Saturday, August 31, 2013

Euro Trip Day 10: Vienna

Vienna suddenly became more interesting when I knew that the park with Mozart statue was located here. And that became the first destination of the day. The park was bigger and nicer than what I expected. Plenty of trees which makes it have a rather nice forest-y feeling and there is even a lake. However, I was quite disappointed as many of the statues are of people whom I don't know. And surprise.. that famous golden statue of the guy playing a violin is actually Johann Strauss!! Not Mozart!! Haha.. Mozart's territory is at Salzburg and not in Vienna.

That famous Strauss' bronze monument. Pity the sun was not in a favourable position :(
As we walked back to the train station to go Schonbrunn Palace, I saw a map and there was actually a Beethoven statue nearby. Well, Beethoven is more famous so since we were already there, I insisted that we should see him. Haha.. It was not exactly near as it took us about 10mins from Stadtpark. Poor Beethovenplatz is located near a carpark. The place is not exactly a park but his statue is much bigger than those statues in Stadtpark. Nothing impressive but who cares.. Another landmark of Vienna ticked off my list lol.
Beethoven statue at Beethovenplatz
We continued to our next destination: Schonbrunn Palace. It was quite a walk from the nearest train station and seeing the number of tourists along the way already made my head spinning. My mood immediately swang to the low side as I hate to have strangers in my photos. Not to mention the weather which reminded me of my French-fried days in Paris. My father added to my irritation with insisting on taking a family photo using the timer. Jeez.. why couldn't we just approach a fellow tourist to help us!
The gate of the Schonbrunn Palace
The queue for entrance tickets already snaked by the time we arrived and the ticket machines were out of order too. I hate queueing so I did not mind not going inside. My dad insisted on going inside as he would like to bring my mum in. Well as long as it was not me queueing, I didn't care. I went to the souvenir shop and bought another pair of coins. The coins were rather expensive here, 5 Euro instead of the usual 2 Euro, because there were Swarovsky (don't know real or not) decorations. I also did a bit of reading of the history as I was totally unaware of Viennese royal history. In fact, I never knew there was an Austrian kingdom in the past or that the famous Maria Antoinette of France is actually from Austria.

My dad was hungry and wanted to buy sandwiches from the cafe. He asked me what I wanted so I just picked and chose. The next thing I heard from my mum was that he was angry. He wanted me to help him buy the sandwiches etc. Jeez.. I was with my sister when she was near the ticket counters already. Seriously, what the heck with the sudden "boss" syndrome wanting to be served sia -_-"

I find the palace tour to be rather interesting despite my lack of knowledge of history and the fact that photography was forbidden. The audio guide performed its role rather well. There were a few interesting things which caught my attention: 1) Why are the beds so small? I thought the Westerners were rather tall people.. I don't think I can even fit into those beds. 2) How are those windows able to protect the inside of the palace from cold winter? 3) I am so jealous of the paintings of the royal members. I would also love to have my own face painted that way. Haha..

While touring the palace, I saw people taking photos with olden days royal costumes and hairs but how come I did not get the chance to do that leh :'( Haiz..

My sister told me that the gardens were great, especially since phototaking is allowed there. The garden really sprawls across huge area. Just outside the palace, it is a open area with 16 statues lining on each side of it. There are many gardens, and even a zoo, behind these statues. At the end of the statues, it is the Neptune Fountain. After the fountain, it is a gentle slope with Gloriette on top of it.
Back view of the palace as soon as we stepped out to the garden
Neptune Fountain
Don't ask me why the colour of the water is like that
It was a dilemma whether to walk that far to the Neptune Fountain or even to reach Gloriette given the scorching sun. My main concern was whether my body or my sister could take it. Not funny if one of us fainted because of the heat or something. Haha.. Since I did not want to return to this place anymore, I decided to satisfy my curiosity to explore right to the end and to be on top of that iconic structure. Nothing fantastic about the view from top there but I felt a sense of pride and achievement. Lol.
The Palace viewed from the top of Gloriette
There were many other smaller gardens but there was no way and energy for us to visit every one of them. My sister only recommended one, the nearest to the palace, which she said was the best. I shall not comment whether it was good or not since I am not into flowers and gardens. Lol. The name is Crown Prince Garden so not suprising if that is the best one. Haha..
Crown Prince Privy Garden
I was honestly very tired after all the walking and I wanted to go home already. My dad still wanted to walk around. Sigh.. We went to Maria-Theresien-platz and it was sad that Maria Theresa's statue was under restoration. The Platz was in between 2 gorgeous museums but we did not go in since it was already rather late. We continued walking through various Platz, which I can't remember, until we reached back to Stephansplatz. Sigh.. and the shopping continued. Grr..
Maria Theresa statue
We ended the day with a dinner at a Chinese restaurant, which again was not very nice. Bleah.. We also went to an ice cream shop to get our Sachertorte. On top of that, I was tempted to Tiramisu and Apple Strudel too. I knew it would be too much for my tummy but since it was our last night in Vienna, I might as well enjoy Viennese delicacies to the max. Haha... Ironically, only the tiramisu was fantastic.. and tiramisu is an Italian delicacy lol.
An intriguing clock we found at Stephansplatz

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