Bake Your Own Linzer Torte
Fritz Rath the fifth generation baker and owner of K.u.k-Hofbäckerei is preparing a stack of garlic butter rolls when I enter his charming bakery, the same location as the former baker’s guild. Hopping from the kitchen to the till to greet customers, he is full of bright agility.
I’m invited to bake my own Linzer torte with Rath as teacher. “It’s the oldest well-known cake. But everyone makes adjustments to the recipe,” he says as he patiently gives tricks to perfecting my torte. With Spanish and Arab influence, lemon peel, and warm spices like clove, cinnamon and nutmeg perfume the buttery, crumbly almond crust filled with red currant jam.
Before I leave, Rath brings out an old handwritten permit to his great grandfather (also a baker) who was visited by the last of the Haspburgs. “As the eldest son of a baker I grew up with tunnel vision to become a baker.”
Cruise the Blue Danube
Wurm + Köck River cruise
A cruise on the Danube is the stuff of waltzing dreams, and I am taking a 100 minute Wurm + Köck River cruise aboard the MS Linzerin – past Linz’ culture quarter, the Lentos art museum and Brucknerhaus (festival and congress centre) toward a point where there is only lush green landscape on either bank of the river. My friendly female captain, Susanne Reinold (one of the first women in Austria to steer this style of boat) points out various landmarks along the way.
The Austrian flag is proudly hoisted at the helm of the ship, waving in the wind as I watch people fish in the river, cycle along the bike paths and swans swim past. When the boat begins to turn back toward the city, it passes through industrial shipyards of the VOEST and the dockyard at the ÖSWAG Wharf to pay homage to the importance of the steel industry.
See into the Future
Ars Electronica and Cubus
It’s the most buzzed about place in Linz. Everyone positively raves about Ars Electronica the futuristic waterside museum that explores the relationship between art, technology, and society. Though the ideas can feel esoteric at times, Ars Electronica integrates research through interactive exhibits that bring out your inner child (a 3D look at the universe is a highlight) and each year it awards the Prixarts Electronica the Oscars of cyber arts.
On the 3rd floor, Cubus restaurant with its punchy neon yellow walls and surrounding glass architecture screams modernity, and the eclectic fusion menu emphasizes this theme. Markus Fuchs, Executive chef draws on time spent in Wales, memories of Italy and a penchant for spices, coriander and ginger to create a menu that marries flavour and creativity (fried salmon cubes with an Asian salad and banana chutney anyone?). Worth a stop in its own right.
Climb the City’s Rooftops in the Name of Art
Initially made as an art exhibition project in 2009 when Linz was named European Capital of Culture, OK HÖHENRAUSCH features artwork and interactive art installations on Linz rooftops.
The rub is it is only accessible by ascending a wooden staircase, and is not for the faint of heart. On a windy day, the swaying staircase felt precarious at times (it is meant to sway to relieve pressure on the wood), but offered amazing vistas of the entire city.
Take a Record Breaking Tram Ride for Lunch
Take the Pöstlingbergbahn, one of the world’s steepest adhesion railways from Hauptplatz at city centre up to the Pöstlingberg, the 539 metre high hill on the left bank of the Danube river. At the top enjoy the beautiful Postlingberg Church with sweeping views of Linz. Stop to have a typical Austrian lunch at Pöstlingberg Schlössl restaurant- the rich, silky wild mushroom soup and Austrian spinach rye dumplings were two of the standouts.