We had some light rain yesterday which really cut through the heat here, bringing today’s high down to a comfortable 26°C/78°F after several days of 35°C/95°F. The prediction for the rest of our week here is sunny and 29°C/84°F, which is at the upper end of pretty perfect.
After a couple of days of doing not much at all except reading, going to the farmers’ market that sets up right under our windows on Saturdays, and having Brazilian beef burgers in the Naschmarkt (why not?), we headed back outside today to wander around another of the parks opened up to the public by the Hapsburgs, this one in 1779.
We have previously toured the palace itself (Episode 87 – Postcards from Vienna ) and the Schönbrunn Zoo, so today enjoyed the “free” option of simply strolling around the glorious gardens. The park is only about 4km from our apartment, which translates into a 40 minute journey involving 2 Undergrounds and a 15 minute walk. Google Maps indicates we could walk the entire distance in only 20 additional minutes, but it’s not a scenic enough route to make the extra time and exertion worthwhile.
We took a quick detour from the Underground station to tour the train station designed by architect Otto Wagner specifically for Emperor Franz Josef to use when coming to Schönbrunn via the brand new Austrian metro train system. It really is a stunning art deco building; too bad the Emperor used it exactly twice. It’s also too bad it couldn’t have been incorporated into the modern station.
On our way to the Schönbrunn Park entrance, we noticed this lovely hotel, with a really interesting entrance, and the sign indicating that Thomas Alva Edison lived there in 1911. I wonder if he met the Emperor and Empress.
“Schön” in German means pretty or beautiful, and “Brunnen” is a spring or fountain, so it’s only fitting that this park was named after the artesian well on the property that supplied water to the court, and then filled with gorgeous fountains.
Ted took wonderful pictures on both our other visits, and more great shots today. It’s just such a picturesque and awe-inspiring place.
One of our favourite features on the grounds is the Neptune Fountain at the base of the baroque garden and the bottom of the Gloriette hill. The water got turned off while we were there, but fortunately not before Ted captured some wonderful images.
Just rambling around allowed us to discover areas we hadn’t ventured into before, and really get to appreciate how vast the park is. It even has a modern fitness club with pool and spa hidden away near the east side of the property, which local residents can enjoy for a daily entry fee or join with an annual membership.
13,000 steps. Many interesting places. One fresh strawberry ice. As I finish writing this, a live band is playing really good Spanish salsa-tempo music in the public square outside our window, to the delight of those outside in the cafés and in the park, and I am dancing in my seat.
Another happy day.