Two weeks ago, I was able to check off “the South” from my list of things to see in the US. A business trip brought me to Austin, TX and I decided to stay and spend the weekend.

The weather was a welcome change from the Michigan winter. During the day, temperatures rose to 86F and on the second day, I bought sunscreen.

I noticed that the city had birds that I’ve neither seen in Germany nor in Michigan. Some of them sounded very strange and I saw these two fellas here that I hope didn’t escape someone’s home.

Jessie told me that Austin is probably as liberal as the south gets and sure enough, there were quite a few hipsters and etablissements they bring along.

The food that I had down there was simply amazing. I had many tacos and also tried the real southern barbecue.

The city itself is rather small and a visit for three days or so certainly is enough.

I’ve seen some cool street art and I also visited the University of Texas where one of the first mass shootings in the US took place.

I did also see people wear cowboy hats and bought one for myself. Furthermore, I accomplished the life achievement of being greeted with the word “Howdy!” and I had a waitress referr to me as “Y’all”, which I think technically is incorrect.

One of my favorite sights in Austin was the Texas Capitol building. I was just a little bit too late to experience the congress in session but I could admire the beautiful building.

Texas State Capitol

Texas State Capitol

Texas State Capitol

Texas State Capitol

Texas State Capitol

One of the things that I didn’t really like about the city is that it seemed kind of loud to me. I was generally looking for some quite places where I could drink a coffee or a cocktail and browse the internet. Those places were pretty hard to find and most bars were tailored to the taste of drunk college kids.

On my last day, I got a rental car and drove into the surrounding areas to go hiking. Specifically, I went to the Pedernales Falls State Park. The landscape - as expected - looked quite different from Michigan and I saw cactuses and even vultures having a snack on the side of the road. Unfortunately, I saw them too late and didn’t take a picture.

Finally, I stopped at a very rustic looking building on the side of the road that turned out to be a vintage style furniture store.

Overall, I very much enjoyed this trip to get some relaxed days and much needed sun. The city itself disappointed me a little bit. Having heard that it is supposed to be the Portland of the south, maybe my expectations were a little too high.