After 17 hours of long flights and hectic interchanges I made it to Austin, Texas last Saturday, yay!
Admittedly there are much fewer cowboy hats around here than I anticipated (but then again, Austin is said to be the most non-Texanian city in Texas). Instead I have to readjust my mental scale of the size of everything; the country itself, the vast cars, the hilariously big TV in my giant hotel room.
I could sleep surprisingly well, I was awake between 4 and 6 am, but fell asleep again for two hours fortunately. I spent the Sunday morning with fixing some bugs and some jockey improvements.
Around noon I met again with Jon Masters, and we drove to San Antonio to visit the The Alamo Mission. It is a great historic place which presents the wild history of Texas and the U.S. at large. It’s hard to believe how drastically both changed within the last 150 to 100 years, and to see the complex “relationships” (read: “neverending wars”) between the Mexican and USian settlers, the Federalists and Centralists, etc. Irony of history: less than 150 years ago, the Mexican states complained about the rush of immigrating U.S. settlers which would subvert and destroy their culture…
Later on we spent an hour strolling along the San Antonio River Walk. From the description I expected some wild nature along the river, but it turned out to be a a cozy and lively center of cultural and touristical live, crammed with small bars and restaurants, and dozens of boats with hundreds of tourists. Well, it was a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon after all :-). However, after ten minutes of walking it became much quieter and relaxing, a totally different perspective than you get when being on the ground floor, when you are in a typical American city.
Then we went back to Austin and picked up Soren Hansen, who joined us for the evening. We went to have a little walk through Austin itself, mainly to see the rather impressive Texas State Capitol (although the boss was not there; what a slacker :-P), and the 6th street, where all the cool bars and restaurants are. We had a beer, later on a classic burger, and finished the night with two rounds of pool and a rather long walk.