Sorry guys for being late on this. Was busy with office work in the last weeks. Here is the continuation:
My all other holidays were in India so I could afford to go on my own and do the touring. This was different; new countries, new people and new ways of moving from one place to another.
The first task was to select the countries of visit. During our initial discussions this was mostly Western Europe of France, Belgium and Holland. Later however we moved toward Eastern Europe. Main reason was cost as well as considering it is less developed that its western counterpart.
Germany came as a choice as I am interested in the World War 2 era and wanted to get the firsthand experience. Austria was more Veena’s choice for Salzburg and the Alps. Prague came as an obvious choice since we had heard it was very beautiful. In Austria we initially decided to do Salzburg and Vienna but later dropped Vienna in favor of the more panoramic Zell am See and Kaprun; Veena’s choice, and we were glad that we chose it.
Once the cities were fixed, we started looking for the AirBnB places. This part was interesting and we spent a lot of time, especially our morning tea time, to check the places. We booked the AirBnBs in three cities except Zell Am See, where we booked a hotel. Main reason being this was our first AirBnB experience so we did not want to put all our eggs in one basket. In the end it was the AirBnBs that gave a fuller experience than the hotel. But the hotel in Zell Am See was also good so we did not regret.
Earlier I planned quite early where I would be going for holidays. It was easy as the places were in India and mostly in North as I am a mountain man.
This time however, my son wanted to go to Goa. He had always wanted to go to Goa but till now it has not materialized. We went umpteen times to Konkan but Goa is still pending.
As his SSC exams finished however, my son started pestering for a trip abroad as we had not been outside India before. The first destinations that came to mind were the nearby countries. I and Veena always wanted to go to Bhutan. Other options were Thailand, Malaysia and Sri Lanka. I did not want to go to Singapore. After a brief enquiry with friends, one suggested Almaty in Kazakhstan, which is a good Skiing destination. Once the thought of an abroad trip crept in, it was difficult to focus on domestic ones. However Europe was still not in picture. Not yet.