Friday, October 23, 2015

2015 - Eastern Europe Day 10 (Vienna)

Breakfast was included in our stay, so it was time to see how it stacks up to our last hotel. It was okay, there were scrambled eggs, wieners, several cheeses, deli meats, fresh fruits, canned fruits, yogurt, cereal, veggies, coffee, and tea. Overall, a good variety and it was nice to have scrambled eggs again.

Hotel breakfast.
Hotel breakfast.
Today, we visit Schönbrunn palace. It is a short walk from Schönbrunn station on U4 and we arrived at roughly 9:30am. By this time, there were already a lot of people, so I guess there is no avoiding crowds here unless it gets worse later in the day.

Front of Schönbrunn palace.
Schönbrunn palace.
Again, there are a variety of passes available depending on what you want to visit, we decided to do the Classic Pass which costs 21 € and allows you to visit the following (Grand Tour, Maze, Privy Garden, Gloriette, and Orangery Garden).

First stop, the Grand Tour of the palace. Included is an audio guide and you can tour at your leisure. I noticed that it starts as a very white and gold gilded palace, however, halfway through, after 22 rooms, there is another section which is included with our pass and the rooms after becomes more luxurious and colorful with more variety and not just the white and gold gilded rooms that you see in the first 22 rooms. After doing all the rooms, I would say pay the extra and just do all the rooms. It took us about 50 minutes to go through all the rooms. No photography allowed.

Next up, the Privy Garden which took us about 10 minutes to walk through. It is nice with a terrace gives you nice views of the area. This area was entry by a barcode scanner turnstile.

View from terrace.
Orangery Garden is next and even though it is included with the pass, I would just skip it. We spent about 10 minutes here and there isn't anything to really see. I thought it would be a lot of orange trees and it is just a bunch of random plants and trees with no real purpose that I understood.

The Gloriette is the far lookout point that you can see from the palace and it is worth a stop if you have nice weather for some really nice views of the area. Even if you don't pay to go up, since it is on a hill, you can look down at the palace which is nice.
Gloriette in the distance.
View from Gloriette.
The Maze was our last destination and there were three mazes and the left one is the difficult one with the other two being fairly easy but they have a few displays that are neat like the mirrors, and there are a few areas with different games within the mazes themselves. Next to the maze is a playground with an AWESOME metal bird structure. How this is for kids, I don't know, but as adults, we had a lot of fun in it because it was different and pretty cool. When you move the wires, you actually flap the wings.

Iron bird playground toy.
All in all, it took us roughly 4 hours to do everything we did and I feel that we covered most of it which brought us to 1:30pm.

Lunch was at Cafe Raimann which is a short walk from Schönbrunn palace. We ordered the pasta with ham, pasta with minced meat, and goulash. The food was okay, they have an English menu and WiFi as well. Cost us 31 €.

Pasta with ham.
Pasta with minced meat.
Hundertwasser village was our next destination, a short walk from Rochustrasse station. It is an apartment building made by an artist and it shows. There were plenty of street signs that direct you here and at first glance, it is a bit dull and disappointing. Make sure to go around the corner into the side street to see what it really looks like. There is a small village to the left which has more funky designs inside. If you want to see some more, there is a map in the small village which will direct you to a museum dedicated to the artist, we didn't go in the museum, but you can judge for yourself if you want to walk based on our pictures below. Free to visit (except the museum which we did not go into).

Entrance to the Hundertwasser Village.
From the museum, we walked back to Hotel Sacher and ordered the Sacher Torte with an apple strudel. They were both good, although I wouldn't make my way out to eat it again. The customer turnover is quick, so even if there is a line, nobody really stays there for long and all they serve is just coffees and desserts. It is a small premium over what you would pay outside, but it was better than the one we had at Cafe Einstein. If you like, you can just buy an entire torte and take it with you if you want to avoid the line, it is in the same shop.

Sacher torte on the left, apple strudel on the right.
Wandered around the city a bit at headed to Wratchko for dinner. We ordered the trout, pork cheeks, and meatballs and they were all really good, but the service was really bad. We had to get our menus ourselves (the hostess did not come with them) and food took 40 minutes to arrive after we ordered. Since the restaurant was pretty busy, they clearly are not staffed for this many guests. I counted 2 waiters and 2 cooks. It cost us 50,20 €.

Beer #11



Pork cheeks.
Tomorrow, we visit Belvedere, the Opera House, and Parliament.

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