Hello Austin, Hello Texas

Trip Start Jun 20, 2009
Trip End Aug 03, 2009

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Flag of United States  , Texas
Monday, July 6, 2009

This morning I woke up at about 9am and got the free continental breakfast. Was quite a good one, with bagels, cereals, fruit and eggs, but no white bread. I was certainly not going to stoop to the level of wholegrain, so I stuck with my fruit loops and scrambled eggs.

I planned today to go to both the Capitol Building and Museum of Texas today, which were both about 2km away. There is a 'dillo transport service here, which is basically a bus that looks like a tram and costs 50c for 2 hours and took me to my destinations.

The Capitol Building is enormous. So enormous in fact that it is even larger than the US Capitol building in Washington. All in all I was there for about 3 hours which included a free tour by a tour guide who seemed to be obsessed with the fact that I was from Australia and had to refer to it throughout the tour. There is both a chamber for the Senate and House of Representatives as well as a big library and the Supreme Court. What surprised me the most was that they allowed you to pretty much go anywhere in buildings and there was no real security presence. I could have got up onto the podium of the house of Opera and started singing the full composition of Les Miserables and no-one would remove me. Rhedyn could also dance around here no problem. This is strange from a country who feels it needs to have armed guards even outside convenience stores.

After finishing at the Capitol Building I headed towards the Texas Museum. On the way I stopped off at café for some lunch, chicken soup and not bad at all. As I have said in previous blogs, the most surprising discovery about the South is the distinct lack of people in the major cities. They boast large populations, but where is everybody?

By the time I got to the Texas Museum I was already quite tired. A lady told me off for taking photos so that is why you will see none of the Texas Museum here. Texas was originally controlled by the Spanish and name Tejas, along with New Mexico and California. After several wars, Texas won its independence, seceded and was called the Republic of Texas having alliances with neither Spanish Mexico nor the USA. Given the tough times experienced by the locals and the constant threat of war with Mexico, Texas agreed to become a State of the USA. Both New Mexico and California were won in battles between the USA and Mexico. A lot of pride is taken here over George Bush's reign as President given that he was the Governor of Texas and so there were several displays about him.

For dinner tonight, I headed over to the Spaghetti Warehouse, where you get a Soup, Garlic Bread and A Spaghetti for $9.29, a good deal I must say. After dinner I was told that bats live under the bridge over Colorado River and it is a site to see when they all leave the bridge at sundown. Plenty of tourists turned up to see it and really it was nothing special. At the Botanical Gardens in Melbourne you can see the same thing, although the views may not be quite as good.

Tomorrow is my last day of the tour of the South, then I am off to Las Vegas for TAM!

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