Graz Travel Blog› entry 7 of 16 › view all entries
We took the train from Salzburg to Graz and it was possibly the most beautiful scenery we've ever seen. The journey was about four hours and we had all the usual journey distractions planned, books, games, headphones, food etc but it was impossible to do anything other than look out the window. With every bend in the track a new vista of snow capped mountains with meadows and forested slopes in the forground rose up. The villages and houses were all beautiful and as the weather was so sunny and hot it seemed that the whole of rural Austria was outside basking in the spring warmth. (Except that lot in the cellar of course!!!!) Austria is an amazing place, travelling through the mountains you get a real sense of scenenery in 3D as opposed to two dimensional landscapes of flat countries.
One aspect of Europe that has seemed a bit strange considering the areas we have travelled through is that you have a sex shop on pretty much every corner. Like 7/11's in Thailand or Fried Chicken joints in London they're evrywhere. No problem with that but the full sized explicit cut out models and posters in the windows seem a little bit over the top. They'd sure draw a crowd if we were still in India.
The Daniel Hotel where we stayed was great, very "boutique" hotel in style and a real bargain for the money.
On the other hand the old town is dominated by the Sclossberg castle and the clock tower at the top. A 260 step climb which is well worth it for the incredible views. Yet even here among old architecture and historic sites there are modern bars and beautiful gardens to enjoy. Which is exactly what we did. We could hardly believe how hot it was, only a few days ago in Frankfurt we were worried about the cold now we were sweating again. Still some more of the amazing Austrian Weiss Beers sorted that out at the Aiola Bar which has incredible views from the top of the schlossberg.
Another aspect of Austria which has struck us is that everyone eats ice cream all the time. When we say everyone we mean everyone. From old folks to middle aged men, stick thing fashion obsessed women to grunged up gothsand from homeless drunks to try hard skater dudes too cool for words.
The gorgeous weather drew us onto a self guided walking tour of the sights of Graz and the camera was unbelievably busy yet again. Looks like we'll need another SD card sooner than we thought!! We stopped at a restaurant called Ginko which is a veggie buffet where you help yourself then your plate is weighed and you are charged by the 100g!!! Very dangerous. Still we managed to get away with spending only ten euros for the two of us which given our love of food and eyes bigger than our bellies that was a result.
There is a church here which apparantly has an interesting stained glass window of jesus dying on the cross as Hitler and Mussolini look on smiling.
A few cathedrals later and some very cool spiralling staircases later we found ourselves drawn to the park and a bar/cafe in the middle where it seems all the beautiful people hang out on warm days drinking beers and coffee and of course eating ice cream. We joined them with the beers and spent a great hour people watching and soaking up the sun. We've gotta say that this touring around, not working, enjoying life sure beats work.
We had wanted to take in a concert in Salzburg but that was one thing the Salzburg card didn't cover and they were mostly tied up to dinners as well which didn't interest us as the menu's were mostly full of dead flesh.
We visited the Kunsthaus on our last day and were a bit disappointed by the exhibits, Steph got shouted at by some uptight jobsworth for taking a sneaky photo of one exhibit.
All in all we loved Graz, loads to do and with the great weather we had it was really beautiful.