Graz, Austria July 2017
Wednesday 19th July: We had chosen a spot in the middle of Graz. Apparently you can park overnight with some services and just walk into the city. We had an address and Tom Tom was taking us there. It was not meant to be easy for us that day. First Chris turned into the road and instead of the car lane , he turned into the tram lane. Eeek reverse. Then we got our destination on the right and no nothing. A building. So we drive on thinking we look again but no. Then we use the GPS co-odes given and come to another place. Is it? Isn’t it? Chris turns into eeek a tram station meant only for trams. Shit. Reverse now what? It’s hot it’s busy what the hell? Out comes the iPad and we choose a big campervan site out of town. Let’s just get here we are tired and hot.
This was a reisemobilstellplatz..
And it was not so bad. Sites were small on gravel no vista but all the amenities. I was a little over Graz by then so we decided to to the shops and stay in and go into Graz the next morning.
Parsleyspursuits of the perfect shopping meant we went into Billa and then Hof and then back to Billa. But it was nice. Again have I told you Austria is expensive! My wine choice has gone down to whatever white plonk is on special. I’m not fussy really.
Thursday 20th July:
Second try. We find a park and ride and we plot our way to Graz. We got there first time no issue and the bus was right there and easy. 10min into the Hauptbahn.
Here is where things changed. Graz was actually beautiful, stylish and very hip and trendy. We wandered around and the some really lovely shops and buildings.
Our friend Marius who know Graz well had given us the number of a couple who own some coffee shops in Graz and we went to visit. TriBeCa coffee shop was über trendy and stylish and so are its owners. Lovely couple Harry & Eva and treated us to there own special roast coffee. It was delicious.
They suggested a visit to the Schloss and also gave us great tips for visiting the weinstrasse.
We set off and found ourselves really enjoying the ease of the city. Free wifi everywhere. The tram in the central area is free to tourists. The ice cream shops are on every corner and really what a pleasure to walk around and visit. On our walks we saw a great deal of more modern food , a change from the traditional coffee and cakes places but really quite hip. We found a stall that was selling plates of salad. A bit like a salad valley but much much better! The last was so sweet heaping our plate with extra when she saw we were sharing. Lovely wooden tables and flowers in pots. Sacking under your bum to cushion it and you eat your salad alfresco on the street.
We took the tram to the castle. So you can walk the 260 steps or take the icy cool elevator In the mountain. Not wanting to deprive Graz of tourist revenue we paid the €1.50 each and rode to the top in style. In our defense after exploring the grounds we walked down the 260 steps. The view from the top magnificent.
Then an ice-cream and into the tram to the station, onto the bus to the parking spot and into our van. As Chris likes to say seamless.
We’ve changed our minds Graz is worth a visit. A definite long weekend recommendation.
And in we drive. Now convinced we must visit the Styria Weinstraße, we look for a campsite close by.
We found one called Weinland camping. Of course the way we must stop for provisions. This time its the Spar( not a spa) but the supermarket chain which is big in Austria. Food tick, wine tick, cold beer tick and Manner Schnitten! So this is Parsleys Pursuit of the perfect biscuit for now. We have consumed many packets. I say WE because I’m totally sucked into this sugar addition. I’m going to have to go cold turkey soon. Well Chris did eat one packet totally an utterly on his own in 50sec without even offering, but addiction is a tricky thing.
And now every single shop seems to have them on special,So even more reason to stock up.
We arrive at camp Weinland, just outside Gleinstatten, and again run by a woman. No nonsense and looks horrified we did not book! But it’s season you know? So far we are very bad as we have not booked one campsite in advance. We just don’t get around to planning far enough in advance. It’s going to catch us soon.
Rose note: actually I being Capricorn of course want to plan and even maybe ring or email them at least the day before to book but no Parsleys pursuit of the spontaneous means “not doing today what you can put off till tomorrow”
But again she found a spot for one night. This camp site was at the edge of the public lake. So anyone can go and swim and chill at this spotless picnic area.
It had a restaurant on the lakeside and we break all the rules and we don’t care AATB and we go and have a drink at the waters edge. Heaven!
So another lesson in caravanning: Some people take this very very seriously and the caravan becomes their holiday homes.At this particular camp site, there were at least 5 caravans competing for garden of the year. Really amazing laid out gardens with garden sheds and all.See my pics below, I’m not kidding.
Which reminds me, so far Chris and I have not made the jump and bought any potted plants for our table ( all the motorhoming germans had pots of geraniums on the outside table) but we now do have little candles and a placemat with a sunflower on it.
We cooked dinner , delicious pork chops ( pork again!) and Chris’s special special salad and enjoy eating outside, whilst watching a lightening show of epic proportions.