Race fans take in iconic Austin venues as part of F1 experience

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by JIM BERGAMO / KVUE News

Bio | Email | Follow: @JimB_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on November 16, 2012 at 7:27 PM

Updated Friday, Nov 16 at 11:33 PM

AUSTIN -- Many of Austin's international Formula 1 visitors are excited to get a taste of Austin and Texas. While several fans spent Friday at the track watching the practice runs, several tourists spent the time building up to race day by visiting some iconic Austin venues.

A foursome from Japan, Australia and New Zealand may have had trouble focusing their cameras outside the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, but they certainly get the big picture when it comes to the U.S. Grand Prix in Austin.

"Formula 1. I'm from New Zealand. We know Formula 1," said tourist Alicia Murray.

"I think it's exciting," said Zoe Anastasio from Australia. "Austin is a bit of a cultural hub, so of course it is the kind of place that would have Formula 1.  I think obviously, it's great.  A lot of people will be coming into the city introducing Austin to the wider world as well. It's good to put Austin on the map."

One Austin icon already on the worldwide map, according to bartender Megan Kumler, is the Broken Spoke.

"The Broken Spoke is known all over the world," she said. "We have people from all over every weekend coming to see us. We're on BBC all the time. People from France come, Australia, everywhere. At any given moment, at any given time, they'll walk in."

Whether they were walking in or just doing a walk about, KVUE ran into a lot of F1 visitors along South Congress. That includes inside the iconic Allens Boots.

"I am shopping for iconic, Austin boots," said Michael Chevalier from Canada.

"All of the employees that I have that are from Texas say, 'If you are going to visit Texas, you need to find yourself a good pair of boots while you are here,'" said Ben Sloss from California. "I don't have any." 

"It's part of the Austin experience," said Christine Sloss, Ben's wife. "Whenever I travel I like to get something that's grassroots of the area. Having a pair of cowboy boots really resonates well with that."

Everyone that KVUE talked to Friday were avid Formula 1 fans. They say they're thrilled the Grand Prix is back in the United States, and they are equally thrilled that they now get to come to Austin to see it.

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