First weird Austin surprise of the day were these decorative armadillos lining the top of the windows and doors at Threadgills Restaurant.
What we saw next was the big bat sculpture Nightwing, by Dale Whistler, at the south end of the Congress Street Bridge (where we watched bats emerge last night).
Here's the Congress Street Bridge looking north to downtown Austin.
As we walked, we were again delighted by all that Austin has to offer. Some cities display painted cows, buffalo, horses, pigs as part of their art scene. Austin, being a lot about music, has painted guitars. We saw two, but certainly there are more.
|"Twinkle, Twinkle Lonestar"|
Austin has a compact downtown core with both old and new buildings. Construction projects seem to be ongoing indicating a healthy economy. Bob counted six cranes working in the heart of downtown.
|She looks like a gangster's moll.|
|Bob in front of The Driskill (yellow shirt).|
|First Citizen's Bank|
|Spires on Cathedral of Saint Mary.|
|Art deco State Highway Building (1933)|
|State Highway Building, different view.|
|Capitol Complex Visitors Center.|
As you may have guessed, our walk is taking us through the State Capitol Complex. There is a lot to see here, including a tour of the Capitol and a tour of the Capitol grounds. Interesting factoid: the Texas State Capitol Building is taller than the U.S. Capitol Building.
|Austin, Texas, State Capitol|
|What is this contraption?|
We have made it to the Capitol portion of our Volksmarch. When we went inside, we noted that a tour of the building started in five minutes. We decided to take the 30-45 minute tour. What a beautiful Capitol!
Our guide's name was Jason and he was a ham. He moved around so much most of my photos of him were blurry. Here's a few photos taken on our tour. We had no idea the Capitol and grounds were so big. The building was expanded underground, so not only is it four floors above ground, it is four floors underground as well.
|The lobby looking toward the Rotunda.|
|Ceiling of the Rotunda in the Capitol.|
|Looking up at the other floors in the Rotunda.|
|Jason pointing out the nation's flags that have flown over Texas.|
|Stairwell to second floor.|
|House of Representatives.|
|Original battlefield flag from the Battle of San Jacinto on display |
in House of Representatives when they are in session.
|View from House of Representatives.|
|Door hinges in the Capitol. (Bob pointed these out.)|
|View of dome from one of the lower levels.|
|Reverse Rotunda, outside - north side of Capitol.|
|Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum|
|Blanton Museum of Art|
|Santa Rita #1 oil well.|
Our walk took us to the Lydon B. Johnson Library and Museum. This was a checkpoint so we went inside for the much-needed air conditioning. My start card was stamped by the information desk. This was the farthest point on our walk. Everything from here was downhill, so to speak.
|Beautiful bell display at Austin Performing Arts Center.|
|Longhorns Football Stadium|
|LBJ Museum and Library|
|Martin Luther King Jr. statue on UT Austin campus.|
|Clock tower at University of Texas.|
|It was pretty windy!|
|Texans love their big boots.|
We then returned to the Capitol grounds walking on the opposite side of the building from where we were earlier. There are many sculptures interspersed around the greenery.
The jay below was taking a dust bath in a small park. It sure is fluffed up.
|Historic bakery building; now Visitor Info.|
|Beautiful home; looks like one we'd see in New Orleans.|
|We passed through a small area of Victorian homes.|
As we headed back toward Lady Bird Johnson Lake, it was very hot. We're thinking about 97 degrees. It was time for more shade and air conditioning. At our next stop, City Hall, we got to go inside and look at art displays before heading outside for the final stretch.
We finished our 6.8 mile walk in three hours (including the State Capitol Tour). By the finish, we were ready for lunch.
After having walked past Sandy's four times on Sunday, we decided to try it. Oh boy, are their burgers, chicken sandwiches and malts yummy! We know from firsthand experience.
From Austin, we drove out to Hamilton Pool Preserve (it's in a natual grotto) to swim. The Preserve limits the number of cars to 75 at any given time. When we got there, a long line of cars was waiting to go in. We decided to come back earlier tomorrow.
Since we couldn't swim at Hamilton Pool, we returned to McKinney Falls and headed to the swimmin' hole at Upper McKinney Falls. The weekend crowds were gone and we shared the swimmin' hole with one other family. Nice time. The water was warm but not too warm. It was easy to get in and stay in. From time to time, we'd see turtle heads pop up to the surface of the water. After cooling off, we called it a day.
|Upper McKinney Falls swimmin' hole. (No people when we left!)|
When the sun went down, we were outside making another campfire. For dinner we had chicken breasts and skewered vegetables in tin foil pockets that we cooked in the campfire coals. That was very tasty. For dessert, we had S'mores.
Travel Bug saying, "Lights out and goodnight."