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Graz is quite the little city for some European culture. With downtown corridors that have housed the butchers, bakers, and candlestick makers since the 1400’s, it has plenty of charm as well. Every day Kristine, Emily, Dane, and I have walked around and checked out different parts of town. The town square is beautiful, with the town hall being the center piece that offers an impressive backdrop for a sandwich or Kebab to go.

Then there are the shopping areas. That would be the rest of downtown. Women’s clothing is certainly a main theme. This isn’t necessarily a bad things for you men out there that don’t know any better. It means there is an abundance of women. Thousands of them just out walking about all day long, looking quite at their best for the most part. Then there are those who earn their money on the street from the pocket change of passer-buys. These people of the street are on a different level than most I see at home. They tend to be musicians. Lot’s of guitar players, some play the accordion. There are four guitar players that cover some key quieter spots in town with incredible music. I forgot to get their pictures, sorry. Two of them play together and the other two solo. I spent the first week avoiding giving them money, but it their music were available on a jukebox I would put a quarter in for sure. So now I just put my money in their hats in hopes that they will be there again tomorrow, so I can continue to have great live music when I walk around.

Another awesome part of town we discovered today. It is the castle overlooking town. As I remember it, from my walk about, it was first built around 1000. In the 1500’s it was developed into a full on castle. Napoleon Bonaparte attacked it with 3000 men 7 different times, but the 500 citizens of Graz that were protecting it ran him out of there. It protected Graz, and certainly overlooks it. During World War II the citizens of Graz protected it from France again and barely kept it from being blasted. There is an incline railway that can take you up or down the 1000 feet if you like, or the hike up the stairs along the cliff is a better way if you want some exercise. There are also famous gardens on the way up and at the top that were fun to see as well. (pretty good considering this guy that isn’t really all that interested in looking at gardens)

Tonight, I am proud to say, the Jackson family, along with the about 100 others, are going to get a good dose of Americanism. We are going to see Matrix Reloaded. Culture is good, this city is great, but sometimes, you need a little dose of home.

Town Square, eating at the fountain.

Town Square view from the castle.

Somebody is in her element here.

Emily and Mom, Having a good time.

The walk up was a big one!

This clock tower houses the second largest bell in Austria, 7 feet in diameter and tolls 101 times at 7am, 3pm, and 7pm.

The city is packed tight!

Halfway up to the top. “Hey Dad, can I keep going up?”