Monday 2 February 2009

Ground Hog Day, Viennese Style

Once upon a time,
I had my own personal groundhog.
We passed each other frequently
at the intersection of Democracy Boulevard and Seven Locks Road
(that's zip code 20854 for those in the know).

He would sit by the road, on the Cabin John Creek side,
and give me a regal wave with his right paw.
I wonder if anybody has seen him lately.
Today, perchance, on Groundhog Day?

There is no Groundhog Day in Vienna.
Austrian groundhogs prefer to live the high life,
- high as in high in the Alps -
and not a single one of them would be silly enough
to dig himself up through something like ten feet of snow
to check his shadow on the second day of February.
They rather brew themselves another pot of coffee or tea,
and wait for April showers to wash away the whole white mess.

There being no Groundhogs in Vienna,
therefore no Groundhog Day,
I had to invent my own little weather forecast game:
How about counting cakes instead,
I said to myself when I spotted a little merry-go-round,
ferrying cakes, round and round and round:
If the number of cakes passing is an even one,
winter will soon end!

If on the other hand,
the number is an uneven one
I shall go in and eat that culprit,
to make sure that winter will not continue
for six more weeks!
I was ecstatic about my ingenuity:
I felt like Don Quixote,
ready to saddle Rosinante attack
windmills with my Dulcinea sword cake fork.

A rather dizzying task,
as it turned out:
Those pesky cakes sped by so fast,
I had hardly time to push the shutter release button,
let alone count!
I must confess,
I failed. I failed the quest!

I forgot to count,
absorbed as I was to get ahold of a picture
of each of the cakes to document their number.

The cakes passed by,

and passed again,

and again!
I was so exhausted from not-counting,
I could not even recall anymore whether an even number meant
seven more weeks of winter or instant spring!

I do miss the good old days with my Personal Groundhog:
A look and a light wave of my hand
was all it took back then.


Photographed at:
Aida Café Bognergasse, the snowballs;
and all those cakes, at
Café Weinwurm, Stephansplatz 11,
in the shadow of St. Stephen's Cathedral!


  1. Your writing provides such witty counterpoint to your photos.

    Champagne coloured bubbles light up the world when I visit.

  2. Hmm, that could sound a bit presumptious. I, of course, mean that the visit to your site releases champagne coloured bubbles in my world....

  3. Another charming and fascinating post Merisi. We don't have Groundhog Day in UK either, but a similar version of called St. Swithin's Day (in July) when the weather n that day is supposed to foretell that for the next 40 days.

  4. I'll take counting pieces of cake over a groundhog anyday! Love the photos. They were worth every second of your waiting for the shutter releases!

  5. You've made me quite hungry, lol... and not likely to get this craving satisfied soon ;-)

    I enjoyed your tribute to Mozart, as well!

  6. I like the title in German.

    And who is the artist who dreams up and executes these fantasies of confections?

  7. Yes, counting cakes is a most suitable occupation for a winter's day!

  8. Delicious! I would have a hard time photographing these beauties. I'd instead want to attack them all with my cake fork! :)

  9. I could quite readily adopt this far more sophisticated means of predicting the elements. Sublime. Those creations are all just fabulous!

  10. Cakes trump Groundhogs!!! Thanks for taking the time to photograph all those delicious beauties!

  11. Each one of these pieces of divine sweetness is a work of art! I would have to walk 24 hours a day to keep the pounds off from trying all of those wonderful treats! How do you do it?

  12. Those cakes are so tempting even across the internet!! Sigh.

  13. Very wacky and vonderbar desserts!!!

  14. Very wacky and vonderbar desserts!!!

  15. Epitome of decadence.
    You torture us, you do.

  16. I want to move to Vienna for the desserts and pastries but not for the snow


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