Visited October 2012
Our second day saw us start off with the closest attraction to us, Schloss Schönbrunn, the former summer residence of the imperial family. Choosing the Grand Tour and a self-guided option, the palace grounds was simply a magnificent sight. And as much as I would have loved to grab many pictures of the great gallery, I can only treasure the sights through memory, as there was many staff stationed all around the palace to ensure that no illegal photos were taken.
After the self-guided palace tour, we moved on to the Great Parterre and the Neptune Fountain, of which at the end stands the Gloriette, up upon a hill. The walk up the hill was pretty tiring, as the slopes were fairly steep. It took us about 15 minutes before we finally got to the top for a nice panoramic view of the palace grounds. And while I did plan to enjoy some nice pastries at Café Gloriette, the effects of breakfast were still at work for me to feel peckish. But for those who are interested, I’m sure it is a good place to chill out, especially on Sunday mornings, where you will be treated with live music.
Schloss Schönbrunn is indeed a huge place, as it also holds many gardens, a Labyrinth and Zoo. As we had many more places to cover, I decided to give up visiting the maze and instead, visit The Crown Prince Garden. It was a choice I did not regret. As luck would have it, there weren’t many people in the garden as it was slightly concealed and located off the main buildings. And even though the garden was fairly small, it was bursting with myriad of colours.
Lunch was a quick bite at Schönbrunner Schloßcafé when I finally got hungry, where we enjoyed a nice cup of coffee with apple pies and almond tarts.
Second on the itinerary was Vienna’s natural history museum, Naturhistorisches Museum Wien. Having once marvelled at the archaic bones of dinosaurs in Australia, I felt that this was something that the Boy had to experience, along with exhibitions of fossils, minerals, vertebrae, mollusc and scary things like microcosms, arachnids and insects.
It seems like I can never get enough of seeing the bones of dinosaurs. In fact, when I was young, I once had a dream of becoming a palaeontologist.
Our next destination was Vienna Hofburg, where we viewed the Imperial Apartments, the winter residence of the imperial family. When we first got there, we were a little confused as to where each building was, though thankfully, we managed to half figure out our way. And as much as we were lost for a little while, I did enjoy looking at the horses as they trudged by carrying tourists in their carriages, though we also had to keep in mind to avoid their pee and poo!
Our last few photo stops for the day was the Rathaus, Burg Theatre and City Hall, all located within walking distance of one another. The Votivkirche unfortunately was under restoration works then.
After running around the entire day, it was time to relax as we tried to find our way to Kursalon Wien for our concert. With assorted compositions of Johann Strauss and Wolfgang Mozart, opera singers, ballet dancers, band musicians and even the conductor entreated us to slapstick comedies that made the entire event a light-hearted one. I must say that it entertained me pretty much, though at times it did not stop me or my Boy from dozing off once in a while. I guess our avid exploration took a toil on us after all.