It was a cool but sunny morning as we set off for an early morning walk along the Danube Canal. Our plan for the day was to try and get tickets to watch the Spanish Horses in their morning practice session and then we had a walking tour for Schonbrunn Palace booked for the afternoon.
Watching the Spanish horses for their practice session proved to be rather uneventful and a waste of 30 Euros. Much the same experience could have been achieved by sitting in Centennial Park and watching the horses there going around in circles. We were advised that the unique jumps etc, that they do in the main performances, are not done during practice and, as Adam Sandler would say, ‘information that would have been more useful to me yesterday’. The horses train for two hours but we left after one and drifted home with two stops: one for coffee and the second to buy supplies for lunch and dinner. The coffee stop was at Cafe Hawelka which was rather full so had some atmosphere although the waiter insisted we each bought something which kind of numbed the whole experience. When we left and he had said ‘service not included’ I felt like saying back to him ‘ Yeah mate; and none received!’
Our afternoon tour to Schonbrunn Palace started at 2.30 pm but we needed to purchase train tickets prior so we left home with enough time to do this and to buy a scarf for Mark. Our tour was, again, with Good Vienna tours but this one did not live up to its namesake. The guide arrived late to the start and Mark and I both independently thought our guide, Andrea, was a late ring-in to replace whoever was meant to turn up. We’d been warned about long queues to buy tickets but there was none of this when we arrived and we suspect the audio guide provided with entry tickets would have been more informative than our Andrea. Schonbrunn Palace is quite amazing though and well worth a visit; I’d just suggest you do it on your own on a weekday afternoon to avoid lengthy queues. If you think the Palace is a bit similar to Versailles then you’d be correct; Maria Theresa, mother of Marie Antoinette, was inspired with her remodeling of Schonbrunn after visiting her daughter and Versailles in France.
Our tour concluded at the Palace by about 4 pm and we wandered the gardens a bit before catching the train home via a stop off at a brewery, 1516, for Mark to investigate the Viennese brewery style. Mark lamented that we didn’t have a brewery like this at Bondi but I thought we’d be broke very soon if they did! Dinner was at home tonight as we are both rather tired with accumulated fatigue from our travels thus far. We have one full day left in Vienna before we head to Zagreb, Croatia.