Sunday, August 25, 2013

Short European Trip - Second Sunday

Up early, facebooking. Had to wait until 7am for the frühstückraum to open. Had a decent sized breakfast. The girl running the breakfast room was helpful regarding some sightseeing as she had Internet access and was studying management and hospitality.

Decided to wander around the Karl-Franzens-Universität, Uni Graz, for a look. Raining lightly all the way. Not nearly as interesting as Cambridge but some nice buildings. Wasn't surprised at all to see a pub across the road.

Walked through City Park. One woman let her dog take a big dump in the park. She had a hundekot, poo bag,in her hand but didn't do anything. Disgusted me a bit and she knew that her dog had done it's business. Not the best place to be in winter time, I'm sure.

Into Hauptplatz and then followed the tram lines up the "Kunstmeile" (art mile) that is SackStrasse. Museum wasn't open for another half an hour and I didn't wish to stand around in the rain all that time. One last chance to recharge the phone (maybe in Frankfut too). Back to the hotel for some respite fromthe rain and when it was time to leave, at 12, I was able to store my luggage on the 1st floor. Headed out to find some lunch. Almost nothing was open - Sunday. All the supermarkets around Lendplatz were closed. Had a decent walk around and had a kepap at a Turkish kebab shop. Watched some Turkish soccer.

Decided to walk further up Neubaugasse. Was very surprised to find some gardens between the river and the road/apartments. Along with the red light district and Turkish area Graz is full of surprises.

My driver was slightly early so I introduced myself to a guy in reception. Unfortunately this guy was checking into the hotel and my driver was in the toilet. No harm in embarrassing yourself occasionally.

Rain nearly all the way to Vienna. There was an accident 500m from the exit to the airport on the autobahn which caused quite a delay. Still made it to the massive Vienna International Airport in plenty of time.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Short European Trip - Second Saturday

Breakfast after 7, out and about around 8. Headed to Schlossberg first. Saw that there were 260 steps, built by Russian POWs, to negotiate. Ugh. Splendid view of the city from Uhrturm (clock tower). Some history here - Turkish well, Chinese pavilion, stable bastion, Bell Tower, five wells, Hackher Lion, newly discovered gate, etc.

Bell Tower

Wandered through a shopping area next to the Rathaus, made it to Glockenspiel in time for the performance, unfortunately the mausoleum was closed, saw the cathedral, Hofbäckerei Edegger-Tax (too expensive, Landaus Courtyard and had a general look around town for souvenirs.

I love the way almost all of the bells in the city start chiming at the same time. Interesting graffiti and even rock climbing alongside the Mur river. The Murinsel is one weird place. Graz township is built for bikes but with it being a university town that's hardly surprising. Grabbed lunch from Spar as I only had 14 euro left.

Spoke to the missus on Skype. Charged my camera again. Decided on the 3.5km walk to Schloss Eggenberg although the State Rooms were closed for winter. Would've been great to have viewed this private residence with 365 windows. Could still view the park and the courtyard. Very interesting and peaceful place. Slow walk back in the rain as I was tired. Grabbed some cabannosi, potato chips and chocolate for dinner. Yum. Uploaded photos after dinner. Biggest surprise for the day was seeing some Pakistanis with a cricket bat.

Short European Trip - Mon to Friday Training


Lovely sunny day. Cold though. Nice enough breakfast although the one in Bratislava at President Hotel was better. Strange Internet connection - one pass required for each device even though it doesn't cost anything.

Training today - this was a work trip after all. Walked as a group to the training centre and discovered that there were quite a few people attending. Pretty full-on day from 8:30 - 5:30 but they served a great lunch. If you'd told me that you could put eggplant in lasagna and it would taste nice I wouldn't have believed you.

City tour at 6:30 - Leoben has quite some history including visits by Austro-Hungarian royalty and being founded in 904 (mentioned that in the previous post). Even when building a new shopping centre they enclosed an old Dominican monks' house. There is a statue of the fourth and last time the plague struck Leoben in 1716 and another statue for St Barbara (for the miners). The Jesuit church is impressive. Tour lasted for an hour and I was really glad that a local took us as it made it all the more informative.

We met at a bridge before heading to dinner at Gasthof "Zum Greif". Great buffet and a chance to introduce ourselves to other colleagues. Time to go back to the hotel at 10.


Up very early with the usual facebooking and emails before breakfast. Frau still asked me for my room number. Very interesting training from a man passionate about our products. Nice lunch again. Went to the office to catch up with some of my Austrian colleagues.

Out to Antonio's Pizzeria for dinner. Garlic bread was a bit weird, pizza not tasty and strange dish with fish, octopus, salad, etc was well, weird. Linguine was splendid though but by that time I was nearly full.


Same breakfast/morning habit as other except that I went to the office by 8am. Spent some quality time talking to a colleague before the training started for the day. Great training again with a late finish.

Dropped my gear off at the hotel before going for a walk around the river surrounding the centre of town. Was very surprised to find a China Town with sister cityhood. Ate dinner at a pizzeria - quite nice wiener schnitzel (pork) but the salad drowned in vinegar wasn't particularly nice. Shocked to see Cafe Billabong and a cigarette vending machine where anybody could buy cigarettes.


Usual pre-and breakfast activities. Another great presentation. Dinner was organised which included curling from 6:15pm. I went for a walk along the river in the south direction in the afternoon, after discovering that the washing returned to me was not my own. Had almost walked all the way to where we were headed as it turned out.

Think the restaurant was call Erisbacher. Indoor curling on pavers - an interesting concept and loads of fun. Finished equal 5th out of 27 so did something right. My first attempt, in practice, ended up on its side and only halfway down the pitch. Wonderful dinner of schnitzel, meat, veges, chips and Kaiserchmarrn. Late night. Some later than others.


Up at 6am - first time the alarm woke me up although I hadn't slept through the night properly. Emails, Facebook, brekkie, etc and just made it by 9am for training. Some interesting things to learn about the business. Early finish as people had planes to catch. Temperature even reached 15C after a 2 or 4C morning.

Grabbed my luggage from the Kindler Hotel and walked to the office to share a taxi with a colleague to Graz. Airport was a few kilometres from my hotel but that was no bother. No door key required - just a code. Room looked budgetary. Checked Facebook and emails.

Wandered about to find something to eat. Steierischer Rostbraten mit steirische Kernöl und Spätzle caught my eye - absolutely delicious. Schrödingergaße nearby.