We touched down in Vienna around 8 in the morning and was promptly whisked away in a van towards Ljubljana. All of 5 hours drive for more than a dozen sleep-deprived people from the Tropics. Not wasting time, we planned this pit stop in Graz, just over 2 hours south of the Austrian capital. So what’s in Graz, you ask? As the capital of the Austrian province of Styria and 2nd largest next to Vienna, it has much to offer. You may even say it’s a disservice to spend only a few hours here, do lunch and to visit it “just because” it’s along the way towards our destination in Slovenia. For starters, it was the cultural capital of Europe once upon a time. Not too long ago, it was also hailed as a city of culinary delights. This last one has a special charm to our group of food adventurers.

It was, however, a very brief visit. Just enough time to do the City Square where a Food Market was in full swing. We had our fill of bratwurst, schnitzel, beer and other sausages here. Nothing fancy as we only had 3 hours to tour around. From the square, we walked towards the river to view Kuntshaus, Murinsel, and finally the Schlossberg. The latter gave us a 360 degree panoramic view of the city from the Clock Tower area.

The Schlossberg has a well-manicured garden at the top, and an open air cafe bar. What’s interesting about the Schlossberg is the way up and back. One can take the lift, funicular or climb up. Then exit via the same lift, the same staircase or SLIDE! We chose to take the lift but cheered those brave enough to slide down through a transparent cylinder that zigzags down. That 35 second slide ride can’t possibly convince me.

If you don’t have the nerve to try the slide, nor the time to cover all the attractions in Graz, then just enjoy the city view from the top. From the Square to this hilltop attraction, you’d find many interesting architectural landmarks. Enjoy!