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Friday, May 20, 2016

Day 17, April 7, Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, Austria

Knowing we would be doing considerable walking on the afternoon tour we stayed on the boat for the morning.  I did take time to arrange the flowers we purchased in the underground yesterday.  Some packing of dirty clothes and souvenirs as the room was getting a little messy.  We do still have about 10 or 11 more days to live in this 135 sq. ft.
Many of the folks on the tour had developed severe respiratory problems. Folks were taken to doctors and took meals in their rooms.  So while the knee may have been slowing me down some, neither of us were ill.  Just moving slower than some but pleased to be still going.  A relaxed breakfast and lunch were followed by boarding a bus for the tour of Schönbrunn Palace.  We were first to the bus for a change so parked ourselves in the front seats.  Join me now for the drive from the river to a summer palace, cause you know that other palace was just so hot!

mass transit everywhere but still plenty of cars

typical street view
Then you look to the right

Love all the detail on buildings

A little Dutch influence on the front.

Schönbrunn Palace underground station

Schönbrunn Palace railroad crossing

more pastel houses with the onion top caps
New or Old upgraded with skylights?  Still pretty.
And we arrive to be greeted by this view:
Schönbrunn Palace as with many of the palaces and residences the interiors could not be photographed.  If you will click here you can see the interiors in 360 beauty including the ceilings.   

We did get to take pictures in the outer hall where the lineage of the palace owners was documented.  But they are too blurry to really read in my photos.

The palace was sumptuously decorated.  It is a childhood home for one Marie Antoinette of let 'them eat cake' fame.  Private quarters and other areas were beautifully adorned as you can see in the 360 tour. Opulence at every turn.  There were a couple of little private rooms that were just shy of cozy.

One of the first rooms we visited was the Grand Hall, a room in which JFK and Khrushchev met during the Vienna Summit of 1961.  Communism vs democracy trying to work out the way the world would be divided.  According to wikipedia, "Although the leaders made no official agreement, they did reach a consensus regarding the future of Laos— cease-fire and ultimate neutralization. This agreement proved to be one of the only accomplishments of the Vienna Summit."

To make certain that babies born to the ruler were legitimate, all births were viewed by the royal court.  A special room with  a king sized bed was appointed with silver and gold threaded linens and spread.  We were not told if teas were held during the labor.  No one asked, either.  I must say the Habsburg dynasty left quite a wake in their lives in this area of the world. And Vienna may be its crowning glory.

Once we had completed the interior tour we were at liberty to explore the well appointed gift shops.  Found key chains for the teen girl and boy soon to be drivers.  A book of 'Imperial Vienna' for us to be able to recall what the name of the places we saw. Now we have time to check out the amazing backyard gardens. This photo is a composite of about ten shots from one location as I turned left to right.

The building is almost half a mile from my camera.  We could have spent a full day just in the gardens surrounding the palace per se.   Click here for a map of the gardens.

This is the side garden to the right of the right wing of the palace.  It, too is a composite.  As well as a couple of a couple of shots from the opposite end.

For these gardens, alone, the trip was worth the bus ride.  These pictures do not do the garden justice.  Some folks hiked to the distant building cause they were younger or more spry.  As with any fairy tale, tine in the garden must come to an end.  Back on the bus and return to the boat for evening departure.  But a few more glimpses of the things that make Vienna a unique destination.

Unusual architecture, statues to warriors, musicians and men of thought fill this ancient city.  Across the Danube is the new Vienna.  We spent no time on that side of the river.  Telephoto lens allow the distant buildings to come closer.

This is the last night for folks on the first part of this Sojourn so there is an evening farewell dinner.  As well as time for photos with the crew.   These folks really did make this a fabulous experience!

We pull away from Vienna and have a few last glimpses of the views.  Another lock to continue our descent toward our next stop, Budapest.

Then suddenly we are out of the city and enjoying the casual views of normal life on the Danube.

farewell cocktail party in the lounge
V for Vienna

And we enjoyed the setting sun from the comfort of the lounge.  Visiting with new acquaintances that will disembark early day after tomorrow morning.

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