Undeterred by the horrible weather, we set out this morning for Schönbrunn. It was the Birthday Boy’s choice and we were happy to go along with it, even though we’d all been here before.
Every time we’ve stepped inside this station, I’ve been amused by the “Hausordnung”, a sign normally seen in the foyer of an apartment building or multiple family house. Whilst my hero bought our tickets for today, I was able to get a little closer to read the rules.
I especially liked the “it goes without saying that:” bit. Because clearly, it did need to be said…
Oh, don’t you just love that font?!
Never mind. In we go. Thank goodness for cloakrooms! Though this is the most visited tourist attraction in the country, there didn’t appear to be vast numbers of people arriving and thankfully, we were able to enjoy a relatively peaceful look around.
I loved the hexagonal wooden setts which were perfect for an entrance hall in this kind of weather.
Sadly, no photos from this point on. But actually, the website gives a good impression and plenty of background information. Still, there’s nothing like seeing things first hand!
(Though I did take one photograph from the ballroom, of the Gloriette, way up there, from where one can enjoy superb views of the city. Apparently.)
We enjoyed our morning and didn’t hurry around, but took our time to absorb the stories and learn a little more about Maria Theresia and her family of daughters. Of course, Sisi features largely too: “a name that has come to encapsulate the enduring myth of this tragic empress”. But the story stretches further, to Marie Antoinette, Marie Louise (who married Napoleon) and Marie Christine whose impressive drawings are there with those of her siblings on the wall of the Porcelain Room. Marie Christine was the lucky one, for being the favourite daughter meant that she could marry for love – even if favoured status in the family resulted in rocky relationships with her sisters!
I paid my own respect to Maria Theresia, choosing the eponymous coffee to go with my Apfelstrudel (mit Schlag!) when we stopped by the cafe to decide on our next move.
Shortly after sitting down, we heard voices singing – the Three Kings had arrived! Of course, this being Epiphany, Caspar, Balthasar and Melchior were on tour, collecting alms and, presumably, marking the doors – an example of which can be seen when we were in Frankfurt recently.
Edward was relieved that they didn’t burst into a rousing chorus of “Happy Birthday”!!
As we left Schönbrunn, we spotted a very soggy figure through the gates. Painted gold, the “performance artist” (for want of a better word) was doing his best to hold an umbrella aloft whilst trying to attract attention. There has to be a better way of making a living, don’t you think?
We walked back to the U bahn, this time to the stop at the other side of the park, passing the “Kaiser Pavilion” which the architect Wagner designed and built in Jugendstil to impress Franz Josef.
Standing on the commoners’ platform gave us a good view of the pavilion, too.
Our next stop was Radetsky Platz, where the Christmas tree chippers were, ermm…chipping Christmas trees. But of course, we hadn’t come to see that.
We had come to see this.
Well, perhaps we hadn’t come to see the building but more of what is inside it. Nevertheless, I don’t think any of us knew quite what to expect.
Hardly a straight line in the place (straight lines are the devil’s work, Hundertwasser thought), there was a notice on the wall in both German and English with the justification.
Of course, I heard hollow laughter and deep sighs from my family…
Again, no photographs of the work, but a web search will produce countless resources and the details of his (rather interesting) life and work! I was delighted to have seen his paintings and drawings first hand and like the work of Klimt, the originals are not served well by reproduction.
We had hoped to go from here to the Hundertwasser Haus but we were wet, the rain simply wasn’t giving up at all and we were all ready for a break. One of us mentioned the thought of a hot bath and that seemed to put the tin lid on the afternoon. By the time we got back to the hotel, it was late afternoon and we were happy to spend an hour or two reading, blogging, relaxing.
Our room was exactly as we’d left it this morning.
So much for my hot bath and plan to slouch. I suppose I could have sung loudly and kept my fingers crossed that no-one would come to service the room whilst I was déshabillée . My hero could have stood guard and turned away any visitors, of course. But towels still wet from this morning’s showers?
Maybe I’ll blog instead.
(The Birthday Boy’s room had been given the full service, thankfully, so he was not similarly inconvenienced!)
I just realised, I haven’t explained the relevance of not accepting callers whilst in the bath. Here is our room. (It’s ok, at least the loo is behind a solid door!)