Friday, June 4, 2010

The birds are singing etc.

The sun is shining and the birds are tweeting, the ducks are quacking and the Viennese are laughing and smiling. Well I made that last bit up but you know what I mean. Merisi is out there with her camera so you will soon see shots of a revitalized Wien on her Blog.

Merisi's Vienna for Beginners

I took David on his first bike ride in Vienna and we rode around the city,along the canal, through the Prater, across the Donau, along to the Kraftwerk and back along the canal - the last part in the teeth of a howling gale. Someone explained to me once why it is always so windy in Vienna. I have forgotten what they said - but it is inevitably windy when I ride.

The Donau doesn’t seem to be any higher than usual but the water is sure moving along. It is roaring out of the Kraftwerk gates and creating a giant undertow. It is not blue.

Nearly 28 kilometers today and David held up remarkably well. He may not be able to walk tomorrow but today he is fine, albeit with a sore bum.

The place is soaked at the moment. The canal has overflowed its banks in parts and a little cafe I was going to visit today down near the Kraftwerk end is flooded and inaccessible. Large parts of the Prater are very soggy and the whole city looks waterlogged.

The streets have been washed clean of all the usual stuff and I should send a warning note to the cities downstream that they can expect a gazillion cigarette butts and the equivalent amount of dog poo to arrive soon.

I am confident that Spring and Summer will resume as normal in Vienna and all will be well.


  1. Those ducks will soon be into their post-nuptial moult and they will be all quiet and sulky.

  2. I just took a look at the Donau-Fritzi Webcam and yeah, that river is treacherously fast!

  3. Thanks for your kind words!

    I felled compelled to go to the farmers' market at 7am, so afraid was I of the sun disappearing again if I waited for a more civilized hour!

    And would you know that I gave up at 9am because I was too hot?

    The mallards must be smiling in their pristine Stadtpark pond (at least some birds are still smiling - I looked at the Gulf Coast pictures on the New Times's website last night and the horrible images of those slowly suffocating birds made me cry - good thing that BP is reassuring their shareholders, poor things indeed, they may lose a penny or two!).

  4. @ Merisi, are those not the saddest images? I can hardly bear to look at them. They are just heartbreaking.

  5. I agree Wanderlust. The backbone of my research career has been involved with wildlife and the oil industry and it is tragic to witness such events.

  6. Wanderlust,
    I looked at those images the other night and cried.

  7. Badger,

    I may have missed it but I haven't read anything on this blog yet about the World Cup. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts, particularly on Australia's chances against Germany in Group D.

  8. The ducks are a bit moth-eaten but otherwise in good shape.

    I cannot bear to look at any images of the oil spill - it makes me ill. If I could I would personally plug it with Sarah Palin.

    I think Australia may win a game. I would be surprised if they beat Germany but they may get lucky against one of the other teams.

    Australia cannot win the cup but the most important thing is that those cheating bastards Italy do not win. My slogan 'Anyone but Italy'.