Graz 06-2017

Before my journey began I was thinking about to optimize the waiting time in Zurich before catching the nighttrain to Graz. Thankfully I thought about it again and told myself, life is too good for stress therefore I took an earlier connection from work to Zurich HB.
That day as the public transportation god knew there was a big mess around Zurich and some train to and from Zurich HB were canceled, thankfully I still got enough time to catch the nighttrain in time in Zurich HB. The ride was okay but, a flight would have been more comfortable, I was so happy as soon as I touched Austrian Gravel.

I took the tram number 3 until the stop I had to get out. Bracket open: I was on the way to Graz for visiting Leni the Austrian girl, who I have knew since Zwolle Netherlands, where we both experienced the Zwolle-Erasmus-Adventure. Bracket closed. Anyway Leni was so nice and organized everything so I had a smooth and comfortable arriving at her apartment. Leni was still at the university so in the mean time I could get my energy level recharged. Some hours later she arrived and even some hours later we finally were on the way to the Schlossberg (castle hill).

Before we reached the top we were distracted by a street food event, where I enjoyed a delicious espresso!!! Unfortunately there was no empty space in our stomachs due to the all you can eat buffet at the sushi restaurant…

The weather was nice and the view on the top of the hill was also astonishing. Even the climb down from the little hill was beautiful and relaxing. Thanks to the government of Graz that drinking water was so accessible in the city centre due to a vast amount of water fountain.

Next stop was level 5 (roof top bar) in the city centre, where we enjoyed the weather with refreshing drinks. We had “Gespritze Weisse” (white wine) with various flavours. One was with Almdudler, another with cucumber flavour, mango, maracuja, Holunder the list was even bigger but in the end we were not that thirsty for trying all the others. The walk and the drinks have left their marks on us; therefore we decided to go back to the flat for preparing ourselves for the upcoming night. Unfortunately the weather forced us to stay even longer at her flat. But with other drinks, good music and good conversations, even that small obstacle was no problem for us to overcome.

Back on the track we had a small visit at the Posaune, where we created our own pizza. In Graz there is this creation system for dinner and lunch available (it is called Baukasten System), with that system you can customize your own dish (pizza, pasta, Rösti etc…). As I already wrote with did that exactly and our pizza creation came to live.

Next location was the ppc, the pop culture nightclub, where we danced to 70s, 80s and 90s music. Unfortunately my favourite 90s song: I am blue dabedidabedei……. Was not played 😦 but it was still fun and the drinks had good quantity. At this point I have to mention that I made friends with the bouncer due to my red swiss “student” pass. Hahahaha :D.

After some oldies, Leni showed me another part of Graz, the Nachtexpress. Rock and metal music was dominating the air but also sweat was noticeable. The rock(ing)-people, as always, were really nice and interesting. That club is really a visit worth. The whole day and night was exhausting and we decided to catch a dream.

For breakfast we visited the restaurant/café Blendend. They offered a dream worthy breakfast buffet. From fresh cheese to Austrian ham to selfmade jam, even selfmade “Nutella” and last but not least freshly baked from the kitchen the amazing waffles, everything was there to feel guilty afterwards. Three kilograms later we decided to slow down the pace of the whole upcoming day. (Uns ging es nicht mehr Blendend…)

Around four o’clock in the afternoon we drove to Leni’s parents, with whom we attended an original Buschenschank (***click here***). Cold plate with organic meat, cheese and delicious bread in combination with a good Grauburgunder from that winery…. No comments simply worth to die. Even in the view and the landscape I could not find any flaws. The old inactive volcano with the fortress on top was the cherry on the cream. With a professional camera this could have been a breathtakingly postcard cover.

That night a student friend of Leni celebrated his birthday. With a full stomach we were prepared for a long party. The whole evening was Nicely organized and the host led well through the program and with the Italian theme the first part of the night was really entertaining. The alternated Giro di Italia was also amusing. Also the diversity of Austrian people (east, west and south) enhanced the discussions. Thanks guys!!! Gianna Gianna Giaana!


Next part played in the city centre in a night club, I roughly remember everything. For sure I know that this night covered everything from surprises until expectations. From sugar sweet to bitter lemon. One surprise was the registration before entering the club, really strange and I thought that I will enter soon a new country with high security measures at the border. Before I forget at this point I also want to thank Kevin for organizing the vodka bottle. Great headache 😀

While walking back to the flat the birds started to sing, which led to the conclusion that it was a good time to end. The next day was short and painful and not worth to mention :D.

Anyway it was Sunday and the nighttrain back to Zurich called, I entered the train with a big smile because Claire and Francis Underwood waited for me in the train.

Torino / Turin

After a long car trip from Zurich to Torino, we finally arrived at Torino at 22:00. I got my keys from my lovely nice AirBnb host Elisa. Back in the car my lovely Italian guide Gio brought us to a still open but delicious pizza place. We four ordered four different pizze and in the end everybody had a quarter of a different pizza. The restaurant was called pizzeria Gennaro Esposito. Soon after, we ended the evening with a good poretti sette luppoli at St. Martin Pub.

Next day woke up with a good Bialetti coffee (moka) on my private balcony. With my personal guide I discovered the old part of the city. The palace, the villa for the king’s guests and also the two churches next to Piazza San Carlo (free entry) are a must to see. After that small tour we were hungry and Gio showed me how you enjoy the lunch time in a proper Italian way. Beer and focaccia (***link***) for lunch and for dessert an espresso. Next stop the fountain with the two statues, which are the symbols for the Po and Dora.

That night it was time for an Italian apero, pay the drink -> food is for free -> all you can eat (Blanco Torino, Piazza Vittorio Veneto).  That night we needed a good base for our future plan. It was time to go out. Better said as a motto: to live like a student again. From our guide Gio we got highly secret intel about the life as a student in Torino. It is common that the students enjoy a good drink (good = strongest and hardest) at the highly confidential place called Les Arcades. Try out the Tamango (cherry flavour) or the Misterio (lemon/neutral), side note be prepared with a good base in your stomach!!! The heroes that tried out this drink were ready for another challenge: the absinth bar. Back on the street with small delays due to the crowning of King Simone and a fire on public street we arrived at the absinth bar. Unfortunately due to an agreement, the footage of the crowing are not made for the public eye.

But just for you I documented how my absinth drink was. For further explanation you have to look on the next picture. As far as I remember, two different absinth. One absinth was in the top glas (like a wine glas) and one was in the bottom one (whiskey glas). So then the barkeeper lit the green looking absinth on fire. Stired it around in the glas so the inside of the glas was fully covered by absinth. Destinguish the fire, poored the green stuff in the other glas and put the glas upside down. So the gas-alcohol was trapped inside, next step drink the mixture. Last step take a straw and inhale the gas from under the glas which is upside down……

turin_lower109

The absinth location is called 21 Absinthe Café (next to the Piazza Vittorio Veneto).

For our last beer we went to the pubs right next to the Po. You can seat right next to the river enjoy the beer and the noises from the Po. At that specific location and at that specfic date and time a new memorial was born, the Big G Memorial also called Mr. Depression. Joke on you Big Giiiiiii.

Next morning after a kebab (it was already afternoon), Gio showed me a small little museum about the human body with genuine body parts. It is a little bit scary and not made for soft stomachs J.

Next stop top of the hill, we enjoyed the view from the nearby mountain/hill called Superga. There is also a nice looking Basilica there and in combination with the Monumento al Grande Torino a visit worth. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superga_air_disaster)

Dinner time: Argentina beef steak at Volver (via Giovanni Botero), 500 gram pure awesome meat. Side dishes are not important there, the main character in that restaurant is that amazing meat!!!

Morning 3: prepared for a beach day at Finale Ligure by train it is 2h 40 minutes. A really nice beach. Let the footage speak for itself. For dinner we went to a sushi restaurant with all you can eat sushi soooooooooooooo awesome!!!

Last day we went to the Fiat Car Museum some nice looking cars there and the story behind them is really interesting. Nevertheless, after an hour or so I was bored and left my friends there (they were more fascinated by the cars then me J). Next destination was the tower above the cinema museum unfortunately the queue was too long so I decided to take again a delicious focaccia and a nap in the nearby park until my friend came back. And ice cream later and some good Italian food we packed everything properly and our way back started. Unfortunately at the Gotthard we got in a traffic jam, but with the Swiss number plate app the time flew by thanks to Flavio (Skoda with nice mountainbikes).

Arrividerci Italia