Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Велико Търново (Veliko Tarnovo) and the Dragon Dance

Samstag, November 15th, 2008

Last weekend we spent in Veliko Tarnovo, one of the former capitals of Bulgaria, before the occupation of Ottoman Empire (in 1393). It’s a very historical place. For sure of this old time not a lot has been remained, only the foundations of a fortress, called Царевец (Zarevets). During communist era the government tried to rebuild the castle, or at least part of it. Now you have the original ruins and ruins of construction.
Anyway, it’s a special place. On top of the hill where Zarevets resides you find the Patriarch’s church with very modern paintings (unfortunately taking pictures would have cost 5 Лв = 2,50 €). Every now and then there is an audio-visual show at this castle, it will be illuminated by different colors and you can hear music – the problem: you never know, when is the next time. So we didn’t see this.
It’s a huge area with lots of walls, ways and … an awesome view of the city. Veliko Tarnovo is lying in a meander of the river Yantra, which cut it’s bed deep into the earth. Most of the city consists of small houses which are build on the river slopes. So the city structure is something very special and from every viewpoint you are astonished again. In the old town centre you have a lot of houses with the typical architecture of Bulgarian Renaissance.
In total we haven’t seen a lot of Veliko Tarnovo, because we were a large group of eleven people (everybody from our Language Course in Burgas) and we met there to celebrate Adrian’s Birthday.

I can really recommend the hostel were we were staying, the Hostel Mostel. It’s in renovated old building, a very comfy place and they even left some holes in the painting of the walls, so you can see the structure of the wall. The staff was also very amiable and there were interesting, international guests (always a good sign for a place).

One of those guests was a Japanese guy, Oikado Ichiro, who is travelling (walking!) through Europe for quite some time now and he is an artist. He has a show, which he calls the ‚Dragon Dance‘. On the second day he already announced that he wants to do this dance for us and when we got home from Saturday evening Birthday party we found a note on the floor with his costume next to it, which announced his Dance for 11am or 12am. I was up a bit earlier, so I already could see him preparing. Finally when nearly everyone was awake he started his show (the rest awoke because of the noise). It was really impressive, what he showed us with just some simple costumes and some masks. The show lasted for about half an hour and afterwards we spent quite some time talking to him, he wrote us our names in Japanese and we exchanged e-mail-addresses.

So much for this trip, it was really a nice experience again.

This week the hard disk of my notebook died, so I had to buy a new one and reinstall everything. Fortunately I’m often doing backups, so I didn’t lose a lot of data, but some pictures of the last trips are damaged :( The good thing: I have now a hard disk with the double size from the old one (250 GB). I’m now using Xubuntu 8.10 Intrepid Ibix, I’m curious how it will work for me in the long run. For now I have to say, it feels really fast.

A lot of things …

Donnerstag, November 6th, 2008

I really have to excuse, now there was a really long time without an article on my Blog. It’s not that there’s nothing to talk about, for sure I’m not getting bored that easily.

As I already announced I’ve been to a CouchSurfing-Meeting in Borovets, a skiing-resort in the Rila-Mountains at the weekend of October 24th-26th.
The Meeting started on Saturday, but I wanted to go there on Friday and use the whole weekend, especially as I was told, that this place is very good for hiking. I finally found some fellows – two more Erasmus students from Germany and Latvia and a CouchSurfer from Bulgaria (who did Erasmus at Vienna University of Technology some years ago and was studying at the same university here in Sofia too). We started our trip with an evening hike. We met in Sofia shortly after 6pm and travelled to Боровец (Borovets) by bus and taxi and started hiking around 8:30pm. So it was already really dark and we had to use our head lamps. After about two hours we reached our place for the night … a mountain hut. We were welcomed with a burning oven and candle light. We had some dinner and spend the rest of the evening playing cards.
Most of the next day we spent hiking, we hiked to one of the next peaks, Шатар (Schatar), with about 2500m over sea level. Unfortunately the weather was not very nice, it was very foggy and it even had some rain.

In the days after I got a nasty diarrhea with stomach cramps and fever … not very funny, but after three or four days it finally got better. So I spent a lot of time at home, in my bed or in front of the TV.

On the weekend I joined my first Critical Mass in Sofia with a borrowed bicycle. You know, this is this an international movement of cyclists who meet and cycle through town to fight for more rights for cyclists and other alternative forms of transportation. Here in Sofia we are still a small group, we just were like a dozen people or so. Afterwards I was invited to the national radio for a concert – some psychedelic underground rock band was playing there, which was pretty got. I met the husband and a flat-mate of Rossi, the CouchSurfer where I spent my first two weeks. I had thought I might meet him there, because he is working at this radio.

On Sunday I went hiking again, this time on the Vitosha, the mountain close to Sofia, to it’s highest peak, the Черни Връх (Cherni Vrah). This time we took it easy and used a chair lift for a part of our tour. Unfortunately the weather was again not very good.

Most of the last days I spent with my computer, because I’m working on a new web application (I also should study, I will do it tomorrow, promise!). I told you about the OpenStreetMap (OSM) before, which is a free alternative to Google Maps (and similar applications) and consists mainly of user generated content. I’m not very satisfied with the default view, as the public transport routes are not being displayed (at least not if you enter them in the preferred way). I was thinking about generating an own map style for a long time, and now I decided to just do it. The project is progressing quite nicely, and I think the OSM community will be quite excited about it. But at the moment I can’t show you anything yet, I will write a special article on my blog when it’s ready to be announced.

I could actually need some help with this project. I’m not very good at drawing and I need little icons for train, tram, bus and some more things. So if you want to help the open source community, this is your chance. :)

So, thanks for patience. Have a nice weekend!

First trip to Istanbul

Donnerstag, Oktober 23rd, 2008

Already Thursday … and still no report about last weekend. Shame on me. But now it’s time, because the next weekend is arriving, with new exciting experiences (at least I hope so – it will start with an evening/night hiking tour on Friday and will lead to the CouchSurfing-meeting in Borovets).
So last weekend we went to Istanbul, supposed to be the largest city in Europe with over 14 million inhabitants. I heard a lot of good things about this city beforehand, and I have to say, I was not disappointed. Istanbul is not far away from Bulgaria, it’s 8-10 hours by bus. Sure, I would have preferred a train – but the bus was way faster and cheaper and there are several buses a day and not only one. And supposedly it was more comfortable. I was really impressed … Bord service, more the enough room for my feet, comfortable seats. I would never have thought that I would enjoy an 8 hour travel by bus. And it was really cheap – only 40Лв (about 20€) per direction.
What really was annoying, was the border control which took one hour. We had to show our passports five times (on the way back only four times) and I even had to buy a visa for 15€ (which I knew beforehand, I always check the homepage of the Austrian ministry for foreign affairs before travelling to another country). My visa is valid for three months, so I have to go there again soon – maybe already next week.
At our arrival at 6am we were greeted by the morning-prayer of the next mosque. After getting a map and a ticket for public transport we tried to reach the sea before sunrise – what we unfortunately didn’t manage. But we had breakfast at the sea. Very nice.

Some days before we went to Istanbul we had dinner at my CouchSurfer’s place again and we met a Turkish guy there who gave us a lot of tips what we have to visit in Istanbul. So we went on a sightseeing-trip – The Blue Mosque or Sultan Ahmed Mosque, built 1609-1616 was our first spot, directly followed by the Hagia Sophia which was built over a millenium earlier in 532-537 as church and has been converted to a Mosque after the takeover of the Ottoman Empire in 1453. Both are very impressive buildings.

So, I will not continue with too much details, this would take too long, and I just want to write an article for my blog and not a book. Next I want to show you some pictures of the Bosporus, the sea connection of Black Sea and Mediterranean and the view of the surrounding quarters. They really offer some impressive views of hilly Istanbul. It doesn’t matter to which direction you look, you can only see populated area. It’s crazy.

What else is worth telling about? We have been to The Grand Bazaar which has been built in 1455-1461. It’s really huge, but very touristic at most places. But there are some hidden quarters, which are worth seeing. Anyway, it’s very impressive.

On Saturday I left Europe for the first time in my life :) We went to the Asian side. I think it’s different from the other side were we came from … but it’s more like another quarter of the town as being ‚Asian‘. What we noticed in whole Istanbul, but especially on the Asian side: People are very friendly, often too friendly. For example, you watch a mosque from the outside … immediately somebody is here and invites you to see the mosque. We were even allowed to stay for the evening prayer. Fore sure, if you pass a shop or a restaurant they want to convince to come in and see – for me it’s annoying, but it’s just the culture there. I also didn’t really fell comfortable in the restaurants, it’s different to what I’m used to.

The Turkish guy also recommended us to see the Istiklal-Street near Taksim Square. As this was not far away from the place where we lived in Istanbul (a friend and CouchSurfer from Vienna, who is doing Erasmus in Istanbul currently), we went there on Saturday evening. Crazy … the street and the side-streets were so crowded, it looked as if half Istanbul was there. We just went through the road, you could hear different music from the bars, people talking and having fun. Very, very nice. It was hard to resist to go to one or more of these places, but we decided to be tired and therefore went home. During day time it’s a shopping street, like Mariahilfer Straße in Vienna – but it’s restricted to pedestrians, and there’s an oldtimer tramway running through. And I found a Space Invader!

Still, so much to tell about this trip – But I think it’s enough for you to get an impression and for me to remember later. Now I know, why I avoided to write it earlier … it took me two hours. Hope you enjoyed reading it, I also enjoyed going there.
What else happened? I have to leave my flat in mid of November, because the project where the girl who I’m living with currently we will be changed, so she doesn’t have to stay in Bulgaria (which she really regrets, because she tried to find her roots here). But I think I already have a room for afterwards, although it might be crowded till beginning of December. We will see.
On Wednesday I was presenting Austrians national parks and the UNESCO world heritage sites in the class Landscape Architecture. I would have like to put the presentation on my blog, but unfortunately I had to use copyrighted material, so I don’t feel save with this.
So, stay tuned for the next update.

Trip to Елена (Elena)

Sonntag, Oktober 12th, 2008

This weekend (Friday and Saturday) I was invited to join an excursion to some villages in the surroundings of Елена (Elena), a small town with some 6000 inhabitants in the centre of the country. The next larger town is Велико Търново (Veliko Tarnovo), the former capital of Bulgaria before the occupation of the Ottoman Empire in 1393. In Елена the 3rd-year students of architecture exercise planning. So I was again confronted with some new students, but we got on quite nicely. Some always kept translating me the most important things, because the professor who guided the trip only speaks Bulgarian and French.
There was not a lot of time for sight seeing in Елена, as we spent most of the time travelling or in the villages. On Saturday morning I got up early and had time to have a walk around town. Although it was foggy, I could make some nice pictures. Most of the town looks pretty normal to me, but near the city centre, which is crossed by a small river, are some roads which let you forget that the last fifty years or so have happened.

The villages showed a poor image. Many houses are deserted, you seldom see people, especially young people. The age group 15-35 years was missing completely. What really stroke me was the absence of cars. I often have the problem that cars spoil possibly good images, especially these modern large SUVs.

These villages are really beautiful places, so tourism could get interest in these places soon. Some houses have already been sold to international investors and a few new buildings have already been constructed, which doesn’t fit the regional style. It’s a job for the governments to find a way to develop regions like this without destroying the landscape. Too many disasters happened around the world because of uncontrolled development of tourism. I don’t think that the Bulgarian government is capable of handling this job, I heard too much about corruption. There must be a reason, why ‚city planner‘ is the 5th best paid job. By the way, I’m just reading a scientific book about tourism, but that’s content for another article.

Миковци (Mikovtsi) – the first village we visited – is surrounded by some little wooded mountains. The evening-sun provided some great pictures. Here we could also see an example for new development – an apartment-house which looks somehow traditional, but it’s not typical for this region.

In Марян (Marjan) it was already getting dark, so the pictures aren’t very good. Марян is famous for having a monastery where a legend tells said that the remains of Tsar Boris I, the first Christian tsar of Bulgaria, have been found.

Of Чакали (Tshakali) I can’t tell you much, because the group separated and I followed to the next village. The name origins of the jackals which lived there in former times.

Каменари (Kamenari) is named after the stone plates around the city. They make construction very difficult. Here I had the impression, I’m no longer in Europe, so different was the atmosphere. Here too the children we saw have no future, the school has closed down some time ago. The only amenities are a shop and a health care centre.

Майско (Majsko) was our last stop. The only developing village we saw, which is due to the fact, that the population consists mainly of Gypsies and Islamic people. Which raises even more problems, because they don’t want to be assimilated by Bulgarian culture. Although one of the main roads between northern and southern Bulgaria is passing through this village, there was not a lot of traffic.

All in all this was a very interesting trip with a lot of alien experiences and beautiful views, but also a lot to think and worry about.

One more thing happened. I met one of the students on the trip who is responsible for the Erasmus-students. I thought there are no such students at this university, because I asked at the international students office that I like to meet the other foreign students. The woman there promised to organize a party when everybody is here. Now I learned, that they already had several parties and meetings. I had also asked what organisational stuff I have to do – The answer was No. Which was not correct, I should get an ID and cheaper tickets for public transport. I’m a bit angry about this office.

Hope you enjoy my pictures!

First Days in Sofila

Mittwoch, Oktober 1st, 2008

So, you are all desperately waiting for an update? Here it is!
Our bus to Sofia was surprisingly comfortable, we were even shown movies (no sound, bulgarian subtitles). However, we spent most of the time reading and playing cards (guess what – 1000km for sure). We? I had company from Dominika from Poland, whom I might live with for the next year. For me it depends who’s joining us. We have an appointment this afternoon for discussing this over and searching a flat.
The first days I was couchsurfing at Bojo’s and Zlaty’s place, who unfortunately didn’t have much time for me. But we will meet again tomorrow for „Kak se kasva …“, a couchsurfing group for learning Bulgarian.
Yesterday I moved to other CouchSurfers, Rossi and friends. We had a nice evening with eating dinner, drinking Rakija and Beer, talking about festivals, critical mass and other alternative projects. I even discovered a „Space Invaders against Racism“-Sticker in their flat. And there is really a Critical Mass in Sofia. I’m looking forward to participating at the next time. By the way, it was no problem to take my bike in the bus to Sofia. So I’m keeping on cycling. And it’s better in Sofia as I imagined, at least near the City Centre. It’s better than in Burgas.
After some confusion on Monday morning I finally found my classes. As I imagined they are in Bulgarian and it’s nearly impossible for me to follow the lectures. But I think with some additional reading I will somehow manage to learn something and work on interesting things. The professors are understanding.
Peter (Петър) was asking me in one of the comments, if life in Sofia feels more serious than in Burgas. Yes, it’s right that Burgas was somehow vacation. But here in Sofia I have more free time, currently I have only classes from Monday to Wednesday. So a lot of time for travelling, although I don’t have fixed plans yet. Only for October 25th-27th, there’s the Balkan CouchSurfing Meeting in Borovets with excursions and party. I think it will be great … Who’s joining? Some people from Vienna already registered.
Unfortunately I can’t show you any pictures, I forgot my camera at a friends place. I could show you some pictures from Burgas, but I’m currently not in the mood to do so.
I’m quite glad not to be in Austria, as I’m really appalled about the elections. I don’t think that politics in Bulgaria is better … it feels good not to know much about it. I hope you have a good time anyway. Read you hopefully soon :-)

Lake Atanasovsko

Sonntag, September 7th, 2008

Today I used the great weather (it’s still summer) for my first real cycling trip. This time I wanted to see one of the other lakes. As you presumably not know the geographical location of Burgas, here is a little Map (thanks to Google, who provide these satellite images):

This time I wanted to see the Lake Atanasovsko (Атанасовско езеро), which is located to the northeast of Burgas and close to my current home. I assumed that I will be much nicer than the Burgas Lake that I visited yesterday, as part of it is a nature reserve, due to the fact that it lies on the Via Pontia bird migration route. The Lake is very salty, that’s why the water doesn’t look very nice too … this time it’s natural. It’s also used for mud therapies, I could see lot’s of people covered in black mud.
My plan was to circuit the lake once, which unfortunately didn’t work out. On the west of the lake I would have needed to use a highway (which I accidentely did for a short distance), so I tried my luck from the east which was more successful. At least I could see a cemetery and a recreation area which currently hosts an exhibition of sand artwork. On the eastern part I passed a salt mining factory, an inlet from the Black Sea with lots of Jelly Fish, and some other interesting spots. See the pictures below for some impressions.
Altogether I cycled about 40km today and got a bit sunburned. Therefore I’m quite tired and don’t want to write more. Next week will be exhausting again, so presumably I won’t manage to update my blog. You can use the time to think about things you like to know about my visit, shall I write about some things in more detail? Have a good time!

Wieder mal Sziget Festival

Montag, August 18th, 2008

Im sechsten Jahr in Folge konnte ich es mir nicht nehmen lassen auf das <a href=““>Sziget-Festival</a> in Budapest zu fahren. Aufgrund meiner Bulgarien-Vorbereitungen diesmal allerdings in verkürzter Version, nämlich nur von Freitag bis Montag.

Leute die mich besser kennen wissen vermutlich, dass ich jedes Jahr ein „bestes“ Konzert küre – diesmal gab es aber einen Überraschungssieger. Eigentlich hatte ich nach dem Konzert von <a href=““>Goran Bregovic</a> am Samstag diesen als vorläufigen Sieger erkoren, um am Sonntag dann von der ungarischen Gruppe <a href=““>Besh o droM</a> getoppt zu werden. Damit hatte ich eigentlich erwartet, dass die Entscheidung gefallen sei.

Zu späterer Stunde hat uns dann die ungarische Jazzband <a href=““>“European Mantra“</a> auf der Jazzbühne überrascht bei der wir eigentlich nur durch Zufall vorbeigekommen sind. Die Musikrichtung würde ich als Jazzbanause als fetzigen, abwechslungsreichen und komplexen Jazz bezeichnen. Ich bin so richtig schön in die Musik reingekippt, dass sie es verdient haben, als bestes Konzert des Szigets bezeichnet zu werden – zumindest in meiner persönlichen Wertung. Ich hab mir dann sogar noch eine CD gekauft, was ich nach dem ersten Reinhören nicht als Fehler bezeichnen würde.

Was gibts noch zu berichten?
Die Vielfältigkeit des Festivals ist noch immer ein Grund hinzufahren. Es gibt neben den vielen guten Konzerten so viele Sachen zum anschauen und ausprobieren, z.B. Straßenkunst (Jonglieren, Akrobatik und Clowns) auf der „Travelling Fun Fair“, diverse Theater (unter anderem einem vietnamesischen Wassertheater, einer Art von unterwassergesteuerter Marionetten). Daneben haben auch einige Museen Exponate ausgestellt.

Neben den kulturellen Angeboten haben sich wie immer auch viele Organisationen präsentiert, unter anderem gab es auch einen Ability-Park in dem man ausprobieren konnte wie es ist, körperlich eingeschränkt zu sein.

Leider gibt es nicht nur positives zu berichten. Höherer Standgebühren und Klagen der anderen StandlerInnen über die Gratisausgabe sind die Hare Krishnas zum Opfer gefallen, die nur noch einen kleinen versteckten Stand hatten, den ich nicht mal gefunden hab. Wer nicht weiß, warum ich das betrüblich finde soll doch mal auf Youtube nach „Gouranga sziget“ suchen.

Die Situation der Zeltplätze war heuer um einiges entspannter als die letzten Jahre, was zum Teil zusätzlichen Campingflächen zu verdanken war, die allerdings zu Opfer vieler Sträucher und Büsche in den Wäldern der Insel geschaffen wurden. Außerdem dürfte das heurige Szigetfestival um einiges weniger ZuschauerInnen angelockt haben, die Schieberei auf den Straßen hielt sich angenehmerweise in Grenzen.

Auch wenn dieses Festival für mich mit nur drei Tagen sehr schnell vorüberging hab ich es sehr genossen und ich bin mir sicher, dass es mich wieder dorthin ziehen wird – vermutlich aber nicht nächstes Jahr, da ich hoffe zu dieser Zeit noch den Osten Europas unsicher zu machen (da gibts sicher auch tolle Festivals).

Wenn ich die Photos des heurigen Szigets gesichtet hab, werd ich vielleicht hier auch noch ein paar posten. Übrigens: Kommentare (über die ich mich natürlich freue – *hint hint*) sind auf meinem Blog jetzt auch ohne Twoday-Account möglich.

Pflasterspektakel 2008 in Linz

Donnerstag, Juli 24th, 2008

Diesmal möchte ich euch vom Pflasterspektakel in Linz erzählen, auf dem ich letztes Wochenende war. Eine tolle Idee mich dazu überreden zu lassen, dorthin zu fahren.

Das Pflasterspektakel in Linz ist ein alljährliches Straßenkunst-Festival, dass heuer bereits seine 22. Auflage hatte. StraßenkünstlerInnen aus aller Welt verwandelten die hübsche Linzer Innenstadt für drei Tage in ein rauschendes Fest mit Gauklerei, Magie, Akrobatik und Musik. An vielen verschiedenen Standorten traten im Stundentakt KünstlerInnen auf, die ihr Programm dort präsentierten, wobei jedes Programm bis zu dreimal pro Tag an wechselnden Orten aufgeführt wurde. Außerdem gab es auch noch weitere Aktionen, mehrere Gruppen zogen die ganze Zeit durch die Stadt um mit den Menschen zu interagieren und mehrere Samba-Gruppen verbreiteten ihre Stimmung.

Der Eintritt zum Festival war gratis, allerdings wurden die ZuschauerInnen aufgefordet, nach den Aufführungen ein Hutgeld zu geben. Immerhin ist dies die einzige Einnahmequelle, von der Organisation wurden nur die Fahrt- und Unterkunftkosten getragen.

Das mir Straßenkunst gut gefällt, war mir vor dem Spektakel schon bewusst, aber es hat mich doch viel mehr gefesselt, als ich angenommen hatte. Ich könnte nicht sagen, welcher Auftritt mir am besten gefallen hat, zu vielfältig war das angebotene Programm.

Die folgenden haben mir sehr gut gefallen:
The Von Trolley, ein australisch-französisches Quartett, dass Akrobatik, Musik und Comedy miteinander verbunden hat.
Trillke Trio, eine fünfköpfige deutsche Weltmusik-Band die das Lokal Strom zum beben gebracht hat.
MC Xander, ein britischer Beatboxer, dem leider nach 10 Minuten der Strom ausgegangen ist – trotzdem hab ich ihm eine CD abgekauft.
Dis Bonjour á la Dame, ein Theater, in dem der Protagonist in ein Computerspiel versetzt wurde. in dem Jonglieraufgaben zu lösen waren.

Als ich auf der Heimfahrt einen Blick in das Programmheft warf musste ich feststellen, dass ich den Großteil des Spektakels nicht gesehen hatte obwohl ich bereits überwältigt von meinen Eindrücken war. Ich denke es wird nicht mein letzter Besuch gewesen sein.

Hier ein paar Eindrücke vom Festival:

Hier gibt’s noch mehr Photos

130 Jahre Tramway in Graz

Donnerstag, Juli 17th, 2008

Mein letzter Ausflug in meine Heimatstadt Graz ist inzwischen über einen Monate her, aber noch immer wartete dieser Blogeintrag darauf, fertiggeschrieben zu werden.

Einer der Gründe, die mich am Wochenende um den 8. Juni nach Graz gezogen haben, war das Straßenbahnfest, dass von den Grazer Verkehrsbetrieben (GVB) anlässlich des 130jährigen Jubiläums der Eröffnung der ersten Straßenbahnlinie vom Südbahnhof (heute Hauptbahnhof) zum Jakominiplaz am 8. Juni 1878 gestaltet wurde. Diese Route stellt bis heute den wichtigsten Abschnitt des Grazer Straßenbahnnetzes dar, die von vier (von ingesamt sechs Linien) befahren wird. Ein Highlight dieses Festes war eine Straßenbahnparade vom Hauptplatz durch die Herrengasse zum Jakominiplatz.

Obwohl ich noch müde vom recht ausführlichen Samstag Abend war machte ich mich nicht weniger motiviert auf den Weg in die Innenstadt. Ich hatte mir schon überlegt, dass ich das Landhaus und eventuell auch das Zeughaus als Hintergrundmotive wählen möchte. Naja, meistens musste ich dann eh schauen, wo gerade möglichst wenig Menschen stehen um gute Photos zu erhaschen. Es waren doch ziemlich viele Menschen zum Fest gekommen, auch irrsinnig viele PhotographInnen. Diese hatten sich dann schon in Gruppen arrangiert, um sich möglichst wenig im Weg zu stehen.

Geboten wurde so einiges: Neben allen fahrbaren Oldtimerwagen waren auch diverse Arbeitswagen unterwegs, natürlich auch die neueren Typen. Hier gibt ein paar Impressionen davon:

<table class=“thumb_gallery“><tbody>
<tr><td class=“thumb_gallery“><a href=““><img src=““ alt=““ /></a><br />So sah Straßenbahnverkehr in den Anfangstagen aus: Von Pferden gezogen (Nachbau, Original: Baujahr 1878).</td>
<td class=“thumb_gallery“><a href=““><img src=““ alt=““ /></a><br />Viele Schaulustige, die die Oldtimer-Straßenbahnen bewundern. Hier ein Triebwagen aus 1898.</td></tr>
<tr><td class=“thumb_gallery“><a href=““><img src=““ alt=““ /></a><br />Diese Schnauzen dominieren das Stadtbild seit den 1960ern. Hier ein besonderes Stück: Das Mittelteil stammt von einer Straßenbahn aus Wuppertal.</td>
<td class=“thumb_gallery“><a href=““><img src=““ alt=““ /></a><br />So kann man Hochflurwägen niederflurig machen: Mit einem Niederflurmittelteil (Baujahr 1986, Mittelteil: 1999).</td></tr>
<tr><td class=“thumb_gallery“><a href=““><img src=““ alt=““ /></a><br />Eine der derzeit neuesten Straßenbahnen zieht an den PhotographInnen vorbei: Ein Cityrunner (Baujahr 2001).</td>
<td class=“thumb_gallery“><a href=““><img src=““ alt=““ /></a><br />Ein Gast aus Wien: Der schön renovierte D244 gelenkt vom Direktor des Wiener Tramwaymuseums (Originalbaujahr 1901, neu aufgebaut mit einem Fahrgestell eines Grazer Güterwagens).</td></tr>

Danach gings weiter zum Straßenbahnmuseum in der ehemaligen Remise der Elektrischen Kleinbahn Graz-Mariatrost am Fuße des Mariatroster Kirchberges. Unterwegs hat mich leider ein Regenguß erwischt, der mich einige Zeit aufhielt, da ich mit meinem Rad unterwegs war. Ich konnte immerhin ein paar verregnete Straßenbahnphotos machen, da zwischen Hauptbahnhof und Mariatrost ein Sonderverkehr mit älteren und neueren Straßenbahnwägen verkehrte. Das Museum selber war bei freiem Eintritt zu besichtigen, ausserdem wurde eine Ausschank eingerichtet und diverse Projekte vorgestellt (wie die neue S-Bahn rund um Graz).

<table class=“thumb_gallery“><tbody>
<tr><td class=“thumb_gallery“><a href=““><img src=““ alt=““ /></a><br />Während ich in der Leonhardstraße im Regen stand kam mir diese hübsche Oldtimer-Garnitur Baujahr 1909 entgegen.</td>
<td class=“thumb_gallery“><a href=““><img src=““ alt=““ /></a><br />Auf der idyllischen Strecke nach Mariatrost erwischte ich einen Zweiachser Baujahr 1951 mit Beiwagen.</td></tr>
<tr><td class=“thumb_gallery“><a href=““><img src=““ alt=““ /></a><br />Ein vollgestopfter Oldtimerbeiwagen Baujahr 1872 (ursprünglich aus Wien) und ein 260er als Sonderverkehre in der Haltestelle St. Johann.</td>
<td class=“thumb_gallery“><a href=““><img src=““ alt=““ /></a><br />Beim Tramwaymuseum Graz-Mariatrost wurde noch lange das Jubiläum gefeiert.</td></tr>

Abschliessend kann ich sagen, dass ich es ein gelungenes Fest fand, immerhin wurde schön die Vielseitigkeit der Grazer Straßenbahngeschichte präsentiert. Alleine zwei Straßenbahnen gingen mir ab: Eine der alten Wuppertaler Straßenbahnen mit ihrer schlanken Schnauze und die Graffiti-Bim (eine der alten 260er die sich noch im Linienbetrieb befindet wurde komplett mit einem Graffiti verschönert).

<a href=““>Hier gibts noch mehr Photos</a>

Ausflug Donauradweg

Dienstag, Mai 13th, 2008

Mittwoch wars, als ich ein Mail von Briggy bekommen hab, ob ich nicht Lust hätte am Wochenende über Pfingsten eine Radtour entlang der Donau zu unternehmen. Nachdem ich erstaunlicherweise für dieses Wochenende (nur 3 Tage davor) noch nichts vorhatte und ich wohlweislich ca. drei CouchSurfing-Requests abgelehnt hatte, sagte ich natürlich sofort zu. Eine Radwanderung entlang der Donau hatte ich schon lange vor.

Am Sonntag gings dann in der Früh mit dem Erlebniszug (so Spezialangebot für RadtouristInnen) nach Linz. Eine gemütliche Fahrt, die wir spielend und plaudernd verbrachten. Wir mussten uns auch noch mit einander bekannt machen, hatte doch Briggy über CouchSurfing einige Leute eingeladen. Insgesamt waren wir dann sechs Personen (Briggy, Eva, Susi, Andres, Roman und ich) wobei uns Roman am Montag in Melk verlassen musste, dafür schloss sich Esther dort dann an.

Am ersten Tag führte uns der Weg nach Ybbs (insg. 86 km). Wir hatten ziemlich mit dem Gegenwind zu kämpfen (wer rechnet damit, dass es Ostwind gibt), darum waren wir auch ordentlich geschlaucht, als wir endlich ans Ende unserer Route kamen. Dort wurden wir von unserer CouchSurfing-Host Martina empfangen, die uns tatsächlich zu sechst bei sich aufnahm :)

Am zweiten Tag führte uns der Weg dann zuerst nach Melk wo ich Verwandte besuchte, die ich schon seit langem nicht mehr gesehen hatte. Die anderen haben inzwischen am Rathausplatz ein Frühstück eingenommen. Danach gings durch die wunderschöne Wachau von einem malerischen Ort zum nächsten. In Krems war dann eine grössere Pause angesagt, danach sind wir noch nach Tulln weitergeradelt. Mehr wäre hätten wir wohl nicht mehr geschafft. Nur Briggy war übermotiviert, sie hat uns bereits in Krems verlassen um noch den weiten Weg zu schaffen. 106 km warens für uns an diesem Tag, das war wohl genug.

Ein toller Ausflug wars, der Lust auf mehr macht, auch wenn mir jetzt noch diverse Muskeln schmerzen :)

Zu den Photos