Vienna, day 2October 10, 2019 in Austria ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C
The Hapsburg family ruled the Austro Hungarian Empire for nearly 650 years, which is one of the longest of any dynasty. It certainly gave them plenty of time to build palaces and other major structures. One of these is the Schönbrunn Palace just outside Vienna which they used as their summer retreat . The best-known inhabitant was Maria Theresa who spent her later years in seclusion there following the death of her husband.
Today it is one of Vienna's major tourist attractions. Crowd numbers are strictly controlled and we were given a precise time slot when we had to be there. Our very informative and chatty guide from the previous day, Wolfgang was our guide this time too. Broadly speaking Schönbrunn is built in the style of Versailles with its palace and gardens though it is on a somewhat smaller scale. The place was one of the busiest we'd been to, though evidently this was nothing compared to what it is like in the height of the season.
Both the palace and the gardens are impressive, and it would have been good to have wandered round for a bit longer but we were on a tight schedule.
On the way back a few of us elected to be dropped off in the city and to find our own way back. By then it was about 1 o'clock and with the ship due to sail at 3.45pm we had no time to do anything too ambitious. In the end the two of us wandered round town for a bit, grabbed some coffee and cake then headed back to the ship via the Metro. The consequences of missing the boat don't bear thinking about and we didn't want to leave anything to chance.Read more