Jul 12, 2014

A tribute to Oranje - WC 2014

So, yet again Netherlands lost it near to the cup.  This time it was Semi-final..  It wasn't the most magnificent team.. Infact, it was a pale shadow of 2010 team which convincingly beat Brazil , Uruguay and many others before losing to Spain.. Yes Robben is a diver.. Yes RVP was largely absent minded..  But there is something special about the Dutch team that makes me sit glued to the TV every time they take the field.. And they have rarely disappointed me after I started following them from 1994 WC.    

Maybe, its the ability put up a strong fight, maybe its pace of their players starting from Overmars to Robben.. Maybe the forwards like BergKamp to RVP,  or maybe it is the rock solid defensive players like Jap Stam to the unlucky Ron Vlaar..  Or maybe it is the ability to lineup young talents one after other from Ajax & Feynoord football schools... Or may be, even the legacy of Cruyff , Van Basten & Gullit..

Yet again, they will be a good force at Euro '16 at France or WC' 18 @ Russia.. There won't be much more of Robben / RVP.. There will be the new lineup of prodigies like Clasie & Strootman ..

To me, the special factor about this Dutch team was their coach Louis Van Gal with his spot - on substitutions.. Have to say that Manchester United is in safe hands :) ..And as he does, I don't really care about who wins in the third place play-off.. But will watch it !

Jul 8, 2014

Travelogue - Hallstatt

A bit late, but nevertheless, the Austrian experience won't be complete without a post about this wonderful place - Hallstatt.  It is an Alpine lakeside village, about 3 hrs in train from Vienna , followed by a short ferry ride across lake Hallstatt ..

Well, what makes Hallstatt special -  The place is so beautiful that the Chinese have created an artificial Hallstatt . The village is a UNESCO heritage site as well .. I would rather let the pics speak about the place than write about it :)

For more information, you can visit  http://www.hallstatt.net/home-en-US/

May 30, 2014

Travelogue - Salzburg

Historic Old town of Salzburg

I guess no other city in the world would be driven this much by a single person's legacy . Even after more than 200 years of his death, Salzburg lives & breathes Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart everywhere.  From chocolates & T-shirts to an international foundation,  Mozart's name and spirit is everywhere in Salzburg. It got me thinking -  What percentage of economy of Salzburg is directly or indirectly related to Mozart ?

Salzach cutting across the old town of Salzburg

Apart from the usual visiting places like Mirabell Gardens & Mozart's house, a short walk from the old town is Salzburg castle.

Situated on top of a hill, the view of Salzach river cutting across Salzburg is really great.

For fans of "sound of music", there is a sound of music tour that takes you various locations in the movie.

A painter painting Salzach & Salzburg

Salzburg markets itself as "Stage of the world" .. And it is true in every sense.  Be it the music and culture festivals or be it the roadside musicians and artists who are trying to eke out a living, Salzburg reserves a special place in its heart for art & artists. This city has touched the lives and careers of lot of modern day musicians and artists

Stage of the World - Stage for everyone

If Vienna is about cultures & intellect,  Salzburg is all about music and art..

The beauty of Salzburg is that it'll make you realize how much you can be at peace with yourself by virtue of music & art .  The city strives to preserve those musical traditions with the same intensity as those days of Mozart.