August 4

4 August, Austria – ‘All Over The Place – Europe, Part 2’

Didn’t think much of Graz’s bleak outskirts when we drove in yesterday, but once we got to the city centre this morning the place had won me over a bit. We were paying a visit to their Armoury Museum, which has several floors of 17th and 18th century armour and weapons stockpiled to fight off the Muslim armies around that time. Apparently most of the stuff wouldn’t have been used, as once you’d carried all that stuff to battle you’d be too knackered to bring it back, and it would be in a bit of a sorry state anyway. There was absolutely tonnes of what was basically the same helmet and breastplate over and over again. The most expensive bit of armour they have is for a horse and is worth around £3 million! Our researcher Oli was having a crack at directing Lauren and I in this item and a very good job she did too.

Once we’d wolfed our lunch down in the square it was time to make our way to the location I’ve most been looking forward to this block – Arnold Schwarzenegger’s house.

What I love about ‘All Over The Place’ is that there’s no other show on CBBC that could take on a location like this – it’s far too random and seemingly devoid of any educational merit. But considering Arnie was the most highly decorated winner of the Mr Universe competition, one of the world’s biggest film stars AND Governor of California, he’s quite an interesting person for kids to learn about. His old fashioned country house was a bit bigger than we were all expecting (although we later learnt that his family only lived on the top floor), and outside is a bronze statue of Arnie in all his body building glory that he paid to have erected out of his own money (I’m not saying he’s got a big ego but, well…).

Inside the house Arnie’s face adorns every possible surface, even the disposable coffee cups you get from the coffee machine. This is partly down to the fact that Arnie regularly sends memorabilia that he picks up along the way to his old childhood friend Peter, who helps run the place and seemed a very mild mannered and down to earth fellow. There’s a bike from Terminator 2, 4 life sized models of Arnie (2 in the guise of his Terminator character) and numerous paintings and framed photographs, as well as some relics from his days in the house such as homemade gym equipment, his childhood bed and even the family toilet. Once we’d wrapped filming we were treated to, I kid you not, cookies with Arnie’s face on them. If you find yourself in Austria, I’d say the place is well worth a visit. It’s certainly memorable…

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