Thursday, April 3, 2014

Austin: Deep In The Heart Of Texas

Austin is a vibrant city. The capitol of Texas, it has several nicknames and according to the people who live and work there, these are the most fitting:

# 5) City of the Violet Crown - for the violet colored sunsets frequently seen over Lady Bird Lake in the heart of Austin.

# 4) The People's Republic of Austin - as the capitol is often a liberal island in a sea of conservative politicians.

# 3) Bat City - Um hum... there are 1.5 million Mexican free tailed bats live under a bridge in Austin from March until November every year. (No, didn't see 'em, thank you very much.)

# 2) Live Music Capitol of the World - Austin City Limits and all, I suppose. They say the most live music, festivals and so on, but I've lived in Nashville and I know the truth.

# 1) Weird City -  Signs of "Keep Austin Weird" abound everywhere. They are in a continuous war, of sorts, with Portland, Oregon over this one.

It's their list, folks, not mine.

We didn't get to Lady Bird Lake during our short stay in Austin.  The huge 2014 Texas Relay sporting event was coming to town, filling every camping spot for miles around and traffic was bumper to bumper. We jammed every other thing into our schedule we could manage and then... well, we flew the coop.

Here's what we did manage to see...

The lovely capitol building including a short stroll around inside the dome (on a cloudy afternoon). 

Texas Longhorns football field... naturally. 

Nice view of Darrel K. Royal Stadium 
The University of Texas Bell Tower

The Bell Tower on the campus of the University of Texas served as the stage for a mass murder on August 1, 1966. A shooter stole to the top of the tower carrying an inventory of weapons. He fatally shot 14 people, including one police officer, and wounded 32 others on the ground below. Charles Whitman, a 25 year old student and former Marine, had already killed his mother and his wife.

The point from where a 96 minute shooting spree left 43 shooting victims dead or injured, including the shooter.
This incident spurred the creation of S.W.A.T. teams across the nation. 

Before escaping Austin we did take a half-day tour of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum.  That's for the next post.  

1 comment:

  1. I've only been to Austin once many many years ago. I would love to visit it again but not when it's crammed with people.