Vienna – Music and Death

Vienna is a cool place for fans of music and cemeteries. On our bike tour we saw monuments to Johann Strauss, Franz Schubert, Beethoven, Brahms, and Bruckner –

The Vienna Central Cemetery (Wiener Zentralfriedhof) is a few miles out of town, a quick Uber ride away if you don’t want to figure out the buses. If you can decipher the map or just wander around long enough you’ll find Group 32A, final resting place of Ludwig Van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, Franz Schubert, and Johann Strauss.

Vienna cemetery – Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Strauss

There’s also a monument to Mozart (who died in 1791 and was buried in a pauper’s grave in the St. Marx Communal Cemetery).

While you’re at it, you can find modern composer Arnold Schönberg (Group 32C), Mozart’s rival (in the movie Amadeus if not in real life) Antonio Salieri (grave 54 along the outer wall of the cemetery), and a nice little honorary grave to Austrian musician Heinz Neubrand.

Also, remember the weird 80s hit Rock Me Amadeus by Falco? His real name was Hans Hölzel and he was buried in the Vienna Central Cemetery after he died in a car crash in 1998 (grave 64 in Group 40).

All over town you will see Mozart chocolates (Mozartkugel) for sale. You almost can’t help buying a few but please try to resist. They are filled with pistachio marzipan, which tastes like powdered bones.

Mozart candies – not recommended

Instead, spend your hard-earned euros on the most amazing gummy candies you’ll ever try, at Bärenland –

Bärenland Gummi Shop

Favorite flavor: Rote Grütze.

London 2018

Got in some touristing during a business trip to London –

  • Oxford city tour and countryside bike tour
  • Lots of tourist sites in London, including As You Like It at Shakespeare’s Globe, The Churchill War Rooms, and the Tower of London
  • Windsor Castle

A few of the many photos below –


Yellowstone 2018

Reunion time! We explored a new (to us) part of Yellowstone National Park this time: Yellowstone Lake. We stayed in cabins near the Lake Lodge. It was 4th of July weekend, but we didn’t notice the crowds until we stopped at Old Faithful on the way out.

An amazing hike in the area is Storm Point Trail. I felt like I was in Ireland with grassy hills and steep cliffs along the water. And we saw a yellow-bellied marmot yawning on a rock.

Over the years I’ve seen a few bears in the distance, but never up close. This time we had front-row seats to a female grizzly foraging and crossing the road in front of us.

Here’s the video slide show –

And more photos –

Johannesburg and Pretoria


I fell a little behind in documenting the safari from October. We spent a couple of days in Johannesburg and a day in Pretoria. The different branches of government in South Africa are located in separate cities, so Pretoria is the administrative (executive branch) capital, Cape Town is the legislative capital, Bloemfontein is the judicial capital, and Johannesburg is the largest city. It was interesting to spend a day in Johannesburg and get one perspective on the country followed by a day in Pretoria to get a very different perspective.

You can watch the video slideshow version or browse through way too many photos or just go about your life without doing either.

Long drive from MalaMala (near Kruger National Park) to Johannesburg, via the loosely-defined Panorama Route (God’s Window, Bourke’s Luck, Graskop, etc.)

Giant spider in our AirBNB –

Menacing rain spider in our AirBNB

Bike tour of Soweto with Lebo’s

Apartheid Museum, Constitution Hill, the Zoo, LDS Temple, etc.

Pretoria, including Voortrekker Monument, Kruger House, Church Square, City Hall, Union Buildings, Cullinan Diamond Mine area, and a delicious braai (barbecue) with our hosts

And a few straggler photos just to make this page take forever to load –