Aug 24, 2009
Jan 09, 2010
. We walked down the stairs after spending about an hour up at the top and grabbed yet another pizza (makes number five of the trip so far but they are a cheap option when you are out!). Walking back to the van, we noticed the Kunsthaus Graz which apparently is referred to as the "friendly alien". It looked out of place for a really futuristic building to be in such an old area, but still neat to see all the same.
I had been wanting to try the roasted chestnuts for awhile as well so we grabbed some from the man selling them outside and ate them over the bridge-it was very chilly outside so the warm chestnuts were a perfect touch to the evening. We walked along the river and left Graz to find a small town nearby to park for the night-since we were so close to the border with Slovenia (apparently not a good place to free camp) we wanted to make sure that we found a place in Austria so we didn’t drive too far. Luckily, there was a small town right before the border and we found a Kindergarten parking lot-since it was Saturday night we thought it would fine. It was great except that once we were all settled in, we heard a loud BONG! It was the church bell in the church right behind us! Unfortunately, the bell went off EVERY fifteen minutes and it was so loud-I don’t know how the people in that town deal with it. Needless to say, we did not get a very good night’s sleep; even with earplugs it was so loud and while I didn’t wake up to every ringing, I definitely woke up to plenty. We had an early start as well but once we were on the road we were okay.
We drove from Vienna south to Graz, which was a lovely little city. We parked Fred along the river and walked into town. The main old square was having a chocolate festival! so there were a lot of people milling around with spoons in their hands. They bought the spoons and then could taste different kinds of chocolate from vendors…very tempting but we had things to see. We decided to take the glass lift through the hill to the top of Castle Hill rather than climb the 260 stairs; we were glad with our choice since we knew that we were going to free camp for the night and didn't want to get all sweaty. At the top of the Schlossberg (castle hill) there was a clock tower, bell tower, museums, and a view of Graz that was spectacular. The best part, for me, was the fact that once we were up there and admiring the sunset, all of the clock towers below went off at 6pm. We could hear about ten different ones all around-it really was pretty cool. Some of the clocks went off for about five minutes at least-we thought it may have been due to the fact that it was 6 o’clock but they also did it an hour later at 7 so it must be a regular thing there