Today was better than yesterday, in the sense that I am not actually bleeding or on fire. Acutally, it was a fine day- the weather was nice, the hotel was better and I found a Jamba Juice. I spent most of the day walking around downtown Austin, starting with the capitol building, because it was the first thing I came across. I went in, because it seemed like something to see, and found that it contained twenty percent people in suits, eighty percent high school students on field trips. There was a really high dome, and paintings of all the governors, but aside from that it really wasn't that interesting, so I just used the bathroom and got a drink of water and left.
I'd read in my guidebook that 6th street was supposed to have nice stores in restored buildings, but I must have turned the wrong way because I found mostly auto-body repair shops and offices. It wasn't a complete loss, though, because I was able to make another Roadfood stop. This one was a place called 'Hut's Hamburgers'- kind of a dive, but in a friendly way. The food was good (so far, Roadfood hasn't led me astray) but they had a very direct approach to hamburgers. which is to say, if you ordered the one that was described on a menu as a 'burger with hickory sauce' (tasted like barbecue sauce to me), then that is exactly what you got: a patty, on a bun, with sauce. No lettuce, no tomato, no pickle on the side. They served their Coke in big glasses, though, and refilled it whenever it got about halfway down, so I'm not complaining. I'm also not complaining about the fact that there was a really good bookstore another block down, where the employees were having an extended debate about the eternal question: Britney or Jessica? (Eventual answer: Shakira) There was also a Whole Foods, which made for an odd, out-of-Berkeley experience.
I didn't get anything at Whole Foods the first time, but I did go back to pick up some dinner on my way to see the bats. I was drawn inexorably to the sushi bar, because anyone who eats chinese in Carlsbad is going to eat raw fish in Austin. It just can't be helped. It (tuna and salmon nigiri and rolls) was, in fact, good, and I haven't died yet or anything, so maybe it was okay.
The bats are 'the world's largest urban bat colony' (Please make rap jokes now. Thank you.) and they live under a bridge during the spring and summer. And every night people come out around sundown and sit around for a really long time waiting for them to come out. When they do, it really is pretty impressive, but very hard to photograph.