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Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum

What could be more bad-ass a museum than an Arnold Schwarzenegger museum? That's easy: a Chuck Norris museum. There even is said to have been one in Wilson, Oklahoma in the early nineties. But as everyone knows, Chuck Norris is his own museum, so let's take a look instead in the brand new Arnold Schwarzenegger Museum, which was opened last July in his birth home in the village of Thal, nearby the city of Graz, Austria.

The museum was easy to find by car. We were staying some 40 km away, and the signs pointing to the museum started quite early when approaching Thal. Arnold's 200 year old childhood house is situated next to idyllic castle ruins dating back to the 13th century. The museum is open on four days only per week, and this sunny Wednesday morning we seem to be the first visitors of the week as we pull to the small empty parking space in the front of the house. A white paper note is hanging from the front door knob. For a few dreadful moments I fear that the museum is closed, but the note tells merrily that they're open.

Some of the museum rooms are left like they were in Arnold's childhood. The kitchen table has an old newspaper on it. Original pans and kitchenware are hanging on the walls. By writing this I curse myself for not having taken enough photos there. Otherwise I would have included a picture of the Schwarzenegger family pit toilet. Damn! There is also Arnie's original childhood bed, his first weights and bench press. Please, don't touch, said a note.  One room is a copy of Schwarzenegger's governor's office. A video greeting of the governor of California himself is running in loop on the window sill. It was cool to hear Arnie for once speaking German language with Styrian accent. Griaß euch mitanond! A life-sized statue of present-day Arnold stands in the room, giving the visitors a thumbs-up. 

Soon after us a group of three men in their thirties come into the museum. We help each other for some photos with the Terminator. Oh yeah, there are two life-size models from the Terminator movies, a damaged T-800 with most of Arnold still on it, and a whole T-800 endoskeleton. Additionally, also the original Harley Davidson motorcycle from Terminator 2 is displayed. Video screens loop Arnie's movie trailers and one can play a Terminator game with an Xbox console.

We actually barely evade seeing the man himself. He has been here less than two weeks earlier to open the museum. Lots of fans were there clad Terminator-style in their leather jackets. A giant bronze statue of bodybuilder Arnie was unveiled in the garden. Before we leave, I just have to buy Arnold's own red wine, Hasta la vista, produced by relatively famous Burgenlander wine estate, Willi Opitz. We have tested the wine already - it was a bit like its paragon: the structure was broad, straightforward, and the body was meaty, even weighty. The general impression was a bit simple. At least the wine wasn't named I'll be back - not very good name for any food or drink.

When walking towards the car with our liquid loot we hear a sudden burst of laughter from behind the garden hedge. The three visitors have found the bronze statue. I bet poses became photographed.

More photos and some video footage in this small video clip: