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Vienna, VII

August 26, 2011

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Wednesday, August 24 – Schonbrunn

Schonbrunn, the summer palace of the Hapsburgs, is one of Vienna’s must-sees, if you’re into the aristocracy and its excesses. Above you can see the entrance to the palace and its famous garden and tiergarten (zoo). What you can’t see is the 92 degree heat. I drank more water than any day since we’ve been in Europe.

Peggy wanted to tour the royal apartments, and I didn’t, so I was free to explore the gardens out back. Of course, once Peggy was done with the apartment tour, we did it all over again. I’ll be brief.

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A shot of the Neptune fountain, which stands at the foot of the flower garden. I should say that the garden itself also includes extensive wooded areas on either side of the formal garden.

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The fountain closer up, and the area just behind, which is apparently everyone’s favorite place for a picture.

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It does indeed offer the best view of the garden and palace.

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At the top of the hill behind the fountain is the Gloriette, originally a dining hall.

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It now contains a cafe, and the wings on either side provide a rewarding view for those who have trudged up the hill.

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Taken from the pool in front of the Gloriette, this gives you some idea of the sprawl of Vienna, which extends far, far beyond the tourist Vienna of the center city.

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On the west side of the garden, just below the Gloriette, is the zoo, which we skipped, and below that a wooded park, with fountains and walkways. One of its most interesting features is the Palmenhaus, a botannical garden completed in 1882. Awesome in the best sense of that word, what steampunk would be if it had money.

Yet another Cultural Note:

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“Handy” is the European term for cell phone. Really.

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