Archive for the ‘Austria’ Category

So it’s been a while between posts, but I have a good reason! The last couple of posts were written while trying to hide the fact that I was pregnant from people who I wanted to tell in person. Since then we’ve made the move to Munich, set up our first home, had a son (born April 2011) and done our best to balance our new found settled status with our love of travel. In his first 14 months Jake has been on quite a few trips, though most of them have been relatively short jaunts to nearby places in Europe. We went to Lake Constance when he was 10 weeks old, the Czech Republic soon after, Salzburg for a couple of days, Nurnberg for the Christmas market, a couple of trips to the Austrian Alps and a quite few trips to the mountains south of Munich. And then there have been the more serious trips, like 3 weeks in Australia and 2 weeks in Morocco, where we currently are. We also recently spent 2 weeks in northern Italy, mostly in the Dolomites doing some amazing hikes.

I think a lot of the parents we know think we’re crazy for doing some of the trips we do with him, and sometimes they’re probably right. The logistics of travelling with a child, especially without a car, can be a little overwhelming at times. The nappies, the food, the clothes, the pram/baby carrier/travel bed… It all adds up to a heck of a lot more gear than we’re used to taking. But we’re getting the hang of it, and it’s so nice to see him explore new places and have new experiences. We’re also lucky that he travels relatively well and is quite relaxed (for a baby). I’d like to think that he travels well because that’s how we raised him but realistically I think we’re probably just lucky.

There’s not enough space for a description of every trip we’ve been on (and I can’t remember the details to be honest) so we’ll leave it as a bit of a wash over post and maybe I’ll get motivated and write a post every now and again when we go somewhere interesting. It won’t be anything much compared to our travels pre-baby but hopefully we’ll still get to see some cool places with him in tow.

My weekend in Vienna was nice, if short, and it was nice to explore the city with Gulzar and Karl. We spent most of our time exploring the old part of town, wandering streets, popping into churches and eating ice-cream. At one stage we were sitting in a park near a church, in free beach chairs, when I realised that it was the church that the one in Helena, Montana, was based. Yesterday I drove past the copy, built from 1908 to 1924, from materials which were apparently brought all the way from Europe. Not as speedily as I made the trip of course, they came by ship then steamboat then horse cart. The original stained glass windows were made in Munich.

Back in Vienna the sun was shining so I avoided museums and we spent our time wandering instead. Sunday morning was spent exploring Schönbrunn Palace, which was owned by the Hapsburg royal family from 1569 until 1918. The grounds were originally only used to breed game and fowl for hunting but later the impressive buildings were constructed, and in 1752 the world’s oldest existent zoo was founded. In 1683 the Turkish Ottoman Empire clashed with the House of Hapsburg and got as far as Vienna before being defeated. The Hapsburgs controlled a pretty incredible amount of land all over the world, mainly through selective marriages and inbreeding that eventually led to various genetic disorders. Looking at Charles II of Spain’s family tree there are all sorts of linkages that just shouldn’t be there, including far too many examples of men marrying their nieces.

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