Danke, Wien

Several days after my trip to Vienna, I still find myself saying ‘danke’ when buying coffee. Clearly, Austria has made an impression!

I, along with some 10,000 other scientists, visited Vienna last week to attend and present my work at the European Geosciences Union meeting. The meeting itself was a blur of new faces, new scientific results, and late night karaoke with new friends. In other words, exactly what I’d hoped for.

Vienna itself also lived up to expectations; an abstract collision of grandiose and imperialistic buildings, since reclaimed for public use largely in the form of mind-blowing cafĂ©s, freakishly efficient public transport, and widespread but often light-hearted graffiti. The centre piece of the city (in my humble opinion), was, wait for it…

… the Natural History Museum! Much like the one in London, and just the week before in Stockholm, the NHM in Vienna blew me away. I went three separate times, always failing to get around the whole thing whilst excitedly discussing the exhibits with a friend. I practically drooled over the meteorite display, which contained most of the samples I’ve been working on in my PhD (including old-faithful, Chelyabinsk!), and even met up with the museum’s meteorite curator himself – Ludovic, a luminous fellow who has risked life and limb for the cause.

I hope to come back soon, for science or a holiday. How wonderful it is, after years of going in covid-circles, to be travelling again. According to the intellectual graffiti artists of Vienna, ‘METABOLISM IS OVER’ (see below…), but here’s hoping my science-fuelled trips to Europe are only just getting started!

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