I'm back from an absolutely fantastic weekend in Graz. I went there Friday afternoon to see the Schandmaul concert and then stayed till today, visiting the Zotter chocolate factory and the Riegersburg with my brother and some friends.
The concert was, in my opinion, the best to date (apart from the fact that I had to throw away my water bottle because it had a cap). Good atmosphere, very good view to the stage and great songs. Schandmaul always manages to connect to the audience really well and interacts a lot. It seems to me that they even became better at that.
On Saturday we first went to the Zotter factory, where we got a short introduction and could then try out a good variety of their chocolate types (100, all in all) and also got some drinking chocolate. I decided that dark Whiskey chocolate tastes better than I'd have thought.
In the afternoon we went to the Riegersburg and had a look at the castle and the museum, and later watched a bird of prey show with hawks, vultures, eagles and Hedwig. The whole castle and the show were breathtaking. We were lucky to have a beautiful weather, so we could enjoy everything to its fullest extent. Allegedly the castle is the biggest in Europe. It's certainly one of the nicest I've ever seen, with a lot of garden space and absolutely beautiful landscape all around. The birds were cooler than expected. I usually prefer hawks over all others, but this time the vulture was my favourite. It was about 2.5m long and made an awful sound when breathing, which really gave you the chills. We were told its favourite place is down in the town at some cafe, where all the tourists go. It ravages the tourists' handbags, because it expects them to contain meat (like their trainers' bags).
And the rest was all good food. In the evening some pubs with lots of billiard playing (among them an Irish Pub in which I confirmed that Irish Coffee tastes a lot better in Ireland and that buying a small sketch to carry around was the best purchase in the last few months), and today we went to my brother's favourite Chinese for lunch, which now is also my favourite Chinese. Chinese food that doesn't all taste the same is good - especially if there are fruits and ginger in it.
The inventor of Zotter chocolate, Mister Zotter.
The chocolate shop with 100 different flavours and some chocoholics. They all left the shop with grins on their faces. I'm guessing everyone was high from the very strong chocolate smell inside.
The Riegersburg. Isn't it beautiful?
The cool vulture who eats tourist handbags.
Hedwig. She didn't like this at all, being thrown among a heap of tourists who want to look at her and take a photo with her. Poor Hedwig screamed all the time.
I put a review of Tad William's Rite up on my Website (in German; it's here. More to follow.