With so many interesting cities just a short drive away, weekend trips in this part of the world can be awesome. So Reini and I decided to make a cultural exploration of the city of Linz! Linz is a city right on the Danube river. We had a view of the river from our hotel and loved watching the riverboat cruisers.

Linz is now largely a university town with great restaurants that don’t break the bank. DSCN5337Reini had been a few years ago, so he had some idea of what we should see. We bought the Linz city card, giving us access to all the city’s museums for a low price. After wandering a bit through the old town, our first stop was to the Höhenrausch exhibit. Its tagline ‘Art about the Rooftops’ was very fitting. You climb a wooden tower that leads you to bridges which peek into the tops of various buildings. One of the churches had its top windows removed, allowing for a platform to be inserted. I don’t know if I’m describing it very well, but if you find yourself in Linz, it’s worth a visit! Höhenrausch allows for great views of the city and sneaky vantage points of some historic sites.

Our afternoon break involved finding a spot with some surprisingly tasty nachos and then heading back to the hotel for some sauna time! Hotels in central/northern Europe tend to have pretty small rooms, but many make up for that with nice sauna facilities! Once refreshed, we headed for dinner at Wirt am Graben which was totally delicious. Their ingredients are as locally sourced as possible. The Europameisterschaft (European Championship) soccer tournament had just started and there were viewing parties everywhere. On our way to the hotel from dinner, we took the long way and wandered through their main street. Everyone was happily carrying gelato or sipping a beer at the outdoor cafes with TVs. We stopped at a Greek cafe, but because we were full up from our dinner, just ordered a couple of glasses of wine and cheered on England as they pulverized Russia.

DSCN5346The next day we focused our efforts on the Ars Electronica Center. It’s a really huge interactive science museum focusing on energy, which was definitely Reini’s thing! My favorite part was their gigantic “Deep Space” show that made us really feel like we were zooming through space with our 3D glasses. We stopped for lunch at a fun Asian noodles place, where the rain met up with us. We ran to the next museum, the Lentos Kunstmuseum, just across the street (I had a small umbrella but of course Reini did not). We did not stay too long, but enjoyed looking at their variety of artistic offerings before heading back west.

Not at the ocean! Just by the Danube!

I have been practicing driving a bit, so Reini let me drive a little of the way home. The manual car issue in Europe seriously sucks, but I’m learning to accept it (sort of). I feel much more comfortable driving on the autobahn (the Austrian one has speed limits unlike the German potion) because you don’t have to shift gears. But driving in the city! Forget it! Too many gear changes makes me so nervous. It’s time for these silly Europeans to just accept that automatic cars are superior.