took a weekend jaunt to linz, austria… just over two hours south of us by train and even faster by car. it’s the third largest city in austria and twice the population of budejovice. it doesn’t have the tourist draw of vienna, salzburg, or innsbruck but it was a medium-sized city in austria that was relatively close to get to. that’s mainly why i wanted to go, even though i found out later that linz does have a rich history but it’s just not quite talked about or as exciting as the other cities. who can compete with ‘the sound of music’, anyway? it’s also where people in budejovice go to do their shopping since goods (besides food/drink) are cheaper and there’s a better selection over the border.
pleasantly surprised to see it’s lovely location perched on the green danube with beautiful hills on the horizon, some rising out of the river. the quaint altstadt is just south of the main bridge across the other side of the river and contains many a pretty cobblestone street with old beautiful buildings probably quite old– like 18th century if i had to guess. there’s a bakery in linz that has served the hapsburg royalty for ages and the first recorded mention of it was in 1371.
across the river, there are two massive artfully designed glass and steel landmarks– the ars electronica museum on the north bank and the lentos kunstmuseum on the south bank– both museums we ended up visiting. i would say i equally enjoyed my visit to both. at the ars, we watched a 3D imax style presentation of “deep space”– where the earth is in relation to the rest of our galaxy and the known universe! other exhibits were about the rise of internet technologies and how humans look at time and how people living in different places look at time differently.
at the lentos we saw a wonderful exhibit where different artists display their work, but also choose complementing pieces that the museum already owns to curate an exhibition. this is the sort of modern art i most enjoy, and fortunately paintings of a big red dot on a white canvas or a couple of white splatters on a black canvas were at a minimum. i really liked the paintings of oskar kokoschka, an 20th century austrian artist who i was not previously familiar with. perfect activities for a rainy and unseasonably cold spring day.
the ars all lit up
lentos kunstmuseum: a riverside landmark
the river is lovely. and our hotel was great for the bargain price we got for it! we had to walk all the way along a riverside promenade park to get there, and there was a “nature trail” that spit us out right in the parkinglot. alex joked that when we left to check out, it would be so funny if someone watched us leave the nice hotel and pop into a little hole in the woods. (view from our window…….)
we watched some austrian TV, which was mostly lame except happening to catch the end of the bayern vs dortmund champions league soccer match! can you believe that before this weekend we have not sat in front of a television set for almost eight months?!?!
popped into the mariendom (cathedral of mary) during a mass. no matter how my views on religion may change over the years, there is always something really beautiful about a sunday mass in a beautiful cathedral. the stained glass art, organ music, incense, choral music, gathering of people… and some sort of procession was happening when we were there.
if the weather had been nicer, i would say that linz warranted more time– maybe two nights maximum to spend more time lounging in the parks, seeing more lovely cobbley streets, or perhaps climbing the postlingberg– hill that overlooks the city. but i was perfectly happy with the one night trip. in other news, i am happy to announce that i now have a guitar!
little ¾ classical guy ordered from a local music supply shop. exactly what i was looking for! in other hobby related news, alex is purchasing an old consul brand portable typewriter from a classified ad later this week. perhaps someday he will write the great american novel upon its trusty little keys.
in honor of memorial day, i taught two classes the sentence, “he laid flowers at the cemetery ____memory of the fallen” and the students had to guess the preposition. i also said good-bye to my first individual student as he is relocating to china! boy, how i’ve learned incredible amounts about becoming a better teacher since my first lesson with him. just like with anything, the more you teach the better you are.