A very special trip for me. The idea of an austrian tour back from March and the awesome Sea Battle when I went to Stockholm. At that time I didn’t know well each student from my hostel. I remenber me having a discution with on girl, we talked about our birthday dates and I said « I will come to you during hollidays to celebrate it in Austria ». We become better friend then and she forgot it. Not me.
More photos on my Flickr!
Information about Linz
Before I have known my two friends from Austria I never heard anything on Linz. That’s not a real surprise because me and geography were not close friend some years ago. Actually I discover that Linz is third largest city in Austria and the second economic pole (after Vienna’s area). This industrial city is located in the north part of the country, at 30kms from the Czech border. The city is by the Danube river and at mid-distance between Salzburg and the capital Vienna. It was founded by the Romans, it was initially name Lentia. Later when the Emperor Frederic III lived there it was the most important city of the Austrian Empire, but at it death the city lost this statue to Vienna and Prague.
During the Second World War the German troupes bombed it, but not entirely and after the city was divided in two part. The north controlled by the Soviets and the south by the American was separated by the Danube.
With some interesting event all over years Linz has become the European Capital of Culture in 2009, sharing this distinction with Vilnius in Lithuania.
Last fact, I learnt that the great Johannes Kepler lived also in Linz for years as the local mathematician. The University of Linz is name the Johannes Kepler University.
Preparation of the trip
As said, the trip was though since a long time but we did everything few weeks before. My idea was first to convince as much as possible people to come. We have some mutual friends in Central Europe who could move easily to Linz. But day after day the amount of travellers decrease to finally end with four. Two French guys, a German girl and me.
I want to thank a local, Jackob, who help us to make this surprise even better.
With my friends we decide to meet in a city in the eastern part of France (Chaumont) where one of them live. I came by train one day before the departure. We slept there one night to be able to leave the morning after very early.
Only stop in Germany
At 8am we jump in the car and drive to Munich to pick up the girl. If one the way we lost 40 minutes in traffic jam between France and Germany, we lost more in Munich. We didn’t find the place where the girl was waiting (some station on the beltway) and then she had lot of difficulties to find us when we where lost.. Genius guys are genius… But the way I still think that her indication was accurate.
After these small and long chapter it became simplest: drive until Linz. We find our hostel and take the keys. A phone call to Jackob and we were already on the way to the meeting place, a gas station in a southern village of Linz. He as waiting with our friend, as we planed!
Surprising meeting: Back to Erasmus
It was dark and she didn’t recognize us until we jumped out the car and came to her. A lot of emotions and huges for this unexpected moment! Jackob managed to book a restaurant next our the meeting point. I can’t remember the name but it was really tasty. We chose some typical Austrian meals and beers. We finish the day by a drinking night in her place – except for me – I was choose to be the night driver.
The day after start by a lunch with her during when we gave presents. After some Erasmus stories and others topics, other friends of her came and then we left to Linz city to make our first tour.
Discovering Linz and Pflasterspektakel festival
From the village we arrive on a car park next to the Danube, the Old Town was on the other side and we walked. We crossed the Nibelungenbrucke brigde from where the Trinity Column was visible. Once on the other side I realised that the Hauptplatz is a nice square, full of people and in a perfect statement. She told us that during the rest of the year is mostly empty, but for this weekend is the Pflasterspektakel festival. A street festival dedicated to street artists. We saw in each corner some more or less strange performers 🙂
The tour was large or complete – as I discover too lately – but as you understood it wasn’t the point of the visit.
Unplanned ‘Bridge in the Sky’ exhibition
We saw the Landstrasse which is the main avenue and commercial street of Linz. On the street is the Saints Michael and Ursula church. Not a normal church at that time, because some wooden bridge were put on it. From another building you walk to the towers and then reach another building that you cannot see. Very interesting concept. It was an exposition called « Bridge in the Sky« , more details on the link.
We went to this exposition. The theme was mostly the water according to the rooms we visited, liquid, frozen, ice, vapour and other statement to give different impression and perception.
If there is one thing I really really like during a trip – except a nice weather that I don’t have so often, unfortunately – it’s to come during a festival. And because I don’t look for it before I am very surprised to attend to some local or national events. For example Riga gave me two occasion to be surprised, the first time when it was the Go Blond! Festival and later with the marvellous Staro Riga light show!
Here in Linz it was the Pflasterspektakel or the International Street Art Festival! We had live street performers in each street of the Old Town and even better by night with some fire dance show! And think I remember 2011 was a special year because of the 25th anniversary of the festival, so it was a bit better than usual 🙂
The day finish by super live fire-dancing show to end the festival on the main square. It rainy but performers gave us a great representation, no accident came because of the fire. Then after this 30 minutes we went to a restaurant next to the Lentos gallery. Italian food where welcome for us.
After that we each went to our place to prepare for a night of clubbing in the Empire Club Linz. Very special decoration, but nice and I like it.
Last goodbye 🙁
Our experience in Linz ended the next day. We succeeded to wake up early (but after 12) and go to the friend’s village to say goodbye a last time. Again a lot of emotion.
Despite it was hard to leave, we left and go to another adventures in the capital, Vienna!