Well… deep breath. I will try to summarize my experiences (I never know in which meaning is experience countable…) in Graz.
Arriving to Graz the very first thing that I remember is that it was hot. Warmer than in Hungary, though the Alps are quite near. Weird.
Graz proved to be a very interesting city on the second day when I and some AIESECers from LC Pecs were wandering in the town all morning. The vivdness and the liveliness of the Town was shocking. There was a project running at the time, which – I think – covers the year with the title of “Graz, the capital of culture in Europe”. The whole city was full of posters and green number 3-s advertising this event. My favourites were the lamps on which they put green and blue polyester sacks making them light in colours.
The whole inner city was like a pedestrianised street. Only trams and bicycles could be seen, plus many people walking. Everything and everyone seemed to be so full of joy that is unlikely in Hungary. At least not in cities where most of the people hurry with their heads down to their work or back home. The people were kind as well. Most of them knew English; even in the Pharmacy the woman spoke English, which is very untypical here. People proved to be very patient as well, a proof of which is that cars stopped every time we stood by the pavement as an indication of wanting to cross. In Hungary cars rarely stop out of their own will, you have to wait out when the street becomes partly empty at least.
The coolest part of Graz is the hill in the middle hosting the Grazer Uhrturm (A clock tower) and a castle. The old buildings that stopped Napoleon some centuries before are fascinating and also the view of Graz from up there. There is also an endless throng of stairs that lead up to the clock tower and for those who are old or tired an elevator is available, too.
In the afternoon we attended the conference “Dialogue for Europe” at which the top guests were Mihail Gorbatschov and Dr. Helmut Kohl. It was fascinating to see such once-powerful people who at their time formed history. The actuality of their visit is that they helped Europe towards the goal of integration (be the demolition of the Berlin Wall and the reformation of the Soviet Union) and with that indirectly contributed in making available our and the other former communist countries’ EU membership. They also talked about recent hot issues like the Iraq war.
Gorbatschov spoke very passionately regarding the war, underlining that the UN should have accepted the attack, and without it any war is unjust. It is a very warm thought that such a great politician has a similar opinion about this war like me. :)
As you could see above I had a great time in Graz, and I think it is a nice city to visit if you are looking for a neat and very hospitable European town.
While spending my time in Austria, my long-awaited Verbatim 8cm mp3 CD player has arrived. It is awesome! :) I wanted a mini-CD mp3 player because buying mini CDs is much cheaper than buying memories and I have tons of tracks I like to listen to. It is easy and comfortable, you buy a mini CD, you write mp3s on it (about 4 hours of playing at 128kbps) and you are done. The gadget has a neat clip with main control buttons and an LCD for displaying the ID3 info. With one charge it can work for approximately 4 hours out of my experiences, but I think it depends on the volume as well. (It has some memory inside so it switches off the CD rotation during tracks to spare with the batteries.) Needless to say it has a cool silver/blue design, too.
I also moved to the other dormitory I was talking about. Not much to say about it, as I have spent only a couple of hours there yet.