Tuesday, September 17, 2013


We woke to sunshine today--and NOT the liquid kind!  It was mostly sunny all day, with not a drop of rain in sight!  We were very happy with that, as our plans for today were to visit The Schonbrunn Palace and Gardens, and the gardens would have not been much fun in the rain.

It was a 45 minute tram and subway journey out to the Palace, which is located on the very outskirts of Vienna.

Schonbrunn Palace was built between 1696 and 1712,  and contains 1,441 rooms.   The Palace,  home to the Habsburg emperors from the 1700's until 1918, covers an area of over 450 acres.  The gardens even contain a zoo, said to be "the oldest zoo in the world".

Here's the main entrance gates to Schonbrunn Palace:

The front of the Palace:

There are two pretty fountains in the huge entrance courtyard:

There were LOTS of people there, and we waited in a long line to get tickets.  We decided to visit the gardens first as the weather was nice.

Garden Entrance:

Pretty small garden at the side of the Palace:

Beautiful floral designs:

Statues in a Classical Greek style line the main garden area:

As we walked by one statue, we noticed a young man working on one of the statue's toes, and it made us laugh---she's getting a pedicure!

There are endless tunnels and paths throughout the gardens, they seem to go on forever:

Looking up towards the "Glorietta" on the hill:
Close up of the huge fountain at the base of the hill:

We could walk through the back part of the fountain--it was a nice view looking down to the Palace:

And here we are behind the fountain, overlooking the Palace and gardens:

We walked up the hill, and there's another pond at the base of the Glorietta, complete with very noisy ducks! 

The Glorietta, built to glorify the power of the Habsburg empire over the years:

The ceilings of the long corridors on either side were very ornate:

I liked these urns with the sssslithery ssssnakes!

As we were walking up the hill we noticed there were people walking around on top of the center part of the building.  Oh yes, something else to climb!

The view from the very top, overlooking Schonbrunn Palace and the beautiful city of Vienna:

After we finished looking around the Glorietta, we walked back down the hill and stopped for lunch at a small cafe in the park, near the entrance to the zoo.  The menu was pretty limited, so we went with a sure bet--we shared a hamburger and french fries.  The burger was REALLY good, the fries were REALLY bad!

After lunch it was time to take a tour of the Palace.  There were several different tours offered, but we chose the "Imperial" tour of just 22 rooms of the Palace.  After about that many rooms they all start to look alike, anyway--so why go through twice that number??  It's pretty easy to get sensory overload in these incredible palaces.

We each were give an audio guide, and we found them to be very helpful in describing the history and details of each room.  I'd love to share some pictures, but there was no photography allowed anywhere inside the palace--darn!  The rooms we saw were beautiful, and much of the original furniture is still in place.  I was VERY tempted to sneak a picture of one especially beautiful inlaid wood floor--it was a very detailed floral design and was just exquisite.

After our tour, we walked out into the front courtyard, where a nice young man from Texas took our picture in front of the Palace.

Here we are!

By now it was 4:30, and as it was a long "trek" back to our apartment, we thought we should call it a day.  Back at our apartment, we packed up our suitcases, picked up the apartment a bit, and relaxed for an hour or so.  

We had talked earlier about having dinner at a nice looking restaurant we'd notice on our tram rides.  It was actually only 3-4 blocks from "home", so about 6:45 we walked down to check out the menu.  It wasn't exactly what we'd expected.  It was more like a neighborhood "bar" that serves food, but we decided it was good enough for us, so we sat down and asked for menus.  Again, they were all in German, so the nice bartender/waiter helped us with translation.  We ordered a bowl of goulash soup,  a plate of weinerschnitzl, and a couple of beers.  The weinerschnitzl was very good!  The goulash soup was "OK", and the beer was just fine.  It wasn't the nice "last dinner in Vienna" that we'd planned, but we didn't leave hungry!

As we were getting ready to leave we realized it was raining, again.  We walked home in the pouring rain, just like our first night in Vienna!  

We're all packed up and ready to go--tomorrow we are catching a 9:30 train to Prague.  It's a 5 1/2 hour journey, and I'm hoping it's not raining when we get there!

Stay tuned for our adventures in Prague.....................


  1. WOW... We could live in that palace and never see one another! It is so neat and clean - beautiful! I would be able to count for you there - kinda like you do for me in Mexico!!!

  2. The palace and floral gardens were beautiful. Liked seeing you two in front of the palace! Beautiful!

  3. Loved seeing ghe pictures of you two. The palace is amazing