Wed - Sep 18
At 6:30am the sky was blue, the sun was rising and brilliant and the forecast was for it all to go downhill at 8am. Sure enough, it did. Clouds moved in and the only sun and blue sky was in the distance. But they did say that by noon rain chances would be nil, but the clouds would stay and the temperature remain in the low to mid 50's. So we modified our plans and did Schonbrunn Palace in the morning.
Good choice as once we got in, and it was raining, we could see the crowds arriving and by the time we left it was a zoo. We opted for the shorter tour, about an hour. You can buy the Imperial tour that covers about 25 rooms, and other tours that cover more rooms and museums but we were getting museumed out so we opted for the shorter tour.
As usual royalty live like, well, Royalty. Gold on everything. Porcelain and silverware everywhere. And there is no dinner just lying about on the couch watching TV.
Still it was an impressive view into the years before and after World War One, life before electric and modern plumbing, and the decorum of life growing up Royal.
We then went over to the Carriage Museum. This is where they kept the Cadillacs of those time, even if they were pulled by horses. Showy yes, and beautiful works of art, but they also served the purposes of transportation and Royal pomp and circumstance.
We had lunch in their restaurant, walked a bit and took some pictures, even if drizzling while the sun was trying to brighten the sky, and then got the train to our second objective, the Naschmarkt.
The market has existed since 1898 and is known as the place to get exotic foreign foods. We agreed and were it not for baggage allowances and restrictions would have brought home lots of unique fruits, cheese and other munchies. The place runs for about 10 blocks or so and on Saturdays expands into a gigantic flea market. It ends at a major Platz where we hopped another train, then changed to a trolley, and went to the Belvedere Palace, our last destination.
Belvedere is filled with lots of Medieval art, 15C religious stuff, an Impressionist collection as well as a Realist section, and a room devoted to Gustav Klimt, a leader of the Vienna Secession movement. At one point he was accused of creating 'pornographic' art, and now his works hang in museums all over Vienna. We really like his art, most it containing beautiful women in erotic poses.
By now we had had enough. It was getting near 5pm, Karen's cold, while not really bad, still was tiring, though Mike's is much better, so we hopped two trams and ended back at the hotel.
After resting for a bit we decided to just eat at the hotel restaurant since we were both not up for a busy evening and had to pack for our final night in London.
This will be our last blog. We hope you have enjoyed following us as much as we have enjoyed our travels from Germany to Austria. We had only 3 days of rainy weather out of our 18 days so we can't complain. We've thoroughly enjoyed everyplace we've been but are looking forward to getting home and "relaxing"!
Karen & Mike