Now on to Day 2 in Vienna. I decided I wanted to sleep in that day a little. I was exhausted by all the running around, schlepping from one city to another and sleeping in hostels. Now don’t get me wrong, I love to travel–but squeezing in four places in 9 days is very chaotic.
Nicole and Sarah got up early and left to go visit Schonbrunn Palace. A few hours later, I got out of bed and followed in their footsteps. There was an Easter market (it was actually Easter that very day) in front of the palace, lots of people milling around and… a very long line! Serves me right for sleeping in I guess. I waited over an hour in the freezing cold–I had my hood up around my face and my hands were buried deep in my pockets. The wind was relentless–it was not a fun experience! When I finally got up to the ticket booth, they told me my entrance time wasn’t for another hour! There were so many people visiting they were selling tickets with specific time entrances.
I decided to take advantage of my free hour, buy a sandwich for lunch from a kiosk next to the palace, and wander around the extensive gardens (which meant unfortunately going back out into the cold).
Schonbrunn Palace was the official summer residence for the Habsburg dynasty ruling Austria and Hugary (so this means Franz Joseph and Sisi also lived here–or at least Franz Joseph did, Sisi was usually away traveling). It is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. I might just have to look up how many UNESCO sites I’ve been to now. I feel like I’ve been to a decent amount!
Anyways, without further ado, the gardens of Schonbrunn Palace:
The gardens are huge and I enjoyed walking around them. However, right at the beginning of my walk, I had barely gone twenty feet when a mini blizzard came out of nowhere! It actually snowed in Vienna in April! It didn’t last long and the snow didn’t stick–but it was right at this time that I had been eating my sandwich and I didn’t have gloves. My fingers felt like they were about to fall off, the wind was so icy and brutal! Safe to say I was so relieved when I was finally able to go into the palace and start my tour. It was so nice to get out of the cold!
And some black and white:
After admiring Schonbrunn Palace for a few hours, I decided that the last thing I wanted to visit on this trip was a cemetery. I got on the S-Bahn in the direction of the Zentralfriedhof–aka the “general cemetery.” I was a little confused when I got off because the U-Bahn stop drops you off a ways from the main entrance. But I managed to find it and walked around until the cemetery’s closing time.
One thing to know about this cemetery: it’s freaking HUGE! I wouldn’t be surprised if it were among the biggest cemeteries in the world. I had been hoping to find Ludwig Van Beethoven’s grave since he is buried there, but I didn’t understand the cemetery’s plotting system or the signs written in German. Asking the little cemetery gatekeeper was out of the question as well–he only spoke German as I discovered when I knocked on his window to ask him what time the cemetery closed.
Despite this, I really enjoyed walking around and enjoyed the silence–there was hardly anyone there at that late hour and I photographed what I thought were some interesting tombstones.
Besides Beethoven, other notable people buried in this cemetery include Johannes Brahms, members of the Rothschild family, Franz Schubert, Johan Strauss (along with his two sons who were also composers), and one of Hitler’s nieces. There is also an “honorable mention” grave for Mozart, even though he is buried in a different cemetery.
One of the most interesting tombstones was the one with the pictures of the deceased (something that I’ve noticed is more common in Europe; putting a picture of the deceased on a tombstone). One of the people hasn’t died yet–a little creepy if you ask me, having your picture and birth date etched on a tombstone! I also don’t know what the deal is with the man posing against the car.
And that was pretty much Vienna! Like I said before, it was alright but I can wait awhile before I go back again.
And here is a picture of my last delicious dessert I consumed during my Semana Santa trip: