Austria

Stunning Schonnbrunn

Located in Vienna’s 13th District, Hietzing, lies a Palace which was built as a summer residence; with an ulterior motive to outdo the Palace at Versailles. As I was staying in a former Palace myself, I couldn’t wait to find out if Schonnbrunn would be as fancy. My photographer had sorted our transport to our destination, taking the U-bahn from Shottering to to Schonnbrunn. Being an adventursaurus I had other plans and suggested walking instead because Google maps had lied to me several times in previous days. It had only taken 20 minutes to walk to the bottom of Mariahilfe Strasse the previous day. So when Google maps said 1 hour 16 minutes, I believed I could walk it in a shorter time (sadly I was wrong).

1 hour 30 minutes of walking took me past the museumsquartier and onto Austria’s longest shopping street. 3.8 kilometres it is the most shops I have ever seen. The first part of the street feels safer than the latter, the caliber of shop becomes lower as you leave the centre. After a short walk through Auer-Welsbach-Park I finally laid eyes on the palace. One of my favourite things about Vienna is the parks and green open spaces.

The Palace is bigger and a lot more yellow than I imagined it to be. Built as a summer residence in the 1680’s and belonged to the belonged to the Habsburgs until 1918. The Palace has survived wars, widowed empress’ and being paid numerous different shades of yellow. Nowadays the Palace and Gardens are a museum which is worth being visited.

The monumental walk was worth it. The Christmas market and huge tree lies at the front of the building. But, that wasn’t the thing I was most excited about. The gardens and Palm house were top of my visit list. I will admit I had went all the way to the Palmenhaus cafe. Giant mistake number 2. Standing outside the beautiful victorian hothouse brought about the realisation that I had walked 3 kilometres past it! Least I had burned enough calories to have an extra cake.

The gardens are beautifully sculpted and too big to explore in one day. Even though the trees were bare and no flowers were growing the gardens were still beautiful. I even found some friendly ducks in one of the ornamental ponds. I also loved seeing the beautiful Palace in between the carefully placed trees.

The back of the Palace is more beautiful than the front, the view from the staircase takes the eyes over the flower beds to the beautifully sculpted Café Gloriette. I peeped through one of the windows to see some very sparkly chandeliers inside Schonnbrunn, I wonder how long it takes to polish all of the crystal chandeliers.

After a short coffee stop in café residenz, I decided to check out the Christmas market before it got too crowded. It is a pretty big market with some different stalls to other markets.

The whole market smelt of gingerbread and hot chocolate, making it a simply delicious Christmas market. The baubles on sale here were particularly sparkly in the afternoon sunshine. I felt so christmassy whilst here, especially when it started to snow!

After stocking up on gingerbread and enjoying the snowy weather, I headed back to the Innere Stadt before it got dark.

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