Hello everyone! It’s been a while since I last posted something on this blog. In October last year, I started as a trainee at the German company ZF Friedrichshafen. It took me some time to get used to a full-time job – and the job has been quite busy, too. But now that I started the second of my four trainee projects, I finally found the time, energy and motivation for a blog post to share with you. During my first project, I stayed in Osnabrück, a medium-sized town in the northern(-ish) part of Germany. Last weekend, I moved to Austria and now I’m staying in a little village near Graz. I have also been blogging irregularly on our trainee blog at zftrainee.tumblr.com recently. But now that I moved to an area I have never been to before and still know so little about, I felt like I should write a little about what I’m up to here on this blog, too.
After a tough weekend, driving for about 14 hours in total to get here, I started to explore the area on foot right after my first day at work. The sun was already setting, but the light was beautiful. So I grabbed my camera as soon as I got home and walked around until it was almost completely dark. Résumé of my first walk: The village I’m staying in is tiny, but the area around it is beautiful. I’m already excited to explore the hiking routes I saw signs for on one of the next weekends.
The destination I would be heading for on my first full weekend in Austria had been clear even before I arrived: Saturday was reserved for some sightseeing in Graz. In the morning, I drove to the closest railway station, from where I took the train to the city. Considering the lack of adequate parking space in Graz, this was definitely the right decision. After half an hour or so, I arrived at Graz central station. When I took a quick look into the travel section of the station’s bookstore, I couldn’t find a map of the city right away, so I decided to just walk around and find my way by myself. I kept walking for quite a while, but eventually I arrived at the river Mur. As soon as I had crossed it, I found myself in the actual historic city center of Graz.
I spent the following hours walking and doing some shopping I still needed to do for my new apartment. In the course of this long walk, I think I covered most of the main sights. At some point, I did stop by the tourist info and grabbed a free map there. After an extensive lunch and coffee break at a nice little café called Mehlschwalbe, I felt refreshed enough for the last of the main sights: the Schlossberg, a hill close to the historic city center, where a castle and a famous clock tower are located. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a way to get up on foot, as all the smaller routes had been closed for the winter – all the snow and ice had made the little, steep paths far too slippery. So I headed for the elevator conveniently built right into the mountain and went all the way to the top. From up there, the view of the surroundings, i. e. the entire city of Graz, was absolutely stunning – plus the weather (cold, but sunny) was great, too. On the way down, I was able to find a route that was still open to use. At some point, I arrived back in a beautiful part of the historic city center I had missed until then. Finally, I returned to the station after some more detours around the old city center and along the river Mur.
I’m already excited to explore the area further during the three months I have here. Hiking, looking at the other cities around where I stay and trying out indoor climbing / bouldering places are just a few things on my list. I might even give skiing another try.