More pictures! Innsbruck and Salzburg, Struttgart and the Porche Museum, and Venice I recommend reading the story first, tho.
Normally, I would give a long spiel about how much travelling I did this weekend; however, I’ll try to keep it short…just like my attention span
This past Thursday was All Saints Day, which the French have off. So, Ankur, Nilaksh and I decided to take Friday off and go to Rome and explore Italy. We started the trip around 9AM, Thursday morning. We never got to Rome.
Using our Internet provided driving directions, we started and found out that our trip takes us through Switzerland. Slight problem. Ankur and Nilaksh are from India and need a Visa to get in. After getting turned away by the border guards, we tried finding the Swiss Embassy, but to no avail since everything was closed due to the holiday. Frustrated that we could no longer use our directions we started plotting a new course…Venice. We realized that to do this, we would have to go north of the Swiss, through Germany and Austria. And that’s what we did.
Up unto this point I had not driven yet; because the car was a standard, which I don’t know how to drive. I decided to stop letting that hold me back and took the wheel in Germany…on the Autobahn. I had a quick lesson and started driving…fast. Reaching speeds of 170km/h, I was quite happy. That was until I passed a cop car and they pulled me over.
“Guten tag…. … … Sprecken se deutch?” …some dialoge… He almost sounds like a Japanese guy scolding me. “You were going 100. 20! The speed limit is … 80!” “Really?!” (Plays the dumb American role.) He then goes back to his car and comes back. “Normally…100 marks! But I let you go. Drive carefully!” Completely amazed that after only driving on the Autobahn for 30 minutes, I was stopped for speeding, I decided that my driving mojo is no good here and I handed over the car to someone else.
We arrived in Italy around midnight, and Venice around 1:30AM. We got lost and finally found a hotel on the outskirts of Venice. The next morning we got up and took the train into Venice. We couldn’t find any place to buy tickets, so we just hopped aboard without paying. Venice is beautiful. A bit smelly tho. We visited San Marco square. I even made some new friends. We then took a gondola ride around Venice and saw some beautiful scenery. It’s amazing how everything is surrounded by water.
Once we had our fill of Venice, we jumped in the car and headed to Innsbruck, Austria home of the 1964 and 1976 Winter Olympics. Unfortunately, there was no snow around, so we looked around the quaint Austrian town and saw some statues and monuments and paid tribute to someone great who has allowed this amazing exploration into the world happen. (Thanks Cecil!) We then moved moving onto my FAVORITE part of the weekend: The Swarovski Museum! Swarovski is the leading crystal manufacturer in the world. Their museum entrance was a giant head with water coming out of the mouth. The entire place was sparkling and full of crystals. They also had a dome of mirrors where I had too much fun with my camera. Outside they also have a labyrinth of hedges and a blue crystal in the middle. I was like a little kid playing again. The scenery from there was also amazing.
We then gathered up our souvenirs and decided to visit Salzburg. Home of Amadeus Wolfgang Mozart, a castle, and people play on a VERY large chess board. We got there late, so we rushed up to the castle and almost collapsed when reaching the ticket booth only to find out that they only took cash and we had no marks or shillings. Thankfully the US Dollar is the most accepted currency in the world and we were able to get through. (Thanks Ankur!) We toured the castle and found an interesting story about the Salzburg people and why they’re called “Bull Painters.”
Exhausted, we drove to Struttgart, Germany where one can find the Mercedes-Benz and Porche museum and where we found the MOTHER of a hotel. This place had 2 casinos, a concert hall, a dance club, a movie theatre, an Irish pub, about 10 restaurants and 5 bars. Amazingly enough we pooled our resources we were able to manage a double room in a business suite (The brought in a separate bed for me.) and our view was amazing. Being inventive, I decided to make my bed on top of the conference table where I had a nice view of the Mercedes-Benz museum. We got up and drove to the Porsche museum, saw a few cars (Some fancier than others, and some speedier than others) and then headed back to Paris. When we finally made it back to Versailles we had traveled about 3300km (~2000 miles) and through 5 countries. What a trip.
So, I tried to make this a small entry; however, as you can tell, so much happened that it’s almost impossible to keep it brief. Who knows what next weekend will be like!