yeah.. I am supposed to be.., since I do mostly organic chemistry.. :-)

Can you send me an e-mail to padmanab-at-ufl-dot-edu? I was about to ask for it in my next post.. Now that you have asked a question, i know you will check here for a response to it.

Me too said...

Totally agree with the title! We too had visited a place called Innsbruck in Austria a few years back and was totally bowled over! But only if Indian movie makers stay out of it will it retain its natural beauty!!

Balaji said...

grt pics raju. i always love travelogues. munich's the only place i've been to in europe. more history than scenery there. hope i make it to austria atleast once :)

Ram.C said...

nice pics.. need to start my travelogue soon.. not finding time... :-( :-(

Next time, when you visit cover Salzburg.. too. Wonderful place to visit..

susubala said...

Lovely pphotographs. Hopefully Austria is a nice place to visit. If there is a fate, I should visit there once...

Arjuna_Speaks said...

I shuld go to austria! :)..Have u been to portugal?Its quite a nice place too - that was the first place I went to - when my first paper got accepted :)

ada-paavi!!!! said...

after i create a huge scam, ill remember to visit austria, then spend the money!!

Raju said...

Aps, Innsbruck.. I remember the city on the bus route from Munich to Gastein. It was just a few miles away from Gastein. Pollution.... they have to not be able to do it.

Balaji, thanks... mm.. I know. I remember your 'wish list' which includes Europe visit.

Ram, thanks... Will look forward to reading yours. When I wrote this, I remembered your "misunderstanding" story in France/Italy. I could have/should have visited Salzburg during that time.. The conference people had arranged a day trip to Salzburg. The problem was, it was during one of the conference days. The sincere student that I was, I couldnt 'bunk' a day of such an important conference for site-seeing. I hope I would visit sometime..

Raju said...

Sumi, thanks to u too.. Austria is indeed a nice place.. Hopefully the 'Majaa' songs shot there would show the real beauty of Austria and tempt Indians to visit the country.

Arjuna, this was the only trip for me in Europe. Hope to visit all parts of Europe, including Portugal, when the chance arrives.

Vatsan, hahaha.. Good luck.. Avlo money edhukku? Swiss bank-le deposit pannava?

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