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Travel day through the most incredible scenery

Still raining this morning but nice slow morning and didn’t need to leave until 10am when we donned our rain jackets and started the 10 minute walk to the station. Got Mum and her bags have been all sorted so the walk was much easier for her. Flixbus leaves in front of the station. I downloaded the app on my phone so our tickets could be viewed.

10.30am bus to Graz Tickets cost 16 E and the trip took 4 hours

We left at 10.30am on this very nice new coach . Had a little tray table so I spent a few hours of this 277 km 4 hour trip sorting photos on my laptop.

The scenery was incredible on a drizzly overcast day even with low cloud often hiding the top of the soaring mountains above us. 3 out of the 4 hour trip was through incredible mountain scenery with tunnel after tunnel – the longest being at least 5 km. When we weren’t in tunnels it was incredibly picturesque with green hills, beautiful villages and houses perched on hillsides, towering majestic snow capped mountains overhead, rushing streams and rivers and castles perched on hill-tops. It was incredible on an overcast day and would have loved to see it on a fine day. Austria is such aa mountainous country The bus had a 10 minute rest stop every hour which was nice to get up and stretch your legs. at one stop it stopped outside a post office so I quickly wrote on the postcards I had for the grandchildren and mailed them off for 5.10 E

The last hour to Graz the scenery was flattening out and we arrived in at 2.30pm

The hostel was only a10 minute easy walk and just around the corner. It is a huge building and is a hotel/ hostel. I am in the female dorm and Mum in her own room. Cost 26 E

We had decided to spend a night in Graz as it was on UNESCO 's list of World Cultural Heritage sites. It says of Graz - hidden alleys, romantic inner courtyards, ornate facades and magnificent buildings with renaissance, gothic and Baroque architecture.

After settling in we headed off to the old town a 20 minute walk. We were both dragging ourselves and feeling really tired and realized we hadn’t stopped for a week since leaving home, so didn't really do Graz justice but were happy with what we did see as we wandered around for a couple of hours.As we were so tired we headed back early to chill and then do nothing in the morning as we our bus doesn’t leave until 11.30am

Graz is the 2nd largest city in Austria but weirdly does not feel Austrian. It is close to the border of Slovenia and Hungary and feels more eastern and slavic. The buildings are quite different from Salzburg and Bavaria.

Once we crossed over the bridge over the river Mur we were in the old town and followed the suggestions of a walking guide brochure the city. There were plenty of interesting buildings to look at.

Over 1000 years ago the small fort that stood on this rock ledge agave the city its name which means "little castle" The Renaissance fortress built in 1544 was the strongest fortification of all time and even Napoleon found it impossible to capture at the beginning of the 19th century. In 1809 when he occupied Vienna and was threatening to destroy the capital Graz then surrendered and the fortifications were razed to the ground.

The twin spiral staircase was built in 1499

Schlossbersteig - 260 step lead up to the clock tower The steps up to the top were built between 1914 and 1918 by Russian prisoners.

By the steps I climbed up is an entrance to tunnels that are 6.3km long with 20 entrances that were built to serve as an air raid shelter for up to 40,000 people during WW2. One of them is still open as a footpath through to the other side of the mountain. Incredible to imagine the people of the town all rushing here when the bombs were being dropped.

Instead of the steps Mum caught the lift up to the top

Up the top the clock tower is the landmark Graz and one of its oldest buildings and mentioned as early as 1265. The wooden gallery was added in the 1500's and current clock in the 1700's

Between 1554 and 1556 the Turk Well was built 94 metres down to the River Mur to secure water supply during long sieges named as it was allegedly built by turkish prisoners

Over the river we passed their super modern "alien"building - it was very unique

We grabbed a bratwurst again for dinner and then got some salad and fruit from a supermarket and went back for an early night.

View of town from the Schlossberg

View of town from the Schlossberg


Steps from a church totally surrounded by c=buildi

Steps from a church totally surrounded by c=buildi


Old wooden clad bakery

Old wooden clad bakery


View from the 260 steps

View from the 260 steps


Chinese Pavilion

Chinese Pavilion


Double spiral staircase

Double spiral staircase


Courtyards and passageways

Courtyards and passageways


Clock Tower at top of 260 steps

Clock Tower at top of 260 steps


Fortress

Fortress


Landhaus for parliament

Landhaus for parliament


Amazing facade

Amazing facade


Courtyards

Courtyards


Passageways

Passageways


Double spiral staircase

Double spiral staircase


Mur Island - man made

Mur Island - man made


Clock tower

Clock tower


Leading up to the Russian steps

Leading up to the Russian steps


Main Square

Main Square


Town Hall

Town Hall


Turk well

Turk well


Looking up those steps

Looking up those steps


Painted facade

Painted facade


Looking down to Mum waiting for me

Looking down to Mum waiting for me


Mum double spiral staircase

Mum double spiral staircase


Main Square

Main Square


View from the top

View from the top


Tunnels from WW2

Tunnels from WW2


On the top

On the top


Clock Tower

Clock Tower


Church

Church


City views

City views

Posted by hillbillyramsey 17:00 Archived in Austria

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