Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Graz, Austria

Graz is the capital of Styria, the southeast province that is the “green heart of Austria”. Despite the fact that it rained quite a bit during my one day there, this is a town that I really enjoyed visiting.

I loved the fact that Graz was not too touristy (though it might have been the rain that kept them off the streets). Also, the town has juxtaposes both old and new architecture quite well. The old town consists of mostly red-roofed buildings and onion-domed churches. As for the new, two particular structures stand out--the Kunsthaus Graz and the Murinsel. The former is an art museum that is blob-shaped and thus dubbed the “alien”. The latter is a futuristic-looking island with a café and amphitheatre on it.

One particular highlight of my stay was the climb up the Schlossberg. On top of the hill, I could see both sides of Graz with the Mur River between them. The aforementioned buildings were also visible.

Lastly, my CS hosts Martin and Kathi made sure I was exposed to as much Austrian and Styrian food as possible. The main dish was a dessert called marilleknodel. This was a dumpling filled with apricot. Also, my hosts made me a salad with pumpkinseed oil, which is a local specialty.

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