Tuesday, July 30, 2019

NORTHERN HIGHLIGHTS TOUR - GRAZ-AUSTRIA



Graz is the capital of Styria (Steiermark) and the second largest city of Austria with a population of just below 300,000 - about 40,000 of which are students of its six universities.

The ex body builder and ex governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger was born here. There is even an Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum with objects and photos from his childhood home.



I found some photos on Internet compared to his statue of earlier years he has shrinked a bit. We had no time to visit it, and honestly I was also more interested in the city ! Anyway it's interesting to know !



The Opera



A Pavillon like café



Fountain in the old town



Loved the architecture of this Bank



Townhall



A bar/restaurant





Our group



If you order a plate with porc in Austria, you will never be disappointed ! The food is real good !

The pig and I have the same smile (almost)



Graz has really a spectacular architecture from all periods. We only stayed there for a couple of hours so I didn't see everything, and it was hard to take pictures because our guide wanted to win a marathon. But at least I have seen enough to make my own opinion and I think it's a nice city to visit !




Sunday, July 28, 2019

NORTHERN HIGHLIGHTS TOUR - LJUBLJANA - SLOVENIA




On our tour we also visited Ljubljana, Slovenia's capital and largest city. It is one of Europe's greenest and most liveable capitals. Car traffic is restricted in the centre, leaving the leafy banks of the emerald-green Ljubljanica River, which flows through the city's heart, free for pedestrians and cyclists. In summer, cafes set up terrace seating along the river; it almost feels like a nightly street party.

Slovenia was part of Yougoslavia before it broke into pieces.



Having checked in to our Hotel in the afternoon, we met in the Hotel lobby for a walking tour with our guide.



The first thing I noticed while walking down the street was that almost all houses or walls or whatever was covered with graffitis ! 





It needs to be said though, graffiti are officially illegal, but there are some spots where they are perfectly acceptable. It seems that a place named Metelkova is one big art show. Unfortunately I haven't seen this place, but there were so many graffiti over the whole town, that for me it made no difference. The graffiti  often get repainted. The ones you see in this blog post, may not be there anymore when you decide to visit Ljubiliana

I have been told that this  “underground” subculture  rebels against authority and capitalism after the country had been under communist regime. So some artists expressed their new "Freedom of Speech" in painting ! For tourists there are even "Graffiti Tours"

We wandered through the city











The Dragon bridge has also a cute legend that Jason (Greek mythology) was the founder of Ljubljana, and he and his Argonauts killed a dragon. This is one of the four dragon statues on the bridge.

According to local legends, when a virgin crosses the bridge, the dragons will wag their tails. As it was so hot I sat just in front of the bridge in a café and had a drink. I stayed there for at least an hour but the Dragons didn't wave with their tails .......





It still is the use in so many European countries to hang a lock on bridges to lock your love. It had started in Paris, the love-lock "Pont des Arts" bridge, has removed the locks because they became too heavy for the bridge.







Along the river was one café, restaurant, pub etc side by side ! You had the choice !



Beautiful buildings all over the town.



Here we were waiting for the others to walk back to our hotel.



Even the huge old communist buildings were "decorated" with graffiti.

I liked this town very much, from what I have seen in this short time,  it is small and really beautiful and there is a lot going on for all age groups. For me it would be worthwhile to go back and explore it more. 


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I love painting, writing, travelling and photography. My favorit models are my two cats which I observe with fun and humor. I am German, married to an Italian and we live in Waterloo (15 km from Brussels) / Belgium since many years. Waterloo is a famous place to many tourists, because Napoleon lost his battle here against Wellington and other European countries.

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