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Palaces and Palaces In Vienna


Admiring The Royals Palaces

The Royal Family of Austria has a long history and it would have been an omission not to talk about the Palaces of Vienna and especially the one just outside Vienna, The Shonbrunn Palace, which is today a major tourist attraction.

Shonbrunn Palace with Vienna Beyond

Any visit anywhere becomes immensely better in good company and here I am with my best friend Peter!! Grew up together and stayed as close as possible in London. Art is one extra connection for both of us.

The gardens at Shonbrunn are great and more will come here tomorrow about this magnificent Palace its, contents and its spectacular gardens that stretch for far and away!

Shonbrunn Palace as it happened!

Early morning and the breakfast in the Sun Susi is as always good, even though for a five start hotel I expected a little more. Mind you, I could not eat much as my friend Peter holds me back. No more sweets, no more this , no more that! His concern and mine is diabetes and sugar levels. Easy boy, think of the mind and soul not stomach and food!

As the palace is just outside Vienna, we had to take the train, underground for me or subway or metro of Vienna. It looks new from the outside and it proves to be that new once under the ground. Tickets easy to get, machines and computers are very friendly these days. Surprisingly the tickets are far cheaper than London, where I must say the underground fares are too high for anybody’s liking. Come on Boris Johnson, you can do something about these expensive fares of London.

Clean, new and frequent as it proved, the train arrives and the trip to Shonbrunn begins. It is a smooth ride, it a pleasant enough ride and the change to another line was as simple as it seemed. First time on Vienna’s metro and all went smoothly. I cannot believe it, as I usually get lost and my wife starts laughing and getting angry with me. Not this time, she is the leader and general and within forty minutes we arrive at the palace just outside the capital city of Austria.

Beautiful day, sun shining and warm!! Perfect!!

Lots of visitors from all over the world including Americans, Japanese, Chinese and Europeans of any description I must admit are walking to the palace. This place must be very popular, I conclude. It looks big. it looks well kept but I cannot see much yet until we get to the entrance of the palace.

Yes, it is big, it stretches across and beyond the gates. I can its famous gardens that my wife has been talking about all along. My interest and my friend Peter’s is the art in the palace. Will it be of any interest or will it be a disappointment? Hard to beat the art of Klimpt and Schiele in any museum is my view. Photos taken, people going about and the tickets to get in are rather expensive for what is on offer, we will find out soon. Waiting is an anathema for me. Immpatient as always, I cannot wait to get the tickets in the stuffy room. No air condition!!

Straight into the building and the crowds are let in in a very organised manner and in small groups. I like this , I say to myself. Not like the Sisi Museum where we had to push and shove in certain rooms and galleries. I sense that the summer residence of the Royals of Austria is nothing as lavish as the Palace in town. The walls, the stairs, the deco, the furnishings speak of a retreat rather than a loving home taken good care of.

Room after room and no art to like but rooms of furniture and a few decorative, old master paintings that do not do for me. It is very interesting to see how the Royals lived in this palace compared to the last one. Huge portraits of the family, reception rooms this and that and one gets the feeling of Royalty but not the splendour I expected. Perhaps I have high expectations and forget that palaces like this one go back centuries and are secondary too.

Disappointed? Sort of, but, I will never regret coming to the palace to see and compare residences and still I have not seen the gardens, the famous gardens and surroundings of the palace. Soon enough we are out and the weather is absolutely gorgeous. I am wondering whether I am in the Med or somewhere in North Africa. The temperature is about 25C. Wouuuu , this is Vienna, not Athens or Marakesh!!

Out in the gardens and fresh air and plenty of sunshine. The carriages go up and down and they are dangerous. Watch do not run us down! So many carrying tourists about and giving the place a small taste of how it must have been in those days of old and especially the 1850-1918 period.

The Gardens

The palace proved to be below expectations as far as I was concerned. It was up to the gardens to lift my spirits and my hopes for better and the weather was ominously favourable for that. Starting with the beautiful carriages going up and down the gardens in front of the palace, I started feeling that something better would be hiding. I was not disappointed. As soon as we turned to our left of the palace we found ourselves in the magnificent gardens of the Shonbrunn.

It was not full blossom yet but that little that was there filled my lungs with perfume of the most deliciuous. In the gardens, well kept I must say, and soon enough we found ourselves in the roses arch that was ready to bloom. I cannot imagine the beauty once that happens. Have a look at the arch yourselves here and the acacia blossom that had an intoxicating sweet smell..

We stood for hew minutes admiring this creation and imagining how it would be in another month. Onwards we moved and we stopped on several occasions admiring huge statues of Greco-Roman gods such as Apollo, Artemis etc thus ending at the central part in front of the palace where the fountain gave shelter and welcome to the complex I have already given a taste of in another photo.

Thoughtful I am but I had good reasons to think and try to understand how these gardens were put together and how the Greek and Roman civilisations were called upon to give the gardens some more culturl and spiritual fragrance and importance. In that I felt they were very successful.

The tour of the gardens was over but we were exhausted to go back to the train. Besides, not sitting in one of the many cafes and restaurants at the palace would have been an omission. The cafe closest to the gardens was very good and full of tourists enjoying the day. It was indeed a beautiful day and our day at the Shonbrunn proved rewarding and enjoyable!!

I will be back summing up all my experiences but more the art part and artists of Vienna tomorrow!!

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