Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Around the World: Graz

March 20, 1992

Breakfast includes a giant pot of coffee, buns with jam and pretzels.

The hostel is close to the university and the old part of town.  I followed the hilltop clock tower to find the Schlossberg, or Castle Mountain. 

Castle Mountain.  Photo by Jean Fran├žois Riemer,
courtesy of Wikipedia Creative Commons

After climbing the twisty steps to the top, I am greeted by a delightful scene of spring in all its glory.  Flowers are in bloom and two small cafes are bustling with people enjoying a pleasant day and the scent of flowers on the breeze.

Clock tower. Photo courtesy
Wikipedia Creative Commons

Using the clock face to tell time is disorienting, and it takes me almost 20 minutes to figure out why.  The original clock only included one hand to mark the hour.  A smaller minute hand was added later.  Every time I look at the clock for the time, I have to take this into account and find it's just easier to ask someone with a watch.

Around 2pm, it starts to rain.  When I arrive at the hostel, the front door is locked and a sign hung on the window explains that this happens everyday between 1 pm and 4 pm for an afternoon nap.  I wish I had known this about an hour ago.  Fortunately, a nearby store opens at 3, and as long as I can feign browsing the selection of wine and chocolate, I can stay dry until the hostel unlocks the entrance.

When the hostel finally opens, my most important mission is to warm the damp out of me in the hot shower.  Back in the room, my Australian roommate greets me with a bottle of wine to share while we look up words and phrases in my German - English dictionary.

• ¤ •

"Ticking away the moments 
That make up a dull day, 
Fritter and waste the hours
in an off-hand way..."
~Time, Pink Floyd

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