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Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Graz Braces for Tourism Surge 

As I done said:

I don't see why...tourism adviser [Hermann Schuetzenhoefer] is so upset. If [the citizens of Graz] rename the stadium after Doctor Oba Saint Stanley Tookie Williams, they will attract huge new crowds of tourists. Specifically, the city will be a magnet for the 150,000 people who were saved from gang life by the Doctor Oba Saint.

So what do you do in Graz? One of the popular attractions is, of all things, a mausoleum:

Mausoleum and Cathedral - Tourist Attraction

The nearest station is at Hauptplatz and together these are one of the towns main attractions. The Mausoleum is dedicated to the Emperor Ferdinand II, to the north lies St Catherine's Church and his wife Marie Anna and mother, Maria is buried in the southern of the 2 sections. Herzgruftl is another section where the hearts of some Hapsburg family members are buried.

The cathedral was built in the 15th century and although much has been damaged it still retains much of it's charm and is well worth investigating.

And if the ex-gang members want to engage in sport, they have to be trendy (or alternatively they can be Manilow):

Copacabana - Sporting Activity

This is like a sports club that centres around a large lake and attracts the trendy set of the town and families.Not as large as the similar Schwarzlteiche and more for the young and singles to meet, so if you like playing hard and partying harder this is the venue for you. Swimming, Tennis, Volleyball and beach parties can be enjoyed and the place buzzes at night.

And if you plan to drink gin and juice while listening to Snoop, you're kinda sorta outta luck:

Landhaushof - Cutural Attraction

antastic venue for open-air summer concerts and films in the romantic setting of Landhaushof. Imagine listening to Strauss in the land of his birth or any of the classics, with a picnic and some good wine. Regular soirees are held here.

Well, after some searching, I found something that may be of interest to the Snoop fanz:

Sackstrasse - Tourist Attraction
You will find this interesting street in the town centre. Sniff around for a good bargain as there are lots of antique shops in the area and some grand buildings. On the corner of the Schlossbergplatz is the ornate Palais Atterns which is a find for the lover of baroque archetechture. It now is home to the offices of the Styriate music festival. Schlossbergstiege is opposite and leads to the herb garden and clock tower.

Ah, a herb garden. Snoop will feel at home. (Come to think of it, "Graz" does sound like "grass." Go figure.)

And if enough Tookie-loving tourists come to Graz, the hip hop meetup may finally take off. The African barber shop is already there. As is an African football player who fled religious persecution in Nigeria:

Angus [Okanume] comes from the Nigerian city, Onisha, and fled from his home country because of religious reasons. As a Christian his life was threatened because of rising tension between Muslim Sharia movements and Christians in Nigeria.

Angus was born in 1985 and arrived in Austria in 2002 as a 17 year boy via people trafficking and applied for asylum in Graz. He was looked after by CARITAS and still lives in a CARITAS asylum shelter. His asylum case is still proceeding, which is not unusual in Austria, where decisions might take up to 10 years....

After the HWC [Homeless World Cup] 2003 Angus started to attend German language courses and is studying for a diploma at high school. He was signed by a semi professional football club in the regional league of Styria (SC Murfeld) and now plays for FC Graz. This season he finished top scorer and many experts predict a bright future for him....

What were your first impressions of Austria?

"My first impressions were that I have arrived in a safe country where I do not need to fear for my life. My situation in Nigeria had become life threatening because of religious reasons. In Nigeria life can change very quickly and become dangerous. Austria was very peaceful and people were nice to me."

What were the hardest...moments for you in Austria?

"I had to deal with many new things I did not know before. First the food was not easy for an African. It was hard to realise that some people have a negative attitude towards Africans. They do not see you as a person but only that you are black or they might suspect that you are dealing with drugs, which is a common prejudice towards asylum seekers. Sometimes it was hard to be patient, to wait for a decision in your asylum case, to wait for a possibility to do something. Learn, work, become better in life."

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

Haha. Good one! Yeah, Graz, it seems, relies heavily on their "hometown" hero, Ahnold. But he made a smart move in beating the city council to the punch by requesting his name be removed from the stadium. Smart guy. Good post.
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