Caught by Nostalgia

A lot of emails come through the various mailboxes I monitor. Today, one came through from Citybike Wien with a newsletter announcing their Advent Calendar. The charming graphic reminded me of wonderful days we spent in November 2015 wandering around Vienna. We were there for about a week and luckily had a chance to visit the Christmas market on the first weekend it was open.

“The snow flutters down quietly…” and other Christmas carols will soon be on the radio again, proclaiming:“Welcome to the pre-Christmas season! “.

I get this newsletter because I rented through their bike sharing program while we were there. In the past, I have thought about unsubscribing but it was cumbersome getting through their website. All is well. Instead I am going to register with the Citybike Uphill team so I can enjoy the rest of the Advent calendar graphics from Hannah at hana.rts.

Update. After some more fooling around on the Citybike website, I found out I already have an account. After choosing my handle of “Capo in B,” a simple click has registered me with the uphill team. It might be a little difficult for me to manage this challenge as we are still stuck in Malaysia. But it is diverting to see that I still have € 1 in my account.

I don’t have strong memories of holidays growing up in a small town of Windom, Minnesota. Looking back through our albums, a lot of memories come flooding in around the experiences with our daughter growing up in Minnesota, Frankfurt, and then some side trips to Ecuador and Vancouver and Tokyo and Kuala Lumpur. Here’s one photo that captures this feeling for me today.

Must be Istambul but maybe Constantinople

In case you are curious about Austrian Christmas Songs, the one quoted is here on youtube. Perhaps, I will return to this post if I am able to unlock any of the doors on the Advent Calendar. All the best to you wherever you are, whatever you celebrate, and more importantly enjoy all the memories of the seasons. Cheers.

Some famous people, some famous places

What do Leibniz, Zwingli, Brahe, Kepler, Kafka, and Neruda have in common?

Note: all the links open to the Wikipedia entries.

In Vienna, I wandered into this square after getting turned around with my directions.

The plaque attributes the establishment of the Austrian Academy of Science to a suggestion made by Gottfried Leibniz in 1713 while residing in Vienna. Among his many accomplishments, he is considered a founder of Calculus along with Isaac Newton.

Apparently, Zwingli, lived near this square when he studied in Vienna in 1498-1502. Later, in Switzerland Zwingli led religious reform.

Austrian Academy of Sciences

Commemoration Plaque


In Prague, one can follow the life of Franz Kafka, and wander the lesser town neighborhood of the writer Jan Neruda.

I have read a number of Kafka’s books and stories.  It was not until Daughter went to the German-American Institute in St. Paul, MN that I realized he wrote exclusively in German. The Chilean writer, Neftalí Ricardo Reyes Basoalto, derived his pen name from Jan Neruda, whose name he found in a literary magazine. The compilation of Pablo Neruda’s travel writing in Confieso que he vivido (Memoirs) inspired me to travel as much as possible.

Franz Kafka Square


Jan Neruda Street

Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler standing in front of the Gymnázium Jana Keplera (Jan Kepler High School).

They worked together in Prague in 1600. Kepler used Brahe’s observations to identify astronomical principles of the planets.

Pohorelec Neighborhood overlooking Prague Castle

I have walked the same streets and marveled at the ideas of these luminaries.

By the Beautiful Blue Danube

Since 1867, Viennese composer Johann Strauss II orchestral version of “An der schönen blauen Donau” or as known in English, “The Blue Danube” has become the epitome of waltz music.

Here are some of my views of the Danube/Donau followed up with a few photos around Vienna/Wien. I get tongue tied keeping track of the German place names with the English transliterations. I also have a little problem with WordPress re-aligning my photos.  I hope these are not too scattered.

Looking North at Donau Insel, Vienna

Looking South at Donau Insel, Vienna

From Bratislava Castle in Slovakia

From Budapest looking downstream toward Bratislava and Vienna














The streets of Vienna like Budapest invite us to walk on and on. “Just over there is another quaint little chapel. Look at this row of gabeled buildings. Whats beyond that garden?” They whisper.

Overlooking Schonbrunn Palace


Natural History Museum


Saint Francis of Asisi Church




National Art Museum


Vienna Main Station / Wien Hauptbahnhof