Our day of brilliant weather in Vienna happened on the Tuesday, which was nice as it was the one day that the bloke had off from the conference. We took advantage of it to go on a boat ride down the Danube. Granny, Humuhumu and I had done this together a couple of years before, but the others had never been before. Keiki loved it. He sat upright and alert on my lap for two straight hours, watching and commenting on everything and occasionally bursting into song.

Most of these photos were either taken by the bloke or Humuhumu.

[I had meant to add more commentary but this entry has been sitting half-finished in my documents for weeks so I figured it was best to just post it before it got any more out of date.]

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[Me smiling at the camera, with Keiki on my lap, riding at the front of the boat down the Danube. Photo taken by the bloke.]

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On disembarking from the boat, we discovered that one of the city’s fountains had been turned on in honour of the nice weather.

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[Humuhumu in her green Kenyan dress, shrieking as she runs through the fountain.]

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Owl butterfly (Caligo eurylochus) feeding on banana
[Owl butterfly (Caligo eurylochus) feeding on a banana.]
Tropical Blue Morpho (Morpho peleides) butterfly
[Tropical Blue Morpho (Morpho peleides) butterfly, at rest underneath a waterfall.]
White tropical butterfly
[White tropical butterfly perched on a fake (!) white orchid.]
Heliconius (?) butterfly
[Black tropical butterfly (Heliconius?) with red and white accents, perched on a cluster of small orange flowers.]
Malachite butterfly
[Malachite butterfly perched on a leaf at the Schmetterlinghaus, Vienna.]
Since I knew we were going to lean heavily on the grandparents for child care on Wednesday and Thursday, I used Tuesday to take the children out as much as possible. (As it turned out, I overdid it a little, both for them and myself, as I was shattered during the evening conference session.) In the morning, we explored the many playgrounds in the enormous Prater Park near our accommodation. We sampled no less than four different ones. Our favourite was the last, as it featured a generous sand pit. In the afternoon, we took the tram to the Belvedere, the mansions-turned-museums with formal gardens that we stayed over the road from the last time we were in Vienna.

Humuhumu & Gryphon 1
Humuhumu in front of one of the many gryphons guarding the formal gardens.

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We walked up to Karlsplatz and the U-bahn in the late afternoon sunshine. For the first time since we'd left the house in the morning, Humuhumu asked for a pick-up, and as she lay her head on my shoulder I suddenly realised that she'd walked (or run) at least five kilometres that day. Not bad going for three-year-old legs. And we'd even forgotten to celebrate Cake O'Clock. We compensated by having Chocolate O'Clock when we got home, with Manner wafers and Mozart balls.
Drive-by post to point out that cake-eating has been happening along with conference attendance.

Hazelnut cake & hot chocolate
Humuhumu with her slice of hazelnut cake and hot chocolate.

Have some of your cake too
Humuhumu sampling my truffle cake.
We spent most of yesterday getting here, and our reward today was the most glorious sunny weather. So we went to the Schoenbrunn, the opulent summer palace of the Hapsburgs and a regular destination for us on trips to Vienna. Still never actually been inside the main building, because when I was younger I wasn't interested, and now because tiny children + priceless furniture & artworks == bad mixture.

It's totally worth the trip for the gardens, though. Also, the cake. My Austrian colleague, bless him, e-mailed me a pictoral guide to his favourite cakes before I left, giving us whole new avenues to explore in this land of magnificent pastries. Today, we had our first encounter with Kardinalschnitte and I'm 100% certain it will not be the last.

Schoenbrunn: running outside
Humuhumu, clutching her green jelly baby, running along the pavement toward the front gates of the palace.

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The EGU conference begins in earnest tomorrow, so we may not get to do a lot of sightseeing again until Friday. I may not be posting much between now and then. Although I may do a daily cake update as I make my way through my colleague's list. Because CAKE.


[11 second YouTube video of Humuhumu driving her pushchair through Vienna's Zentralfriedhof. The sound of the car driving off in the background is magically coincidental.]
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