Trip to Austria

Recently, I made a trip to Austria, visiting my good friend and partner in crimelab, Christoph.

On my first day, I walked around Graz. I saw the alien, though I wasn’t impressed with the art inside. I saw the Armory, which I enjoyed for about 2 hours. Graz is a really tiny city, and everything is within walking distance. The age of the city means that almost all of the buildings are not perfectly rectangular, that there’s a very large number of publicly accessible courtyards with shops and cafe’s; though you wouldn’t know they exist unless you’d been wandering around lost or already knew they existed. The city obviously grew up organically, without any central planning, so the streets do not form a rectangular grid making it quite easy to get lost. My last activity for the day was walking up to the clock tower and looking back down at the city. It’s interesting to note the architectural contrast between the ancient buildings and the modern ones.

I spent most of my vacation with Christoph’s family in Liezen. His family was very supportive, and made sure that throughout my entire vacation, I didn’t have to lift a finger to do anything myself. Even though I understood almost none of the German, we ate as a family everyday, with delicious food. His family has a cabin up in the mountains, and we spent one night there drinking schnapps and playing cards. We also hiked a bit (2hrs) which left me rather exhausted. We also went to see the Riegersburg castle, attended a local tent-fest, and visited the Admont monastic library.

During the middle of my vacation I spent a couple days in Vienna, with Christoph’s friend Florian. We climbed the steps of the impressive Stephensdom. We saw the riesenrad, and a number of the older buildings. We also visited Schoenbrunn and walked through the gardens (astoundingly large) and hedge maze.

I questioned my hosts about who uses all the beautiful cathedrals and churches, because it was pretty evident that the majority of people in my generation are fully secular. It appears that there will be not enough attendees to pay for the maintenance of these buildings, and I didn’t hear of any plans for turning them into community centers, or renting them out for raves.

Even though I was in Austria for 10 days exploring the cities and gorgeous countryside, I didn’t see a single kangaroo.