Thursday, July 31, 2008

Graz Update: July 29

7/4: Someone in our building just had something like a cord of firewood delivered. Delivering firewood isn't more elegant and European here: a truck backed up to the curb and dumped a big pile of wood in the street. Now someone has to spend the next couple of hours hustling it inside. Glad it's not us. Somehow it seems out of place to have a heap of firewood delivered in a city, in the middle of summer, in the middle of an hourly pay parking zone. Wonder if their firewood will be ticketed? Or if they got a Parkschein for it?

7/10: The weather turned cold. Not cool-for-summer, but sweaters and heavy blankets late fall cold. Apparently there were some towns near here, in the mountains, that got some snow. Hard to complain about a break from the heat.

7/16: Holly's mother (Ellen) came to visit. We had all kind of great adventures in nearby towns (and less-nearby towns, like Vienna) and also here in Graz. And we ate a lot of good stuff. But the visiting was the best part. She had the "best cup of coffee of her life" at a small Greek restaurant on an island in the middle of the Danube river. How's THAT for a travel souvenir?
The Votivekirche in Vienna, at night. At night, it's harder to tell that there's a big construction screen printed to look like the church covering the lower 3rd of it.

Our room in Vienna, the same color as a night shirt. Good thing we were tired, or the paint might've kept us awake...! The shirt is hanging in the bathroom door--the bathroom was a 5'x7' box sticking out into the middle of the room, obviously a retrofit. Perfectly serviceable, as long as you ignore the ominous gurgling from the shower whenever the toilet gets flushed... (In all seriousness, if you're going to Vienna, check out the Pension Madara at Alserstrasse 39. It's in a super convenient location, very comfortable, good price, and serves chocolate hazelnut spread with the complimentary breakfast.)

It's good to know which things are PART OF EUROPE, but really, we're surprised there aren't more of these plaques around... in theory, you could pretty much cover this place with tags indicating the parts of Europe.
There is a program across the EU to provide handicapped folks with keys that are universal to restroom facilities. How handy is that, to be able to get into a secure, accessible public restroom, pretty much anywhere you go?
Other than that, since last we wrote, we've been to the Schinkenfest again. If you recall, a year ago we went to the regional ham festival out in the countryside southeast of town. Same wonderful scenery, supplied with excellent ham, beer, and music. Less bees this year, even. Hard to beat. No new pictures this time, although there is a beef festival coming up in a couple of weeks.... maybe we'll have new food pictures. And have seen new countryside--the beef festival is northwest of town.
What's going on with you? Get any good pictures of it? (Or bad ones, we're not picky!)
Holly & Greg (& Carmelita, who is doing rather well, thanks for asking!)

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