friday, september 21st, our last day of sightseeing in vienna. there was still so much to see and not enough time to see it all.

we decided to start the day at the schonbrunn palace. after poring over the various maps, i figured that we could easily get there on a train. we liked that idea because we’d be above-ground.

the train ride was nice, picturesque. we got off the train, though, and there was no schonbrunn. according to a map, the palace wasn’t far away. we started walking. and we walked and walked and walked some more. hmm, where was the palace? each step was shaving valuable time off our one last day of sightseeing. we walked past different little streets with shops, and kept walking.

finally, after about a half hour we found it. it wasn’t even the main entrance, it was an entrance somewhere west of the palace itself.

the grounds were beautiful. we almost immediately came across the orangerie, and asked a couple if they spoke english. the guy drawled, “we sure do.” they were from texas.

us at the orangeria

we could have paid to go inside the orangerie, but it didn’t look like it would be worth it. we could see from the outside that it was filled with all kinds of plants. but there were plenty of plants to look at outside.

the trees had all been trimmed in an interesting manner; it was as if they had been shaved on one side.


we walked and walked some more to get to the palace, and all of the grounds were lovely. this is a view of the palace’s back yard.


you know we had to climb all the way to the top of that hill. this is a view from halfway up.

up the hill

at the top of the hill was a restaurant, and lots of people were sitting outside eating. there were these cool statues up there, and i’m sorry kevin only took the one photo of them. i know i have some video of them.


we walked down the hill and toured around some more. we came to a “roman ruin,” built in 1778. it was fashionable to build picturesque ruins back then. it’s funny, because it looks like a real roman ruin. but it’s not.

roman ruin

there was also an obelisk fountain a little farther down the path.


obelisk close up

after walking a lot around the grounds (they were so large that you could a take a little train around the place, making stops at the places we went), we went inside the palace. i’d read that this is the most popular sight in vienna (even though it sure is on the outskirts of vienna), and that the most crowded time was in the morning.

it was morning. it was crowded. there were huge, huge lines to get tickets to tour the apartments inside. i’d read that the apartments were similar to the hapsburg apartments we’d toured on thursday. kevin wanted to leave. i felt that we should take a tour, because we’d come so far.

i did find a shorter line, which was shorter because you could buy a ticket automatically using a credit card. many people from many different countries were having problems making the machines work, but i managed to use the machine. there was a basic tour, which didn’t sound as interesting, and a more extensive tour. on the extensive tour you first had to tour the less interesting parts, but then you’d be rewarded with other, better sights.

there was a wait of at least an hour for the better tour, though. so i got tickets for the basic tour and we didn’t have to wait long, maybe a half hour.

the tour was TERRIBLE. the apartments were, indeed, almost identical to the kind of stuff we’d seen the day before – but the big and incredibly annoying difference is that this tour was CRAMMED with people. a woman who i think might have been italian kept BUMPING me and i just wanted to push her down.

it was like that almost all through the tour, always jammed together with gobs of other tourists. we hadn’t experienced this on any other parts of our whole trip, and we were relieved to finally escape.

we left the palace and finally saw it from the front. the view of the front isn’t actually as interesting as the one from the back. the whole front grounds are covered with white rock, instead of the beautiful grass and flowers in the back.

we stopped at the gift shop and bought…what did we buy? i can’t remember, but i know we bought some stuff.

we headed out the main entrance and there were approximately seven thousand tour buses lined up along the curb. we’d plotted a better way back into the city, and marched past the many buses to get to the underground. it didn’t take nearly as long to get back into the city.

at this point it must have been a little bit after lunchtime. writing this now it seems amazing how much walking we’d already done, especially considering all the walking and rushing around we did all afternoon.

that’s all for now, and there are only a few more photos left.

i must take mollie running, because it’s already 37 degrees and i’m sure it’s going to feel like a heat wave.

mollie is on a diet, by the way. she weighed 57 pounds at the vet. this is VERY FAT, because she’s supposed to weigh somewhere in the 40’s. so she needs to lose about 10 pounds, a huge portion of her total body weight.

we’ve cut way back on giving her treats, have almost completely stopped giving her people food, and she doesn’t complain. and she LOVES to go outside and walk, or better run, so she’s going to be a very happy dog in a couple of minutes.

ok then,

saturday grace.