Alive in Austria

When Anuj Sachdeva got a chance to travel to Austria for both work and pleasure, he was overjoyed. Read all about the actor’s adventure in the Alps.

I’ve always been fascinated by Europe and have wanted to travel there for as long as I can remember. The chance to travel to Kraków, Poland for a shoot recently came my way. Since I was overseas, I decided to make a trip to Austria, specifically Grossglockner – a popular mountain region known for its skiing.

Though I was in Europe on work and around colleagues, I stayed back to enjoy the surreal beauty of the hills. From there on out, I was on my own. I love travelling alone, and I think it’s a lot like beer: you don’t completely enjoy it at first, but once you develop a taste, there’s no going back.

I started in Ljubljana, Slovenia before heading to Grossglockner via car by way of a stunning,
three-hour drive. You can’t imagine the beauty, especially early in the day. Once in Grossglockner I planned my itinerary for this leg of the trip. My first stop was Heiligenblut, which translates to “holy blood”; a quiet municipality of Grossglockner. It’s a lovely church, surrounded by greenery and mountains, and its name comes from legend that a flask of Christ’s blood was kept here. I headed into the mountains (the chilly weather was just perfect) and was accompanied by a view that was nothing short of extraordinary! It was great eating hot treats in the nippy weather, especially when it was served with steaming, decadent Turkish tea.

I stayed in a guesthouse during my time in Austria, one that was maintained by a kind and homely German couple; a delightful place. I stayed in their attic suite by myself, but it was a very romantic place and made me long for company. Viennese food is big on meat – great for non-vegetarians like me!

I really enjoyed the mouth-watering charcoal pizzas, but my favourite without a doubt was the Wiener Schnitzel. Of the desserts, I most enjoyed the apple strudel, which is available everywhere.

Though I thoroughly enjoyed every moment in Austria, my most memorable time came on the night I arrived in Slovenia. Dropping my bags off, I went out for a walk and couldn’t stop myself from going further and further. I headed to the riverside, near the square, and had been walking for an hour (maybe longer) until I realised I had reached the end of the road. Meanwhile, the riverside was just five minutes from my hotel. I couldn’t ask for help because it was ‘zombie Sunday’, which meant the roads were completely deserted save for a handful of people and a gentle drizzle. The weather made the night seem even more stunning and interesting.

I’d strongly recommend travelling to the wonderland that is Austria, a place with such alluring natural beauty. The serenity of the mountains and lakes gives you an indescribable sense of peace. I plan to make another trip, during which I plan to see what I missed this time, like the motor museum showcasing more than 50 antique vehicles. I also missed out on the skiing and would love to go back for that. The Austrian people are very laidback; they enjoy taking the time to meet and talk to people. They are so warm-hearted and helpful, making me feel right at home. You’ll never be short of company in a place like Austria.     – as told to Saloni