Graz is the second-largest city in Austria, after Vienna, and a lively university town. It’s a picturesque place (its old city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site), with lots of color and an interesting mix of historic and avant-guarde architecture.
Between today and tomorrow I’ll be uploading some photos from my time there.
1. Uhrturm, the clock tower | 2. Hauptplatz | 3. Styria’s dragon | 4. Gothic double spiral staircase | 5. Mausoleum of Emperor Ferdinand II | 6. Kunsthaus, museum of modern art
Hi there! It’s been a hectic past few months, in terms of work but also on a personal level. I needed some time to step back and take care of myself. After a few months, I’m feeling better and spring has arrived, so I really can’t complain.
Moreover, I’ve just returned from a weeklong trip in Austria. I was invited to spend Easter with an Austrian friend at her home in Graz. Our trip consisted of a few days in Vienna, with the rest of the week dedicated to exploring Graz and the surrounding countryside and, of course, eating.
I can’t say enough lovely things about Austria, the country, the people, the food, the sights. It’s a fantastic county, and I hope to return.
Over the next few days, I’ll upload various photos from the trip. In the meantime, here are some pictures from Vienna.
Yesterday, I headed up to Perugia for EuroChocolate, an annual festival that showcases products from chocolate producers all across Italy and the rest of Europe as well. The festival lasts for a full week, I believe.
Not quite as magical an experience I was hoping for. (Too crowded.) But, after ten months of living in Italy, I finally got to eat churros again. And, for that alone, it was quite worth it. : )
I’ll take a break from uploading photos from the summer and, instead, share an adventure from the weekend.
Yesterday, I went with a group of friends to the medieval town of Sutri, which lies about an hour north of Rome, near Viterbo. The town is quaint enough with a charming center and a beautiful amphitheater surrounded by the perennially gorgeous countryside.
Our main reason for this outing, however, was not the history nor the landscape but, of course…the food! Over the past weekend in Sutri was the sagra del fagiolo. Sagre are one of the best things about Italy. Basically, almost every small town has their own sagra, a festival that lasts over the course of a weekend or two and celebrates a food product that’s typical of the area. There’s usually music and stands selling various knickknacks, but the main attraction is always the food, which is usually prepared in a variety of different ways. Apparently, beans are typical fare in Sutri and so we went to get our fill. Beans and cotiche (pork skin), beans and sausage, beans and pasta, beans and tomatoes, bean salad. Lots of beans. Delicious beans.
Anyway, here are a few photos of the day:
A spur-of-the-moment day trip took a friend and I to Ostia Antica for the afternoon. A suburb of Rome, Ostia used to be the city’s major port. Over the centuries, the city was abandoned, though, miraculously, much of the ancient city center still stands and is relatively well-preserved.
I went to the better-known Pompeii as an 11-year-old, and remember the ruins, frescoes, and human remains catching my interest and imagination in a way that no other historical site ever had. While Ostia Antica lacks the macabre history of Pompeii, it was still fascinating and absolutely worth the trip.
Among the ruins are a cemetery, several baths, an amphitheater, temples, markets, and apartment buildings. When you are lost among the ruins, no other tourists seen or heard, it’s not too difficult to imagine the city as it once was.
1. Remains of the Roman Gate | 2. Ruins | 3. Details of a carving in Piazzale della Minerva | 4. Mosaic detail | 5. Remains found across from the amphitheater | 6. The countryside beyond the archeological site