Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Big day out.

When is the last time you spent a day at a theme park? Not as a young child, but as an adult. When you are a kid, you don't consider the logistics of such an event and just run around overstimulated by all the bright colours and neon lights, hyped up on fairy floss and dagwood dogs. However, as an adult, there is a lot more planning involved. What attractions do you want to see? How many attractions can you fit in? Where will you have lunch? What else do you need to bring? How will you get there? When is the last public transport? How much will it all cost? What snacks do I need to bring etc etc etc. And the list is endless if you are taking children with you. At the end of the day, you feel absolutley exhausted and need another day off just to recover. Yesterday was one of these days.

On Sunday, I had a race near Vienna, so we decided that Emily would come along and we would stay an extra day and spend Monday as tourists before catching the train back to Munich. Monday began at 5.30am. Emily was keen to make the most of of short time in Vienna so we were up for an early walk before breakfast. During this time, we checked out the Volksgarten, a huge church I have forgotten the name of, the Rathaus, Nationale Bibliotek, Mozart monument, Gates of the Heroes (where the Romans would return from victorious battles), the National Museum and a plethora of statues and other grand buildings.

After breakfast, we had around 6hrs to fill and rather than wonder around aimlessly, we decided to spend our time in one place, so that we could explore it thoroughly. The place we decided on was the Schonbrunn Castle.

Schönbrunn Palace served as the summer residence for the last imperial family of Vienna. Today it is a VERY popular tourist attraction with numerous things to see and do. So many, in fact, that we had to limit ourselves to just five...

The first was a tour of the palace state rooms. Upon entry, you receive an audio guide which you hold to your ear as you walk through the rooms to hear the explanations of each one. This made it look like everyone was talking on a mobile phone as they walked around. There were 40 rooms in total on the tour and every one was different. Unfortunately, photography was not allowed and although I tried to take some sneaky ones, they turned out too blurry because I couldn't hold the camera still for long enough. So here are some examples from elsewhere...

Next, we made our way to the Private Garden beside the Palace. The picture says it all.

Following this we crammed in lunch at the restaurant at the entrance to the Zoo within the palace gardens before making our way to the Gloriette at the top of the hill in the gardens behind the palace.

Then on the way back down, we stopped at the garden maze, which to my surprise, was far more complicated than I first thought. I even resorted to trying to take photos over the top of the hedges in attempt to get an idea of where I had to go.

Finally, we went to the one thing that Emily had been looking forward to all day. The Apfelstrusel demonstration. Here, they demonstrated how to make apple strusel and even gave their tried and tested recipe. I was more concerned with the free samples.

Following this, it was time for our six hour train ride back to Munich. I was exhausted and slept well on the train ride. We arrived home at 11pm and crashed into bed. Today, I am still exhausted and need a weekend to get over the weekend. The crazy thing is, we only did the classic tour which took 6hrs - the Gold Tour takes 2 days!!

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