Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Hapsburg - Renaissance Trip - Day Five - Introduction to Graz

We welcome you to the second largest city of Austria, Graz. We chose Graz as a place to camp out because it is in the middle of a beautiful region, the city itself was extolled in a New York Times article as a miniature, more accessible Vienna, and we like to be off the beaten path of the masses of US tourists.

After our rest day, we were ready to venture into the city for the first time, get our bearings, get the lay of the land, etc.  First thing we did was determine how to get the tram from where we are on the outskirts of town. The lady renting us our house told us to drive down the very steep hill and at the bottom there is a tram line with plenty of streets where one can park for fee. We did so and found that indeed many others do this on a regular basis. As is Standard Operating Procedure, we were thwarted in our efforts to actually buy a ticket from the machine on the train. So our first ride was free as we went to the center of town.  All 7 tram lines congregate at this point. We went to the tourist information where we picked up a bunch of brochures on things in town and in the area, got a recommendation on where I could get my haircut...AND bought our one week transit pass :)

We then started one of the three walking tours of town. We only got about 2/3rds done before we pooped out, took the tram back, got our car, went to the grocery store for a more substantial shopping.

And now pictures

The Herrengasse - The Main Drag (before it got really busy a few hours later)

The Landhaus
An excellent representative of a Renaissance era building and courtyard

There are an amazing number of decorative facades on buildings covering centuries of artistic styles

In Vienna you have to go to two separate places for your Wurst and Noodles
Not in Graz

The Town Hall

Our TripAdvisor Lunch spot of the day
Where we enjoyed a cordon bleu encrusted with pumpkin seeds and a venison goulash with a good potato dumpling

A 15th century courtyard and double staircase

The Cathedral and Imperial Mausoleum 
(Thank goodness this was Gothic and not Baroque style! - not a big fan of the Baroque)

One of the most interesting things on the Cathedral was a painting that they had discovered. It is described below. Unfortunately it is protected by glass and there was lots of glare so my pictures don't do it justice. There was so much detail going on it. It reminds you that much of what we see in these older monuments is but a fraction of what they were like when they were in their day.

Graz as in Vienna is trying to encourage the use of bicycling as transportation. But seriously, they have a long way to go before they even can be whispered let alone mentioned in the same sentence as Amsterdam. For goodness sake they actually stop for pedestrians!

For dinner we were able to score a table at the pop up traveling restaurant Chez Michel for one of his famous salads with pretzel roll croutons


alexis said...

hey, I heard that pop-up restaurant is coming to Amsterdam the week you guys are visiting!

de-I said...

Better make sure and grab a reservations. I think the website is www.chezmichel/pop-up.com