Tuesday, February 10, 2009

San Antonio Airport (Feb 9, 2009)

I am running way behind in writing this, but I barely have had time to update on the hour. So this blog for now is lagging behind a couple of days J

I reached Austin Saturday night, and checked into the Fairfield on Renili St. It was a nice place to sleep, but I knew I wouldn’t be spending too much time in it anyway.

Immediately got ready and decided to go to 6th St, which is supposed to be the happening spot for the nightlife in Austin. The lady at the desk advised me to not take my car as parking could be a problem, but instead to take a cab. Being the cheapass that I am, I decided one better – Let’s catch the bus (I never learn!). And luckily there was a stop half a mile from my place. The bus was the 10 to red river street, which is perpendicular to 6th, and it was a good bus – On time, and one of the few buses were the crowd seemed not to have poor people who had just come in from the streets.

6th street is a very popular place – it was crowded by 9.45 when I reached, and by 11 they had stopped traffic and people were running all over. A sight for sore eyes ;)

Yelp had given a dance club called Plush, a high rating and I landed up at this place. There was no cover, and the rum and coke cost me a whole 2USD (I hate Boston – 6 USD!!!). Sadly, it didn’t pick up at all and so I made my exit at 11. Roamed around staring at the sights, and went into a lounge called Hi-Lo. It was a so-so place – White Russian for 5, still affordable, but again less to no crowd. By midnight I was desperate to dance, and made my way to Vice, which was a proper dance club, with a pretty young crowd. It was fun, and I could dance a bit. My night was done by 2+, and I returned back to the hotel in a cab which again was quite inexpensive.

I was tired, and I suppose after covering 3 cities in a day, you have a right to immediately fall on the bed.

Sunday morning I set off around 10, and landed up again around 6th street. The places I saw were the State Capitol, a huge building with brilliant architecture, and quite prominent in Downtown Austin. It is supposed to be bigger than even the Washington Capitol. The highlight of the tour – A framed photo of Governor George Bush on the wall: D

Before this I walked up to the Renaissance Market, a place for budding local artists close to the University Of Texas, but there was no crowd, and few shops. Either I was too early, or Sunday is not the day to be here.

After the capitol, I drove to a place called Barton Springs which is not too far from downtown. These springs are in a huge park called Zilker Park which forms part of Town Lake Park. It has a beautiful view of downtown Austin with the Frost Tower at the background, and if you can walk a few miles, the photo op is good. Also, if you are here for more than a day, and love the outdoors you can do some canoeing, swimming, picknicking, et al.

Spent some good time there and then headed off to Mt Bonnell, which is a few miles drive from Austin. A short hike to the summit gives you a good view of Austin and also the lake. It’s a lovely place to sit and contemplate.

These were my main spots to cover and I headed down to downtown again to get some time on 6th and maybe a couple more photos. The lady at the hotel desk was wrong about parking though – Parking is much easier in Austin, than say Miami or Boston. A little searching off the main roads will get you some parking spot or other during nights and weekends. So it is not much of a hassle.

I walked up 6th and then Congress where the Frost building is located. Also, the bridge on Congress supposedly has bats under it, which fly out between April and August, and are supposed to be an awesome sight. I couldn’t get a glimpse of them, but I did walk under the bridge.

The walk on congress has a couple of statues of guitars, painted in all weird colors. Again a snap clicked!

I headed back home after this as I was so tired I could barely walk. Slept from 5 to 7pm, and then headed back again to…you guessed right...6th street, but this time in my rental.

Sunday is much quieter than Saturday, and the walk was peaceful. I ended up at a club called Elysium, which was playing 80s-90s tracks. This must be the first time I danced in the US waving my hands and trying to do the Moonwalk, and it was so much fun, when compared to the grind and bump of most dance clubs.

Left early but happy at 2 am, as I had more driving to do, and visit Churches in San Antonio early the same day. If I didn’t get some sleep I am sure I would fall asleep while driving there.

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