Ossiach, Friesach, Graz in Austria 19 and 20 July 2013

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July 22nd 2013
Published: July 24th 2013
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Ossiach, Friesach, Graz in Austria 19 and 20 July 2013

After leaving Slovenia, going through Italy for a short distance then entering Austria, it reminded us how beautiful Austria is also. It’s features are the mountains (snow fields) and the major cities. We drove through Villach, Feldkinchen, St Veit an der Glan and then onto Friesch where we stopped for a few hours.

Friesach is known for its old, moated town. We drove into the town at 12MD and it was extremely quiet. We parked in the town’s main square and found the Information Centre. They gave us a map so off we went. We saw the Palace which was now being used as a theatre, the castle, which is now a restaurant and museum at the top of the hill, and many different ruins. The moat was only on 3 sides. It was a lovely little town.

We had lunch and then drove through Judenberg. For the next 40kms it was incredibly mountainous (with occasional 1st gear work) but incredibly beautiful. From there we drove another 40kms to Graz.

Now this is a beautiful city being Austria’s 2nd largest. The city is almost completely surrounded by mountains. In the middle ages it rivaled Vienna for its importance. The city is dominated by the Schlossberg which is on top of a hill next to the old town, hence its import defense role in medieval times. The Old Town is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

We didn’t go into the city until the day after a few calls to family members. The camping site (Camping Central at MartinhofstraBe 4 kms out from Graz CBD) had a massive swimming pool next to it. It was packed with holiday-makers. We arrived at about 5pm and the Park was pretty full. Canavans and motor homes kept rolling in after we arrived. We have certainly noticed that Europeans prefer campers more than caravans. But interestingly, after we made a couple of more calls to Australia the next morning and looked around the Park at 10.30am, it had really emptied. An unusual feature of this Park was that you didn’t have to book out until 6.00pm so we took advantage of that.

After eggs on toast for breakfast we caught a bus into the city and walked around the city. I hope you can get a bit of an idea what the city looks like for the photos.

We met a really friendly family who has a 6 and 8 year old sons and they live north of Berlin. We both left the next morning at the same time, to look through Graz city. We ran across them twice while we were visiting some of the sites.

We came back to the Camper for a late lunch, made another phone call to our son Adam in Perth and then drove to a Lipizzaner Stud in Piber which is NW of Graz. It was another beautiful drive to the Stud Farm. When we got there, not only did we find that many of the retired Lipizzaner horses live out their natural life there, but as you would expect, it’s a breading stud as well as a training school.

A part of the complex was also a Palace which is now a theatre. There was also a horse museum and carriage museum. As we arrived there 45mins before closing, we hurried around to see all the horses. We didn’t have time to use the audio guide that was available. There were also guided walks through the Stud Farm….in German!

After leaving at 5.00pm we drove along some windy, country roads, often following a river, but always surrounded by mountains. It was beautiful and hard work for Molly our Camper. We set our GPS to our accommodation for the night to Camping Europa at Langanwang near Murzzuschlag.

Before we got there, we had read about a really unusual maypole at Kindberg so popped into see it. Check out the photos. It was also a very neat, colourful village – very quaint.

When we arrived at Langanwang, we set up camp and went for a walk around the town – another beautiful little village. It was distinctly cooler here but was still 26-28 degrees during the day. The 4 restaurants that were sprinkled throughout the small main street were well attended but because it was Sunday, all else was quiet.

Next day we were off to Vienna and was looking forward to seeing this city again.

Additional photos below
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