Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Tuesday 25 June 2013


A day and a half allowed a sample of the Viktualienmarkt, some historical monuments, several samples of Augustiner, some bemusement at the folk costumes on sale, and an inspection of the Deutsches Museum.

Here there were examples of all sorts of technology, from different demonstrations of the power of electricity (artificial lightning strikes, and a man hoisted aloft in a Faraday cage while being zapped with some unimaginable voltage), to engines of all sorts (sinister as well as beneficial) and a whole gallery of musical instruments (I could fancy a piano harp, but they also have the most bonkers-looking set of bagpipes).

All too soon it was time for a quick and smooth train ride to Innsbruck, a journey mildly enlivened by the volubility of a lady who found her reservation worthless in the face of the fine old art of sitzfleischreservierung (once summed up to my mother in the North of England - I'm imagining an Ena Sharples type of matriarch here - as "It's bums saves seats, not bags") - and by the sight of this inflatable leering over a fence at the passing trains, bouncing merrily in a way that not only indicated he was in use as intended, but at first glance might have got a human arrested.

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