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11 years ago6 views

This video clip was taken on August 1, 2007 during my trip to Austria, my home country. I started my day off with a quick hike with two of my friends through the Raabklamm (Raab Gorge), a deep river valley that is cut into the surrounding limestone cliffs and features numerous wooden bridges and trails that snake through the narrow valley. Then I had a lovely Austrian lunch at a rural restaurant and made friends with some freely grazing cows.

Finally I went on an excursion to the Styrian provincial capital of Graz. A city of about 250,000 it is the second largest city in Austria, and was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999. Graz has one of the best preserved medieval and Renaissance city centres in Europe. Its location surrounding the Schlossberg (Castle Hill), framed by mountains on three sides is beautiful. I explored the main shopping street Herrengasse, the Main Square (Hauptplatz) with its stunning City Hall, and walked across the newly built Murinsel (Island in the Mur River). I also took the Schlossbergbahn (the Schlossberg funicular) and explored the main sites on this famous hill including the Uhrturm (the clock tower) which originally dates back to the 1200s and was preserved due to a ransom payment by the citizens when Napoleon ordered the castle on the hill destroyed in 1809. Beautiful 360 degree views open up from this elevated location.

My fascination was captured by the many beautiful hidden courtyards that grace Graz's old quarters. I also explored the Bermuda-Dreieck (Bermuda Triangle), the main entertainment district of Graz and punctually at 3 pm I had a chance to see the carillon on the Glockenspielplatz (Carillon Square). I capped off my visit with an exploration of the narrow side streets that lead off the main square to the embankments next to the Mur, the river that flows slowly through this city, and one of the main rivers in the entire province of Styria.

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