Monthly Instagram Roundup – April 2014 (The #Take12Trips edition)

 An entire month’s worth of Instagram updates, dedicated just to Travel; now that’s what I call a GREAT month!

After a few local trips these past few months, from Mumbai in January to Mussoorie in February, and then spending a day exploring the Delhi Zoo in March, April was a BIG month for me in my quest to #Take12Trips this year.

My mother and I traveled to Europe this past month. We spent beautiful spring days exploring Vienna’s many parks and palaces, a rainy but still gorgeous day in stunning Salzburg, and a few mesmerizing days in the perfection that is Prague. We also managed to squeeze in half a day in Bratislava.

Here’s a look back at the month, through Instagram.

We kicked-off the first afternoon in Vienna with some Beer and Wiener Schnitzel in the warm spring sunshine of The Stadtpark, a large municipal park in the heart of the city.

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Chilled Beer + Warm European Sunshine = Happy Me

After some sightseeing and exploring Innere Stadt, Vienna’s first district, we made the customary (and very touristy) trip to Hotel Sacher, to taste the “original” Sacher Torte, quite possibly the city’s most famous cake.

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Coffee & Cake, a true Viennese Tradition

The next morning, after touring the Schönbrunn Palace, the former summer residence of the Habsburg monarchs, and exploring the Schönbrunn Easter market, we journeyed towards Vienna’s 19th District. Situated on the northern edge of Vienna, and bordering  Wienerwald (the Vienna Woods), this district – Döbling – has a lot to see and do. Not only is it considered one of Vienna’s poshest living areas, but it is gorgeously green. Walking around the wide tree-lined streets, gazing at the elegant villas and soaking up the lush surroundings, you feel you are worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the city center; yet it takes only 30 minutes to get here.

We took the bus up to Kahlenberg, a hill top of sorts, popular with tourists and locals alike. There is a souvenir shop, a restaurant and even a church, for you to spend your afternoon in. And the look-out platform rewards you and thanks you for visiting, with this breathtaking view over the city below.  

Kahlenberg, Vienna

The city of Vienna as seen from the viewing platform at Kahlenberg

 Perhaps what this Viennese district is best known for, other than once being home to the likes of Johann Strauss and Ludwig van Beethoven, is the Heuriger – the traditional wine tavern. Vienna is probably the only metropolis in the world that produces huge amounts of wine within its city limits (there are apparently 700 acres of vineyards within Vienna). The Heuriger typically serves home-made wine from the current vintage, meaning wine made in the same year; and traditionally the term was also used for private bars run by local wine farmers, where they sold their own – and only their own – wine.

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Enjoying a glass of Wine in Wien

On our third day in Europe, we made the comfortable 2.5-hour train journey to Salzburg, and spent the day amidst the sights and sounds of this most gorgeous little city. The Salzburg Fortress (Festung Hohensalzburg), Europe’s largest in-tact medieval fortress, towers over you no matter where you are in the city, and is a must-visit. The views alone will be worth it. 

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Salzburg is Stunning! Take the funicular to Hohensalzburg Fortress for this gorgeous view.

Growing up, The Sound of Music was most certainly one of my favourite movies. Needless to say, we visited some of the sites from the movie, such as the Mirabell Palace Gardens where much of the song Do-Re-Mi was filmed, as well as the lake and facade of Schloss Leoppoldskron (Leopold Palace), one of the locations of the Von Trapp Family home. The Gazebo in the picture below, really needs no introduction. While I couldn’t go inside and hop from bench to bench like Liesl did as she sang ’16 going on 17′ in the movie, I loved the surrounding gardens at the Hellbrunn Palace where the Gazebo is located today.
Spring had sprung and Tulips were in full bloom. I entered this photo, with the Tulips in the foreground, into an #ExploreMyCity_Spring contest on Instagram, and I won! 😀
Follow @ExploreMyCity on Instagram for great pictures from all over the world.

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Spring & The Sound of Music in Salzburg

Vienna and Bratislava are the two closest capital cities in the world. We visited on a cold and rainy day and didn’t enjoy our time in the city much. But at one corner of Hlavné námestie (Main Square) is Schokocafé by Maximilian Delikateso. If it is called Chocolate Cafe, and when it has I can’t even remember how many varieties of hot chocolate on the menu, it is just my kind of cafe.

Steaming Hot Chocolate on a cold day in Bratislava!

Steaming Hot Chocolate on a cold day in Bratislava! Dark & Bitter, just the way I like it. So thick, you don’t sip it, you spoon it in to your mouth.

Next up – and without a doubt the highlight of our trip – Prague! Perfect in every way.
Captured here is the Old Town Bridge Tower, the Gothic tower that leads from the Old Town (Staré Město) and on to the Charles Bridge (Karlův most), the historic bridge built over the Vltava river.

Charles Bridge, Prague

The Old Town Bridge Tower, at one end of the Charles Bridge

We somehow found ourselves back at the Charles Bridge, this most iconic of Prague landmarks, almost every evening we were in Prague. Here, the setting sun lights up the sky in a symphony of colours, with one of the Bridge’s 30 statues in the foreground.

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Sunset at the Charles Bridge with the beautiful Baroque quarter of Malá Strana (Lesser Quarter) in the background

As we walked from the Charles Bridge towards the nearest tram station, we looked back at this wonderful vista of the Prague Castle, all lit up and glittering in the night.

Gazing across the Vltava River at Prague Castle (Pražský hrad), perched above Malá Strana in the Castle District (Hradčany)

We visited the Prague castle the next day, and also explored Malá Strana, known as the Lesser District. This area, located at the foot of the Castle complex, is one of Prague’s most historic sections. The greenery, the narrow cobblestone streets, the hilly terrain, the brick-red roofs interspersed with domes and spires every where you look, there is nothing “lesser” about Prague’s Lesser Town.
We chanced upon a restaurant at the end of one quaint side street, and popped in for a quick bite.

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A traditional Czech meal for dinner – Roasted knee of Lamb with garlic and rosemary, served with spinach leaves and potato dumplings

On our last day in Europe, we traveled about 30 km southwest of Prague to one of the most popular Czech castles – Karlštejn Castle (Hrad Karlštejn). A large Gothic castle, it was used as a place for safekeeping the Imperial Regalia as well as the Bohemian/Czech crown jewels, and other royal treasures.

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A cold & rainy day at Karlštejn Castle, 30 km south-west of Prague

 

So there you go, the month of April, flashed back through Instagram.
Follow me @upasna_lifeonmyplate, I know you want to. 🙂

Follow #Take12Trips on Twitter and Instagram to find out more about what the other Trippers are up to!

I’m also joining the #SundayTraveler weekly blog party, co-hosted by some awesome bloggers – Chasing The DonkeyFrank About CroatiaPack Me To, and others.

Follow #SundayTraveler on Twitter for the low down on all things travel!

So, where are you off to today?

20 comments on “Monthly Instagram Roundup – April 2014 (The #Take12Trips edition)

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    • Thank you for stopping by Angela. Salzburg was such a great city, there’s beauty every where you look. Plus its a city so many of us have grown up enjoying through the Sound of Music movie, its lovely to be able to see all those sights in person!

    • Thanks for stopping by Ashley, and thanks for hosting #SundayTraveler. Its fantastic!
      Salzburg was really stunning, in the truest sense. I wish I’d had more time there, just a day did no justice.

  8. What a great April it was. Awesome tour of the central Europe. Lately, I’ve discovered so many new things to do and see in Vienna thanks to fellow travel bloggers, that I am already planing to go back soon. I haven’t visited the Döbling neighborhood yet, and it really sounds interesting place to visit. Thanks for linking up to the #SundayTraveler.

    • It really was a super fun month.
      People usually think of Vienna only in terms of fabulous architecture – palaces and churches, etc. But there’s so much more to it. I’d highly recommend visiting the Vienna Woods soaking up the Wine culture of the city on your next trip.

      I love the concept of the #SundayTraveler so thank you for hosting it.
      There is so much wonderful stuff to read out there, and its a great way to virtually meet other bloggers.
      Also, thank you for stopping by and reading! 🙂

    • Thanks for stopping by Adelina.

      #SundayTraveler is such a great idea, and a fantastic way to meet more bloggers. Hope to link up more in the weeks to come as well. 🙂

      I didn’t get too much time off from work, so couldn’t make it to Budapest this time unfortunately. But it seems like such a beautiful city!

  9. Sounds like such a busy month! I’m already following on Instagram, but it’s nice to read more about what’s behind the pictures :). And OMG that hot chocolate shop!!!…that’s now on my list for when I visit Bratislava!

    • Thanks for reading Anna… There’s lots more coming up from my short Euro trip, so hope you come back for more 🙂 and yes, that hot chocolate was delicious and I’d recommend it to anyone visiting Bratislava!

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