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Published: June 12th 2018
Thought it was going to be a hot day today and it certainly was. By 10am it was already roasting and getting stickier by the minute. We got to Graz reasonably early to try avoid the excessive heat and through the day we were delighted when a few cooling raindrops fell on us but with the fantastic luck we are having it didn't actually rain while we were in the city. Fortunate as that long scooter ride back on busy roads would not have been fun in the wet.
Bob had found somewhere for us to head to on the edge of the old part of the city so we went straight there and parked. We had a little 'walking' guide book and did our best to follow the route it said but to be honest it was sadly lacking in something. A detailed, bigger map would have been helpful rather than a minute little thing with the numbered places to visit rather carelessly placed so we often couldn't tell which street the 'attraction' was supposed to be on. Missed several in this way. Did find the Landhaus, an arcaded Renaissance Palace. We arrived at the same time as 3
tour parties. Sometimes we get fed up with tour parties as they move into place, block everyone else's view of the important things and act as if they are the only ones who should be there. grrr. You can tell I was annoyed by them today but that was because later, in the Cathedral, as I was peacefully and reverently standing admiring the very fine altar I was pushed out of place by a guide who settled her party round me and I had to push my way back out from among them.
We followed our walking route past the Hautplatz and the Rathaus and then up through some of the streets which lead towards but not to the castle. Some lovely sights along the way. Have to say that the Austrians really do know how to dress a gorgeous window. Was tempted by several garments but not so much so that I bought any but did some great window shopping as we went along.
Delighted to see that here, as I had noticed in Salzburg, women dress in feminine clothes. In the Uk it is rare to see anyone out in the streets in anything other than
jeans. Not here. Pretty dresses are far more likely. Wished I had worn the skirt I had put on but changed out of, as the back pocket of my shorts is so handy to hold my phone and spare camera battery when Bob is carrying everything else in the backpack. Also keep a few spare coins in my pocket. Always handy for buying candles in churches and giving to street musicians.
We found the Cathedral and were surprised that it was really quite small, smaller in fact that the Mausoleum next door. We didn't go in there as it looked to involve a lot of steep steps. Had a brief visit to the Dom before being pushed aside by the tour party and then attempted but failed to find another couple of places on the walking route and ended up back on the main street at the bottom of the hill.
Gave up on that part of the tour and found somewhere nice for lunch as we were both desperately in need of refreshing drinks. It really was very hot and now also overcast.
Next stop the castle which, like Salzburg, stands proud above the city but
this time surrounded by gardens. We decided to scooter part way there as my knee was objecting to so much uninterrupted walking. Bob set the Tomtom to the area where the map showed the funicular which goes up to it, but all roads we needed to take were pedestrian and pushbikes only. Ended up close to a point we had been before and a helpful lady advised me that if we went up through an arch for 300 metres then through the gate into the dark downward pathway we would get to the funicular. We did that and found ourselves deep within a rock. A passageway led along to a lift but the glass lift came up and didn't stop then sat at the top and didn't come down again. There were steps down, about 6 spirals to the bottom we reckoned and no way could I do those so we had to go all the way back the way we came and we were not happy bunnies. This was of course not the funicular at all but a glass lift which goes up vertically through the rock.
Gave up on the castle. Cannot understand this city. The walking
guide is inadequate but really that is because the tourist sites are not signposted in any way either to get to them or when you get there. Even a German sign pointing to the funicular would be helpful but we didn't find a single one.
Gave up in disgust, had a drink of apfelsaft and headed back to the campsite. Had to use my phone to guide us as the Tomtom must have switched itself off as Bob carried it round and it was totally flat.
Back at the campsite we went for another swim in the super, super pool and got back to Tandy only 5 minutes before a storm started. 40 minutes after we came out of the pool we heard a loudspeaker instructing everyone to leave the water and the heavens opened and there was lightening and rumbling thunder all round for a good hour with torrential rain and hail. We are feeling blessed. If we had managed to find the funicular and visited the castle we would have been in that storm on the way back on Kisbee And we would have missed our lovely swim.
Ate inside and weather looks as if
it might be grotty for a couple of days. Leaving Graz tomorrow and going West again.
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