Bowled over by Austria

Travel tales

Bowled over by Austria

It was from Stuttgart, where I finished my last concert in Germany, that we took a Euroliner bus to Vienna — the land of Mozart and Beethoven, with music flowing in its air.

Beautiful European architecture can be seen all around including the Schönbrunn Palace and the opera houses which are a must see.

I had an Indian classical concert at Tunnel Jazz Club there. Austrians, soft and mild by nature, have an affinity and taste for music.

Staying in the beautiful hotel of the Tunnel Jazz Club, we enjoyed some wonderful Austrian cuisine with tasty beverages.

We indulged in some quick local sightseeing before the concert and appreciated the marvellous Schönbrunn Palace and the Habsburg’s summer residence.

Following the concert, we packed our bags and headed for our next destination, Innsbruck, by car.
The landscape started to change radically as our car entered the mountains. With the snowcapped Alps on both sides, the flowing waterfalls and the lovely lush green fields, I understood why Europeans say this is even better than Switzerland!

We had a unique workshop on Indian classical music in all schools of Innsbruck for five days.
This was my third visit to Innsbruck, but I still couldn’t hide my amazement as we entered the place. Such is its magic.

We stayed in the luxurious hotel of Tyrol right in the heart of the city. Post our morning workshops, we used to walk into the centre of the city, next to the riverside, through the marketplace.

With its narrow house fronts, handsome doorways, oriel windows and arcaded facades, Innsbruck’s Old Town boasts of several fine examples of old Tyrolese architecture and Southern influences, along with magnificent buildings.

With River Inn flowing beneath and the Alps covering all the sides, it is probably one of the best tourist spots one can ever imagine. In addition to its Imperial Court Palace and churches, the
area around Hofburg offers a lot more, especially the Silver Chapel, which is illuminated by the dreamy lights of summer nights.

A short drive east of Innsbruck is Swarovski Crystal Worlds, an excellent museum and art gallery designed to showcase the world famous company founded by Daniel Swarovski.  But our organiser proposed that there is a place even better than this — the Akhenzee lake, which is the highest point of Austria. What a beauty it was!

After successful workshops and programmes in Innsbruck, happy to see the growing interest among children for our music, we bid adieu to Austria with heavy hearts.

(The author can be contacted at iman.das1@gmail.com)

How to get there

We flew Qatar Airways from Bengaluru to Frankfurt. The round trip flight cost for one was approximately Rs 45,000.

One can then take the Eurolines bus or Euro rail from Frankfurt or Stuttgart to Vienna. The cost is approximately Rs 5,000 per person. You can travel from Vienna to Innsbruck by car or bus.

Places to stay

We stayed at Alpbacherhof Hotel in Innsbruck. The per night tariff was Rs 15,000 for a double bed room.




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