Monday, December 03, 2007

Graz Report

Happy December. We've got some new pictures this week.

Cutest watchdog ever. We saw this on someone's backyard fence, and don't believe this dog is going to bite anyone. More likely, just a savage snuffling...

How could we *not* hike, somewhere that looks like this?? We went for a 3 hour hike Sunday, the weather was nice, and the trails were pretty crowded. It took a while to catch a snap without any other people in it.

If we thought Austrian food was heavy before, that was because we hadn't seen a serving pan with a screw-jack to hold up one end!!

This is the Rathaus and Hauptplatz lit up for Weihnachts Fest. Apparently the entire month of December will be a big party in old town, complete with 60' decorated tree. While some stores have extended hours during the holiday shopping season, some man on the street interviews asking what people thought of that suggested overwhelming disapproval. Most shops still open at 9 or 10 and close at 5 or 6. Presumably the people who were in favor of it were at the shops already, instead of hanging out on the street getting interviewed? This is the nighttime level of busy in old town right now. Bearing in mind that none of the stores are open, that's a lot of people! It's not usually this crowded, besides Saturday afternoons in summer. It's busier during the day. As far as we can tell, these people are mostly hanging around drinking spiced wine and eating fried bread things with powdered sugar on top. The blobs are white lights hanging over the street are actual little trees, decorated and hung on cables.

This is a particularly decorative part of old town, full of lights and people and the smell of spiced wine. It's surprisingly pervasive!

We found a coin-op kiosk for vending fresh milk into a bring-your-own bottle. €.50/liter, which is a fine price. Apparently the packaging is the expensive part of milk, because a liter of milk from the grocery costs about €1.10. We didn't try it, but only because we didn't bring a bottle. Next time...

This is the Advent calendar, the mayor of Graz sent one to everyone in town. On the back is a picture of him posing casually under a giant poisonous mushroom. We're not really sure what that means.

Yet another gulasch variation... beef, bread-dumpling, hot dog, fried egg, and a pickle. One begins to suspect that Austrian cuisine was pioneered by some very, very drunk people...

... spotted in a display of the best holiday gifts... it's a ceramic pig, in prison outfit (complete with ball & chain), in a little wire jail, with a sign that says "The Butcher's Murderer"...?

If this turns out to be the perfect gift for someone you know, just say the word, and we'll hook you up... As usual, more pictures are available, just go here to see:

- Holly & Greg

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