Belvedere Museum and St. Charles Church, Vienna

Day 71, Monday, November 4, 2019

I visit the Belvedere Art Museum this morning while Bob goes for walk and explores the area around the museum.  The Belvedere, like so many of the museums we have visited was once a palace.  This is the grand entrance staircase… and the beautiful Marble Hall. I particularly wanted to see Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss, but was pleased to find his Judith painting here as well.The Kiss is one of Klimt’s most well known paintings.  It is a large painting, 183 x183 cm. It is nice to be able to see the painting details up close. I am also surprised by how many Egon Schiele paintings are on display.  It is quite special to be able to see the original paintings of some of my favourite works by these two painters.  I didn’t realize that these paintings were so large.  Looking at reproductions in books can be deceiving.  The Embrace and….  the Family are both much bigger than I imagined… as are these paintings. Schiele’s Self Portrait is the smallest painting, about 41 x 33 cm. I didn’t know Jacques-Louis David’s painting of Napoleon was here either.  I am so glad I was able to visit this museum.  This painting is enormous, 272 × 232 cm!This painting shows the Vienna Naschmarkt in 1894.  It has changed a bit over the years! We meet up in the gardens outside the Belvedere and then walk towards St. Charles Church.  There are so many interesting buildings along the way.
We had a huge surprise when we entered St. Charles Church.  Two enormous floating mirrored balls that reflected the church… and us.  We are almost in the centre of the reflection but we are very tiny.  “Aerocene” is a contemporary art installation by Tomas Saraceno, an Argentinian artist who lives and works in Berlin.  The floating reflective balls are 10 and 7 metres in diameter. Then we notice the scaffolding that goes high up into the dome, and that is where we are going to go!  We thought the elevator ride we got a ticket for would be inside a bell tower.  Nope!  We ride to the top of this scaffolding and then climb a bit further, onto that platform you see leading into one of the round windows in the dome! Looking down from the top of this ‘elevator’ we notice a workman adjusting lights high up in the dome, yet still far below us! We have a great view of the dome paintings.  It is interesting the way the gold highlights look up this close… and we have a great view of the other dome paintings.  We are crazy high up!Bob walks back down to this viewing platform so I can get a photo.  Notice how he is suspended…nothing below him!This photo shows the platform that Bob was standing on in the last photo.
We spent quite a lot of time way up there in the dome, and it is getting dark when we get outside.  If you look closely you can see some people standing in the round window on the dome.  That is the window we were standing in!  What an amazing experience.  There was restoration work carried out in the dome and the elevator is being kept for a while.  The fee to ride up into the dome is a way to make more money for further restorations. Walking back towards the metro we pass the Opera House… and take photos of these performers from Tibet.  They have a performance later tonight and were taking publicity photos outside the Opera House. While the men posed, some of the women were busy applying their makeup.   This is a a huge paper art installation we pass in a walkway near the metro. A close-up shows lots and lots of writing, musical notations and random marks. We get home, have dinner, then I head off to a drop-in drawing session with a Meetup group at a pub called Monami.

It was bit hard drawing the model as there were 40 people crammed into a small room.  I had coloured some of the pages in my sketchbook at home before the session.  Interesting to draw on but they don’t photograph very well. We were pretty much rubbing elbows as we drew and my views weren’t always great but it was lots of fun.
I finished the session with a 20 minute leg study.  I felt quite comfortable going out in the evening by myself.  The metro is easy to navigate and there were lots of people about.

The Hundertwasser House and the Prater Amusement Park, Vienna

Day 70, Sunday, November 3, 2019

I loved the sign on this shop we passed on our way to the Hundertwasser House.   The Hundterwasser House attracts a lot of attention.  More than 200 trees and shrubs on the balconies and roof terraces make the Hundertwasserhaus a green oasis in the heart of the city.Here are some views of this unique building which was built between 1983 -1985.  
I wonder what the inside of this tower is? The Hundertwasserhaus can only be viewed from outside but opposite the Hundertwasserhaus is the Hundertwasser Village, which is open to visitors. It was created out of a tire workshop in 1990-1991. The artist created his own shopping center here with a “village square”, a bar and numerous stores in the typical Hundertwasser style. Every window in this building is different from every other window! Anyone who lives in the Hundertwasser House also has the right to decorate the façade around the windows entirely to their own taste.   This fountain is nestled into the undulating ground around the building. There are is many interesting buildings in Vienna.  I don’t know what this building is but it has huge golden globes on the roof. We walk along this canal and find a bench on its banks for our afternoon tea. On our walk to the Prater we pass this interesting building mural. The Prater Amusement Park has been in the same location since 1766!  It is free to enter the grounds. This is the first ride we see and it looks crazy enough, but…take a look at how high the swings go!  We could not believe what we were seeing!  It didn’t even look like this tower should stay upright, it was so tall and narrow.  Absolutely insane!! This roller coaster turned people upside down… and this ride not only goes upside down, but spins around on the end at the same time!  Yikes!!Then there is this ride…do you see those legs dangling on each end of the long arm that spins around high above the ground?

This tower shoots people to the top and then drops them very quickly towards the ground.
If you like rollercoasters you might want to try this one,,,it flips you upside down as you ride…
and this swing also turns upside down periodically as it flies through the air.  Do you detect   a theme here?
The grounds are huge, with an area for children rides that we don’t even get to, and lots of fun houses and scary ghost houses.
I’m not sure who would buy tickets from this fellow!
 There is a Ferris wheel, among some of the ‘tamer’ rides… which I try out!

The Giant Ferris Wheel was erected in 1897.  It has been in several Hollywood films, such as “The Third Man” with Orson Wells and in the James Bond movie “The Living Daylights”.             The diameter of the wheel is almost 61 meters, and the entire iron structure weighs 430 metric tons.  Its cabins offer a wonderful view of the city and the Prater. Here is one of hte cabins going over the top of the wheel.The wheel turns slowly and our ride consists of one revolution which takes almost fifteen minutes.  

it starts to rain after our ride so it is time to head home. We get home at 7:00 and realize that I forgot about a life drawing session at 7:30.  I am tired and It is too late to make it there in time.  Too bad, I was looking forward to going, especially after Thursday’s session was cancelled because of Halloween.

Walking Tour of Vienna

Hi, as you may have noticed, I have fallen behind on my blog posts.  We have had several busy days and I just haven’t had the energy to work on a post late in the evening. We are actually in Budapest right now, and it is raining for a day or two so I am going to try to get at least a little bit caught up.

Day 69, Saturday, November 2, 2019

Bob found another walking tour online so we are off to check out Vienna this morning.  First stop is the Naschmarkt, a local outdoor market that has been operating on this same site since the 1500’s!  There are colourful stand with fruits and vegetables, olives and antipasto appetizers…as well as all sorts of candies, dried fruits and some rather exotic looking products in the fish market section.Near the Naschmarkt we find this interesting tribute to the Orson Wells movie, The Third Man.  It is possible to tour the sewers, right under our feet, where part of the movie was filmed, but we pass on that today.

I take a photo of some wedding dresses in a shop window and a short time later we see a bride and groom.  The bride seemed annoyed and her pretty dress was getting all dirty as it dragged along the street. I wanted to tell her attendants to pick up the back of her dress!  Not my idea of a nice way to spend part of your wedding day, hiking along the streets towards a place for your photo shoot. There is a statue of Mozart, right beside a Hop On Hop Off bus station.  We sit and have our picnic lunch and watch tourists jump off the bus, snap a photo from quite a distance, and then jump back on the bus to get to the next destination.  This sure isn’t the way we do it!  We sight-see very slowly and leisurely, stopping often to look at the sights, people watch and just enjoy where we are and what we are seeing. We are very slow tourists!
This equestrian statue of Emperor Joseph II, erected in 1795  is the oldest equestrian statue in Vienna.

It stands in front of the Neue Burg (New Castle) Wing  of the Hofburg Palace.  Notice that part of the palace is still in need of cleaning.     We make our way to the Albertina Museum, which we will visit another day.  There is a Durer Exhibit I am looking forward to seeing.  This is a street view from a corner of the Albertina.

The Gates of Violence remembers victims of all wars and violence. The statues are a montage of wartime images: clubs and WWI gas masks, a dying woman birthing a future soldier, victims of cruel medical experimentation, and chained slave laborers.  It is on the site of an apartment block that was destroyed in an air raid during the Second World War.  Hundreds of people had sheltered in the apartment basement and their bodies were never recovered from the rubble of the destroyed building. Of course there are several churches on our walk, and we visit all of them! This broad pedestrian Kärntner Strasse is packed with people and lined with shops and places to eat.  This road dates to 97AD when it was a Roman road that went from Vienna to the border of Italy and Slovenia, and eventually all the way to St. Petersberg, Russia! I thought that the Zen-Doodle like designs on the clothing in this shop were interesting.  The modern Haas House offers interesting reflections of St. Stephen’s church. The St. Stephen’s Cathedral is huge, and ornately decorated, outside…  and inside. Just behind the cathedral we see a group of people taking part in a drinking game.  The guy in the blue jeans drank his big can of beer twice as quickly as the guy dressed in brown! The Stock im Eisen is part of a tree that has hundreds of iron nails pounded into it and dates from 1440.  No one is sure why the nails were pounded in but it is thought that is was for good luck. It is located on the corner of a building and is protected behind plexiglass. The Holy Trinity Column, located on a street in the inner city of Vienna, was erected after the Great Plague epidemic in 1679.  It is one of the most well-known sculptural pieces of art in the city.
St. Peter’s Church has an oval dome and its open layout makes it feel bigger than it actually is. I thought it interesting the way the paintings on the dome extended over the sculptural trim around the round windows.The end of each pew is beautifully carved with different finials of three children’s heads.  We sat for quite a while listening to the choir practicing.  Back outside, there are interesting details everywhere I look, like these sculptures holding up balconies.I loved this building. It looks like a castle.  I wouldn’t mind living here! Back out on the Kärntner Strasse, there are lots of famous brand name shops, like Jimmy Choo…
where the customers are served champagne as they shop!  Sigh…an experience I am sure I will never have!
There are Roman ruins…  and beautiful statues on the corners of buildings.  This is the building that houses the Austrian National Library, the Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, as well as the Spanish Riding School with the world famous Lipizzaner stallions.  We will visit both of these on another day,  It gets dark earlier now, at about 5;30.  The buildings look pretty all lit up. This is the other side of the Neue Burg Wing of the Hofburg Palace.  We saw the backside earlier in the day. Time to head home.  This subway station has colourful murals.  Our apartment is very well located on the U6 subway line, so it takes less than a half hour to get home.  Somehow even our ‘easy’ days end up being quite long. We left before noon and it will be after 7:00 by the time we get home.

Vienna, Austria to Bratislava, Slovakia

Day 67, Thursday, October 31, 2019

We need to return our rental car today.  We rented it in Bratislava, Slovakia, which is about an hour drive from Vienna.  We got the same type of car, from the same car rental company, for half the price we would have paid if we had rented it in Vienna!

It is so foggy that we can not see the tops of the wind turbines.  There are lots and lots of them along the highway.  When we pass some that are close to the road we can see just how enormous these wind turbines are.
As we get closer to Bratislava the fog lifts, but it is still a very grey day. This is the border crossing into Slovakia.  Because of the European Union there are no border checks or stops, but I do miss getting a stamp in our passports though. We return the car, and catch a FlixBus back to Vienna.  Just as the bus pulls up I realize I have lost a pair of sunglasses somewhere in the airport, but there is no time to go back and look for them.  These buildings under construction near the Bratislava bus terminal have scaffolding all the way up to the top!  I can’t imagine having to work on scaffolding that high off the ground. There is lots of construction in Bratislava, which has a population of 425,000.  We get settled into our apartment and then head out to a life drawing session at 6:30.  When we find the Kaffeebar it is in, we find out that the session was cancelled because it is Halloween.  Oh well, we got to figure out the way there and I will try again next Thursday.  Halloween in Austria is a time when adults get dressed up and party but the children do not go door to door for treats like they do at home.

Day 68, Friday, November 1, 2019

We both enjoyed having a quiet day.  I stayed home all day and Bob went for a walk in the afternoon while I made us a yummy chicken dinner.  Then we had popcorn and watched a movie.  It was a nice relaxing day.

Munich, Germany to Vienna, Austria

Day 66, Wednesday, October 30, 2019

Here are the last of my Munich metro drawings.   I liked this one of the young man with the bandaged nose. Our drive to Vienna was long and uneventful.  We stayed on the freeway and it still took us about 5 1/2 hours.  We had to wait about an hour for our Airbnb host to meet us, but we found a parking space just outside the apartment and our car was warm, so it wasn’t too bad.  It took forever to figure out how to pay for street parking but we finally sorted it out.  We take our rental car back tomorrow so we just need parking for one night.

Our Airbnb apartment looks OK and it is really close to the Underground metro so that is going to be handy.

Residence Museum, Munich

Day 65, Tuesday, October 29, 2019

The Residence Museum is the former royal palace of the Wittelsbach Monarchs of Bavaria. The Residence is the largest city palace in Germany.  This Residence has 144 rooms open for viewing!

The first room we visit is the Shell Grotto, which is decorated with sea shells in intricate patterns.  It is rather bizarre and not what we expected to see in a royal palace. The next room is the Antiquarium which was built in 1568 as an exhibition room for Duke Albrecht V’s collection of antiquities.  The room is 66 metres long and the ceiling is decorated with paintings of 102 views of towns, markets and palaces in Bavaria.  It is truly a remarkable room.
The faux painted ceiling in this room is an optical illusion.  In this photo you can see that the ceiling is not very high. But when I stand right under the chandelier in the centre of the ceiling this is what I see… a high domed ceiling! We see many furnished rooms, including this throne room, and lavish bedrooms. One of the Electoral rooms was decorated with lots of paintings…including these two of the summer residence of Nymphenburg painted in 1761, which we just visited last Thursday! The Court Church of All Saints was destroyed during the Second World War and was only opened again to the public in 2003.  It was left undecorated and it is now used for concerts and other functions. This small room, or Cabinet, was decorated with 18th century pastel portraits which I am particularly interested in. Here is a model of the palace.  It really is huge and sprawling so it wasn’t the easiest to navigate,  The Trier rooms were built as guest apartments.
Here is a close up of one of the tapestries.  They are amazingly well preserved.All the rooms in the palace are connected by a series of doorways lined up in a row.  I think this must have made it difficult to have any privacy as people would have to walk through the rooms to get from one to another.   This is one of the Ornate Rooms that were used for diplomatic meetings and court ceremonies. The Green Rooms are an art gallery.  Here is our reflection in one of the tall mirrors. The chandeliers are reflected in the mirror on the end wall of the room.  We were surprised when a door was opened in this end wall and a tour group disappeared into what seems to be a secret room. The walls in the Cabinet of Mirrors have many blue and white vases sitting on little shelves.The Cabinet of Miniatures has red lacquered walls inset with many miniature paintings from floor to ceiling.. I think this was called the Queen’s staircase.  In any case, it is very grand. Yet another Throne Room, this is the Queen’s Throne Room…
and some more rooms in the Queen and King’s apartments. The floors in these apartments are inlaid wood, each room has a different ornate pattern.  It must have taken a very long time to build these floors.  The seams between the pieces of inlaid wood are perfect. There are rooms full of table settings that were used in the palace.  The table with the gilded plates on the top right is set for fifty guests! The small chapel was the private place of worship of Duke Maximilian I and his wife.  It was here that the Duke kept his collection of precious relics, which are the bodily remains of saints. We thought we were finished, but realized we missed a whole wing of rooms but we couldn’t figure out how to get to the.   A very helpful guard escorted us back into the palace and directed us to the rooms.   We also saw these paintings which were painted on enamel panels. They are copies of famous paintings, and we have seen the originals of many of these on this trip. It was a surprise to see the copy of the Mona Lisa.This Hall of Ancestors was being cleaned and restored. This woman was using a tiny paintbrush to touch up the gold gilded frames. It is painstaking slow work. Here is the museum, and it is drizzling when we emerge. On the way to the metro we walked past some of those high end shops we saw yesterday.  The stores are still open so the widow displays are complete.  Notice the prices on these two watches, 160,480 euros and 239,450 euros!! 

Munich Transportation Museum

Day 64, Monday, October 28, 2019

Bob is off to the Munich Transportation Museum and I am having a stay at home day.

An early English steam locomotive from 1814.

The first automobile was a 1886 Benz.
A 1896 motorcycle with the passenger seat in front.
At auction this 1931 Alfa Romeo sold for $2.4 million.
A 1932 Mercedes Benz.  At auction a 2 seater version sold for $1.2 million.Across the road from the Transportation Museum is where the Munich Oktoberfest is held. They are still dismantling the site.  Over 6 million people attend this beer-fest every year. 

Bavarian National Museum, Munich

Day 63, Sunday, October 27, 2019

It was a beautiful sunny day and as we walked to the museum we passed the back of this church.  I don’t know its name but found the ‘composition’ of all these shapes interesting.  These old churches have been rebuilt and renovated repeatedly which results in a variety of styles.  It is only one euro admission to the Bavarian National Museum on Sundays.  The first rooms we enter have incredibly beautiful wooden sculptures, many of which still have their original painted colouring.  The sculpture of Christ is from 1200, the Apostles are from 1505, and the woman with children is from1300.  All the pieces are in amazing condition…it is hard to believe that they can be this old. These were two of my favourite pieces.  The Mary on the left is from1300 and is larger than life size, while the second Virgin Mary is from 1500.  Notice how her finger marks her place in the book she was reading when she is surprised by the angel.  She is much smaller, probably about 30 ” tall.  They were both exquisite. This dancing fellow from 1490, is exceptionally animated for such an early carving.  The detail of the hands and drapery in the group of figures was so beautifully done.  I have a heck of a time drawing drapery, and I can’t imagine how anyone can carve it so well.We don’t know what this skeleton astride the lion is about but it was interesting.  Unfortunately most of the signage is only in German,  There is a room full of armour… and another room with models of many towns.  This is Munich in 1580 and we are able to recognize some of the buildings that are still present in modern day Munich! There are enormous detailed tapestries on the wall.  We are amazed at the excellent condition of these tapestries. This small panel from the mid 1500’s is only about 6″ tall and is made with intricately inlaid wood.  It is incredibly detailed. The child’s outfit is from 1547 and the dress from 1630.  I wonder how these have survived all these years.  Their tiny hand sewn stitches are visible and there is some wear and tear but they are really very well preserved. The next room is filled with amazing cabinets.  I love boxes and cabinets with lots of drawers, and I have never seen anything like these.  The coin cabinet of Maximillian I was made for his collection of gold coins.  Each of the rows is a shallow drawer with fitted spaces for the coins.  It is made of ivory, lapis lazuli, silver and enamel, so of course it must have its own storage case!  The case on the right hinges open in the middle so the cabinet can be inserted for safe keeping.

This cabinet was built for the Electress Maria Ana. The ivory cabinet is gorgeous with lapis lazuli panels, but then I walk around to the other side and it is even more beautiful, with silver and enamelling.  This cabinet has 176 drawers and secret compartments for storing precious objects!  Wow! These huge globes were interesting..
and then we walked into the next room with these monumental wooden figures! Don’t you love the faces on these sandals? Downstairs there are several rooms that appear to be taverns.  We aren’t sure, because all the signage here is German.  I think the domed object in the corner is a stove to heat the room.Back upstairs, there is gallery of about 1,000 ivory objects and I wonder how many elephants died so these could be created?  This ivory carving was one of fifty or so.  The background sky is so thin that the light shines through it. The Rape of Proserpina on the left is carved in ivory, and the porcelain centrepiece on the right depicts Neptune being drawn by seahorse and tritons.  They were both completed in the mid 1700’s.We visit a gallery with elaborate table settings.
I thought this tapestry was particularly colourful and beautiful.  Notice the details in the close up of the pelican. Some of the musical instruments on display are rather strange.  Bob is wondering how to play the double layer of 19 strings on this one…  and check out the crazy wind instruments. There is a wonderful display of clothing from the mid 18th century.  Even the pet monkey had stylish togs. But take a look at the undergarments women wore!   I love doors and this museum has many.  The front door opens automatically when we approach.  Seems weird for such an ancient door. We walk along the river on our way to Maximillianstrasse, where all the fancy expensive shops are located. On the way, a firetruck pulls up and the firemen check behind bushes and in garbage cans, then drive away.  We wonder what they are looking for. We window shop where the wealthy people shop! The two outfits on the left are only 42,400.00 euros!   The red outfit is only 26,300 euros!  At today’s exchange rate that is over $100,00!  

The stores are closed so they only leave the ‘cheaper’ watches in the windows.  Notice the empty stands for the more expensive ones. We pass more very loud, very energetic Chilean protesters on our way home.

Tierpark Hellabrunn, the Munich Zoo

Day 62, Saturday, October 26, 2019

It is a beautiful, sunny, warm day and we are going to the zoo!  It is 20 Celsius!

The Munich Zoo is a Geo-Zoo. As described on their website: “Hellabrunn is not a zoo in the classical sense. It is more of a nature preserve inhabited by animals that live in especially large, structured enclosures. Thanks to an extensive array of ditches and a natural landscape design, the visitor can enjoy the wonderful and unobstructed view of animals that could normally only be obtained on safari.”   I love giraffes, and there were five of them at this zoo. I spent a bit of time sketching one of them while he was busy eating his lunch.  The Meerkats live next door to the giraffes.  This fellow was very busy checking out all the people who were checking him out.
There are lots of birds here. This is the first time I have seen a hornbill  perched in a tree.  They usually walk along the ground.  This Abyssinian Ground Hornbill is a huge bird, about one metre in length and weighing about four kilograms. The Northern Bald Ibis is a very strange looking bird.  They are in a huge aviary with lots of other birds that we walk through.These beautiful Rose Pelicans were busy preening and enjoying the sunshine. We check out a building with lots of different little colourful birds and I didn’t even notice that there was no glass between us and the birds until Bob pointed it out! This is the bat cave, and yes it is full of flying bats, and we walk right into the cave with them!  When I first entered the cave a bat brushed by my hand and startled me.  I hadn’t realized that they were flying all about.  It was almost impossible to take a photo, they move so very quickly and it was quite dark.  The bats are just shadowy blurs in this photo, where they come to feed on fruit hanging fro the ceiling. We move from the tiny bats to this massive Indian Rhino.  This is the first time we have seen an Indian Rhino and they are quite different from the African Rhino.  I loved the way his skin forms armour-like plates.  I absolutely had to try to draw this fellow.  He moved about a bit but was quite a good model!

While I was drawing, I heard a lot of commotion. The Siberian tiger nearby who was roaring and making a lot of noise.  He sure does have huge teeth! The Munich Zoo has a lot of different primates.  This chimpanzee was busy using a stick as a tool to get food out of a box.  He was very possessive of his stick and kept it close at all times.This fellow was showing off swinging to and fro on ropes and had a huge crowd watching him…
but this laid back guy just wanted to take it easy.I always think that the gorillas are watching us as much as we are watching them.  They seem so intelligent and always rather sad. This Sumatran Orangutan mother and her twins were hilarious.  The youngsters would not leave her alone no matter what she did.  They were hanging on to her and pestering her even when she tried to hide in a corner.  As she walked away, one of her youngsters grabbed hold of her hand and slid along the floor behind her.  It just made me laugh.
We waited to see the lions being fed, expecting it to be quite exciting… but it consisted of the two males being separated and then thrown a couple dead plucked chickens.  The lions took their food to a private spot so we couldn’t see them chowing down. We checked back a while later and I said that they would probably be sleeping after their meal.  Here they are, looking very happy and content, and yes, they were sleeping. The elephants were quite far away so I zoomed in for a photo. There were several kinds of penguins.  The Humboldt Penguins live on the coast of Peru and Chile and don’t mind being warm.  The Emperor, and the Rock Hopper Penguins, however, like it cold and they had their own refrigerated area.The Ring Tailed Lemur from Madagascar holds his long tail straight up in the air when it travels on the ground so that everyone in the group can stay together.  That must be quite the sight! We watched this tortoise take forever to climb this tiny little incline.  It was really hard work for her and I so wished I could have just reached in and given her a little bit of help. There was great excitement at the Hamadryas Baboon enclosure.  Lots of screaming and shrieking noises.  It appeared that several of the big males were attacking one of the other baboons. When these four big males come running everyone else clears out, getting away from them as quickly as they can.The other baboons sit on top of the big rocks to watch what is going on from a safe distance.  It was quite something to see and hear.  They are very noisy and it sounded like they were killing one of their own, but we didn’t actually see anyone hurt. Perhaps it was lots of posturing and bluffing?
We see lots of interesting animals, including a Maned Wolf, a Darwin’s Rhea, a Capybara and a Red River Hog.   The Nyalas are beautiful with their striking white stripes and the male is much darker with long yellow-tipped horns. I always love the zebras.  They were mostly farther away but this beauty came close enough for a photo. Not sure that we have ever seen a Reeve’s Muntjac or a Kiang before. Now these are called European Elk, but they sure look like moose to me.  Google tells me this is what a moose is called in Europe.  Interesting little fact. This polar bear had a huge enclosure with a big water area as well as a big grassy, treed area, but it chose to sit in this corner.  Something in the area next to him caught his eye and his reflection was caught in the glassed part of his cage. We are almost finished our visit when we see a crowd of people and go check what they are looking at.  A Linnaeus Two Toed Sloth was making his way across a rope just above everyone’s heads.  It was quite exciting to see him up so close, and yes, they do move incredibly deliberately and very slowly! Now, this was something to see!  This tall slide is in one of the zoo’s many playgrounds. Did you notice all the kids inside the structure?  They are climbing up to the top so that they can slide down.  The inside of the tower is like a giant jungle gym, only really high! There are no safety features of any kind, just lots of little kids climbing way up high on these logs inside the tower.  This is something that we would never see at home due to safety concerns and liability issues.  The kids were all having a great time though! The zoo closes at 6:00 and we are one of the last to leave.  It was an absolutely lovely day.

Here are my zoo sketches… and my metro sketches.

IKEA, Munich

Day 61, Friday, October 25, 2019

Bob visited the ESO Supernova Planetarium today and I stayed home.  He said it had lots of information about the new observatory being built on a high mountain in Chile, but he didn’t take any photos.

After supper we went to check out the Munich IKEA.  It is only a short bus ride from our apartment and we were curious if it was the same as our IKEA at home.

What do you notice about these room displays? We thought that the rooms weren’t staged as well as our IKEA at home.  The rooms seemed cluttered and not as appealing as the IKEA displays we are used to.