Caspar, Melchior and Balthazar rang our doorbell on the evening of the fourth January, were invited in to sing their Epiphany songs and collected some money for a good cause. The Three Kings were children dressed as the Magi, and were accompanied by a smiling adult chaperone who was there to answer questions about the purpose of the collection if explanation were needed. The weather became progressively warmer and today, the 6th January was sparkling with cloudless blue skies and clear views of distant mountains, precursors of the Alps, in the distance.
In the Palmengarten inside the Schoenbrunn Park, it was tropically humid and warm with stands of Chinese bamboo, several varieties of giant ferns and blooming displays of orchids, poinsettias and other tropical flowers. The Palmengarten was Emperor Franz Josef’s tropical garden built in the 1880s and consists of three wrought iron and glass pavilions connected by tunnel-like passages. There are three different climate zones, one in each pavilion, ranging from nordic cool to temperate to tropical moist and warm.