So why were we in Austin if not for SXSW? Well, in the main, it was (a) on the bus route and (b) where we could meet up with one of our travel buddies from our first Antarctica trip. We'll come back to our catch up with Emily later, as she was away for the first few days, so we had a few days to look around Austin ourselves first.
We had no particular tourist activities on the agenda for Austin, so we simply enjoyed wandering around the town. The motto for the city is 'Keep Austin Wierd', and whilst we wouldn't call it weird exactly, we could kind of see why, as by comparison to most places we had been in the States, it is far more laid back and unconventional. And where else has a recreation of the Bates motel from Psycho?
We especially like South Congress. We were a bit unsure to start with because as we started walking up the road it seemed that there was nothing there at all. But just as we were about to give up, we reached the good bit.
As well as lots of interesting shops to poke about in, and in my case buy a few bits of jewellery, we found a few places to sit and have a drink while listening to live music. In the spirit of weirdness, one of these was outdoors and there was a couple who had brought their pet parrot out with them, and had it sitting on their shoulders.
There was a great cafe called Woodland, where we had our first US cream pies. Very tasty. We also ate at Snack Bar, which had a great patio, nice food and some good drinks on the list.