Sunday, March 17, 2013

Linz...the home of Linzertorte.

So, since I have not blogged in a LONG time...I will have to make a few while some memories are still fresh in my mind! About a month ago (maybe...I have no sense of time here) a couple of friends and I took a trip to Linz, Austria. This industrial city is about an hour from Salzburg by train and had some interesting quarks to it! We bought a very inexpensive Linz pass which included admission to many museums as well as free transportation. (Which is always a plus even though it seems like they never check…)
Origami lights at the ars electronica museum. 
Walking around the city came as a bit of a shock to me because I was not expecting the outskirts of the city to look so rundown. My friends and I tried to find a castle that was oddly located in a suburb area, but only found rundown stores with very little worthwhile architecture. After walking around for quite some time without any luck, we decided to head back to the city center. The center (Hauptplatz) was quite gorgeous, similar architecture to that of Salzburg, but no views of mountains from every place you stand. We walked into a beautiful (and huge) gothic church that had strikingly modern stained glass windows in every color. The layout of the city didn’t quite make much sense to me, possibly due to its industrial setting and history. According to my host family’s son in law, it is where Hitler attended high school and actually found himself happy in life. I was told that he put a lot of money into the city later on to build it up industrially and even got rid of some of the earlier architecture. There is absolutely no trace of Hitler’s presence in the city. Certainly not a claim to fame for Linz.

Strikingly modern stained glass in the neo-gothic cathdral 
On a lighter note, there were some incredible museums which really made the trip worthwhile. In 2009, Linz was actually voted one of the European capitals of culture. Although rundown in some parts, I can see how much it is growing. I actually found some similarities to North Adams, MA. Unique, modern art seemed to line the streets in areas which you wouldn’t expect and if I had spent more than a day there, I’m sure I would be able to experience more than a concert or two. There is a great performance hall that brings in interesting artists and a young crowd from the colleges. Perhaps my favorite museum was the “Ars Electronica,” which is an advanced technology museum that displays what the future could bring. The museum was huge and extremely interactive not only for children, but also adults. I found myself most caught up in the music and art section of the museum. They had incredible drawing boards that felt as if I were actually using paint and pencil with just a stylus….also something similar to garage band with every sound you could possibly think of. The girls and I were very interested in one display of a person like figure that you could hold when you were talking to someone on Skype. Its mouth would move with the person that you were talking to. Honestly, that freaked me out a lot…

The Skype Baby - designed  to be the physical side of skype
After spending many hours in this museum, being distracted by every interesting exhibit, the girls and I needed a coffee and cake. Not just any cake, but the Linzertorte. Just about every café was closed, but we did end up stumbling into probably the most famous café of the city and everything was delicious. Not every food cliché is up to par, but I have to say the Linzertorte is probably one of the best desserts I have had here. Just sweet enough when paired with a cappuccino.

Our delicious Linzertorte. :)
The last museum I enjoyed was the Lentos Kunstmuseum. Little did I know there would be an exhibit full of naked man paintings, drawings and sculptures, but nonetheless, it really was tremendous. The museum was modernly designed and also looked incredible from the outside. Both the Lentos Kunstmuseum and Ars Electronica light up at night and wave to each other from opposite sides of the river. They change color and give a different mood to the city. Although not as beautiful as Salzburg, Linz certainly is an interesting city and deserves a second look upon arrival.

Another photo from the ars electronica. These hands were very slowly moving. 

Ps: This is very random…but from some studies in class, I found out that Austria is GMO free which I think is pretty incredible! Who needs GMO’s anyway? The vegetables and fruit here taste so fresh and healthy year round. 

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