Thursday, June 21, 2012

From Villach to Klagenfurt and back again...

Yesterday (June 20th, 2012)

I started out the day in the morning with some breakfast but I didn't leave until about noon to catch a train at the St. Urban station into Villach. It was already fairly hot by that point (would eventually reach high 80s (F)).

The breadbox


Waiting at the train station. And that is not a hill in the background by the way, that is a mountain.

Once I reached Villach I stopped and got some gelato.

Guave gelato
My goal was Villach's museum which I had not reached the first time I visited Villach. I crossed the same bridge over the Drau River and went through the main street Hauptplatz (map attached so you can see, also added a map to first day in Villach post with locations circled). As you can see from the map the museum is almost directly down the street (to the left) from St. Jakob's church.

Locations circled (map courtesy of PlanetWare)

Trying to find the Villach museum

Entry to the Villach museum was only 3 euros and there were some ladies (working for the museum) who spoke English located near the entrance. I headed up the stairs and the museum turned out to be three floors (including main floor). I won't go into too much detail about the museum (Paracelsus, Marie Theresa, Romans, Napolean occupation, mining, Hl. Domitian and Hl. Thomas, the Khevenhuller family, paintings/watercolors, etc.) except for one exhibit that I found very interesting.

I was wandering on the third floor and after going through the Roman section I came into a room that had displays with little figures on horses, etc. The signs were in German which wasn't very helpful to me. Since I was curious what these figures were, I went downstairs and found the museum ladies and show them a photo I had taken of the figures on my camera. They spoke enough English to actually explain it to me.

Lead Figures in Villach Museum (apparently upper right corner lead figures represent water?)


These are lead figures that were found at burial sites in Hallstatt (Austrian town located on a lake, historically known for salt mines). They are dated around 700 B.C. This would be before the Celts (came through around 300 B.C.) and also before the Romans (came through around 500 A.D.). Very little is known about the people who made this figures. According to wikipedia, evidence of humans in Villach for as far back as 3500 B.C. has been found.

Hallstatt is a ways from Villach but the lead figures are very indicative of entire area in Austria during that time (Courtesy of Google Maps)
Now for some pretty pics for you from the museum:

Hl. Domitian by Meister Thomas Artula around 1500?

Anna Neumann (1535-1623) painted by Christoph von Liechtenstein around 1580?

Hl. Magdalena by Salbenbuchse (?) around 1510 (statue has her holding a tankard?)

Kaiserin Maria Theresia (1717-1780) by Franz Stephan v. Lothringen around 1759

Crest of Villach?

Clock found in Napoleon area of museum

Small little cannon also in Napoleon area of museum

Johanna Maria v. Pobeheim (1750-1832) unsigned done around 1781

A fancy mirror. See someone you recognize?

'MariahilferstraBe in Wien' (?) done by Arnold Clementschitsch in 1924

'Grobmutter mit Kind' by Willi Zunk in 1903

'Villach von St. Martin' by Jakob Canciani in 1866

'Die Alte und ihre Schatze' by unknown (?) around 1650

'Der Alte und seine Schatze' by unknown (?)

The museum had an inner courtyard you could cross to see a 'Keeping it Cool' exhibit which was mostly on Austrian summers in the 1950s and 1960s (seemed to have heavy Italian influence). You could also access the only existing part of the old town wall in this area (I think the rest of it was destroyed in WWII bombing).

Inner courtyard of Villach Museum

How cute! Part of the 'Keeping it Cool' exhibit
Inside of old town wall

Remains of shells? (by the old wall)
Stone faces posted on inside of old town wall. Doesn't look like these were originally inside of the wall; must of been taken from fallen pieces of the old wall.

Outside of old town wall, the tower is covered with a tarp. And you can see St. Jakob's steeple in the back!

I was a little tired so I stopped by a cafe to get some water. I've noticed that ordering at a cafe/restaurant in Austria is a little different then back in the U.S. In the U.S. the waiter shows you to your table then takes your order. In Austria you just walk to a cafe and sit at a table either inside or outside then a server will see you and come to take your order. Getting you bill though is a little trickier since they don't always bring it to you right away (you have to ask for it). I've noticed the most efficient way to get your bill is to make eye contact with the waiter while pulling out your wallet.

Cafe view in Villach
 I then wandered down the Hauptplatz and discovered some new things. Such as what I believe is the only mexican restaurant in Villach. Unfortunately it was closed when I went by.

Salud, Mexican restaurant in Villach


storefront on Hauptplatz

Bubble tea store in Villach?!

For those of you who don't know what bubble tea is it is a Taiwanese tea drink with tapioca balls mixed in. You can get all sorts of flavors and instead of tapioca balls other types of jellies. Many University of Washington students are familiar with going to University Way (the ave) to get some bubble tea on a hot day.

Got taro flavor with tapioca balls. Not bad but the tapioca didn't taste fresh. Either was mushy or stiff in the center so I think I might stick to ordering bubble tea back home in the U.S.
 It was interesting watching Austrians (I think? Could of been Italian or Slovenian tourists though) come in to the store to see what bubble tea was. Most seemed confused except the teenagers who knew what they wanted.

As with any bubble tea store you get a stamp card.

 I had some extra time before my train ride to Klagenfurt so I stopped by a bar/cafe called 'Plan B' and tried to order a sample of beer. I ended up with a .2 L of Villacher Marzen (local beer). It only cost me 2 euros so not too bad.

My Villacher Marzen

I caught my train to Klagenfurt and arrive about 5:45 pm. I helped my austrian brother with some math and then he played with my iphone a little bit (he liked monopoly, and caught on to the English used for the game quite quickly). It got a little stormy in Klagenfurt but it didn't rain (my austrian father though did call me to say that it was hailing where he was).

Map for you viewing pleasure. Klagenfurt is a larger city than Villach. You can see Sattendorf (where my austrian house is) circled on the map too (courtesy of google maps)

Today (June 21, 2012)

I started out the day in Klagenfurt and woke up my austrian brother for school. Since there is no direct train to Sattendorf from Klagenfurt I had to go back to Villach to transfer. I arrived in Villach at about 9:30 am.

Screen where you look for train times and platforms (technically this is a photo from yesterday)

While I was in Villach buying a ticket to St. Urban (Ossiachsee) station to get back to my austrian home a lady next to me spoe in German. When I mentioned I spoke English she said that it looked like it might rain today. I ended up talking to her awhile because she wanted to ask me about my stay, where I was from, and if I was being taken care of. Apparently at one point to use to live in Florida and had even visited Seattle, WA once. She kept wishing me the best of luck and shook her left hand (closest to her heart) with mine. She talked a little about the good and bad people present in each city and before I could take my leave she handed me some coins and told me to get some ice cream. Her name was 'Hilda' and she told me she lives in Villach and if I see her I should give her a wave.

I hopped on my train to St. Urban station and my austrian father picked me up around 10:30 am. We went back to the house and he handed me the keys to the car and told me to go driving.

I knew this was coming but I was still nervous. My austrian father had warned me about the speed traps in the area and how if you went to fast cameras would take a picture of the license plate or the police officers would pull you over for a ticket.

My austrian father's car. Volvo and automatic! One of the 'push button' type of cars.

I got into the car and managed to drive into Villach past one of my austrian brother's schools to the Interspar (grocery store I will be using in the future) and back. I had the help of the car's gps (in British English) so I didn't get lost but it was an interesting experience. The cars in Austria (probably the same in most of Europe) are very small, even what they consider regular sized cars here seem smaller than the honda civic I drive in the U.S. It is actually a little disconcerting. For example, I'm use to turning my head when I merge, but when I turn my head in this car I just see the inside of the car, no road (because the car is so compact). The lanes on the road are narrow but so are the cars so it works out. I saw some pretty tight turns in the parking lots but I wasn't quite brave enough to test the front bumper clearance in that way.

When I got back my austrian father needed to do some grocery shopping (seems to happen every couple of days) for a barbecue planned on saturday. We got back into the car and went to the Interspar where he picked up beer, water, vegetables, etc.

Me in the sweets aisle next to the Milka section
 We ended up having a late dinner of some pasta and salad. We also 'tasted' (just to make sure it was okay ;) ) some of the lemon flavored beer we had picked up. It was actually quite good. I suppose its comparable to Mike Hard's lemonade back home but not quite as sweet and more yeasty.

Hope to post again tomorrow night!

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