In July, the 2015 conference for SMBE (Society for Molecular Biology & Evolution) was held at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, Austria. Normally, such a conference would have little impact on me, but several of our friends from Tom’s Melbourne Uni days were going to be attending so he signed up as well. In the end, we had a mini-reunion with two friends who’ve been living in Vienna for almost 8 years and are about to move back home to Melbourne with their infant daughter; another couple who are now living in Leipzig, Germany; and another friend who is now based in Sydney.
It was a spectacular treat to have the seven of us together for a huge catch up, particularly in such a beautiful city. The weather, unfortunately, was beastly hot which made sightseeing and exploring really difficult, and sleeping almost impossible.
Nevertheless, while Tom and the others attended the conference talks, I was out and about finding cafés and wandering around museums and galleries. Some of the highlights included:
- Leopold Museum: excellent Schiele and Klimt collections.
- Natural History Museum: a tremendous museum full of interesting things around every corner – minerals, animals, plants… you name it, they probably have a specimen!
- Albertina Gallery: an incredible collection of collections featuring Monet, Picasso and while we were there, a very moving tribute to Lee Miller’s photography.
- Winter Palace: a beautiful building with a classical collection of artwork.
- Curry Insel
- Rathausplatz: food and drinks in a park, biergarten-style (summer only, i think)
- 25Hours Hotel:
The weirdest thing was actually speaking German again. I kept getting confused between French, English and German and it really took me a few days to adjust and be a bit more confident in what I was saying. And then of course, we left! But leaving was just the start of a new adventure…
You can see all the photos from this trip here on flickr.