A Travellerspoint blog

Schönbrunn Palace

By Hannah

sunny 28 °C
View Koning/Zemliak Family Europe 2012/2013 on KZFamily's travel map.

Schonbrunn Palace

Schonbrunn Palace

Mom and I went out with just the two of us today, as Dad wasn't feeling well and Abby had had enough of trooping around fancy old buildings. We took the metro (oh, how I wish we had one in Victoria) to Schönbrunn Palace, where Empress Maria Theresa, the only female to succeed the Hapsburg throne, had done her ruling. She was admirably tough, fighting wars and maintaining the Habsburg Empire all while birthing sixteen children. She was described by Frederick the Great as "the only man among my opponents".

One of the more nondescript rooms of the palace was especially important to me. Awhile ago, before we went on this trip, I read a book called "Mozart's Sister". It was a historical novel told from the perspective of Nannerl Mozart, the young prodigy's older sister, who was quite the musician herself. The first chapter starts with Wolfgang and Nannerl playing for a small group of royalty. As the young Wolfgang finishes his piece, he leaps from the piano bench, runs into the arms of Maria Theresa, and kisses her on the cheek. Rather startled, the empress nevertheless gives the boy a squeeze back. To my delight, I found that I was standing in the room where this very scenario had unfolded. I had believed the embrace to be an embellishment, the author taking some creative licence and adding interest to the first few pages of her book. But here I was, listening to an audio guide telling me it was true.

Prater: the Black Mamba

Prater: the Black Mamba

There was another room that stood out to me, darkly beautiful and decorated with gold. A large portrait of Maria Theresa's husband was hanging there. When he died, she wrote the number of years, months and days that she and her husband had been married in her diary, and had then converted the total to weeks, days, and hours. She wore black and mourned every day after his death. Despite her deep love for her husband, she only let one of her many daughters marry for love (turns out she was her favourite), and had the others married off for political reasons.

After our tour, we strolled around the gardens and forested grounds, enjoying our time together. Not that we revelled in Dad and Abby's absence, but I will admit that it's nice to take a break from the family dynamic every once in awhile. We snapped some photos of the beautiful Sun Fountain, and hiked up the hill in order to get a closer look at the imposing hunting lodge overlooking the palace. It was blazing hot, and we made our way back into the shade of the trees as soon as we could.

Leaving Schönbrunn Palace behind, we started walking through Vienna, looking for a place to have lunch or a cool drink. Eventually we ended up at a little gelato place and had ice cream instead, mine chocolate and Mom's raspberry. Then we headed home, ready to tell Abby and Dad all about our day at the palace. Upon our return, I promptly beat Dad in a game of crib, and got my first 28 point hand. Yes, this is important enough to immortalise in writing.

Later that evening, we all went out to the Prater to take on a few more rides. Dad and I went on one called the Black Mamba, which you can see here, that spun us around, backwards and forwards, all while our seats turned over and over again. It was equally disorienting and exhilarating. Not surprisingly, Abby and Mom chose to watch from below. We rode a couple more, both of which Abby joined me for and regretted moments later, and then decided we weren't willing to spend any more money on the pricey rides and headed home.

Posted by KZFamily 09:45 Archived in Austria Tagged vienna palace austria schonbrunn prater crib cribbage

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Comments

Thanks for this great description Hannah.I love hearing about the travel as well as learning details like your victory in a game of crib. Thanks to each of you for writing about your trip. I have enjoyed the unique perspective that you each bring as you write.

by Harvey Roosma

Gruezi dear Family,
I can't wait to read about your adventures in "my" Switzerland. So glad that you have included my country of birth in your travels. The photos from Lucerne are beautiful and bring back many fond memories. Maybe you will even find the time to go on a little boat trip on the Vierwaldstaetter See. Either way, enjoy each day!
Ufwiederluege in Victoria!

by Edith Roslee

There were many firsts again... your grandpa would be proud of your perfect crib hand Hannah. I am sure your grand mom would like to see that again in real game with her when you return.
The description of what you read many moons ago coming into a new memory of the actual space and place was wonderful to experience I am sure. thanks for keeping up the traveling reigns when some of the family are not up for the adventure at the moment. Days are numbered now... enjoy the last of the travel adventure, look forward to seeing you all soon.
Love
Auntie Helen

by Helen Koning

Dear family,
This will be the last comment I will write for this Blog. I must say it was a great pleasure to read the many blogs for such a long time. I want to thank all of you for sharing with us your experiences. You wrote the way you saw it and experienced your adventures. You showed us how you dealt with problems and some tensions. I admire your honesty and your love for each other.

You also had your share of grieve when Muriel’s dad past away. A few days before he past away we had a very nice discussion via Skype. We are fathers and grandfathers as well as friends. We both had our concerns, but both of us have supported you. I am glad I had that talk with him. He did not write any comments and I know the reason why. He rather talked to you via Skype. These are all good memories.

And now a few words of thanks to my fellow commentators. Most of you I did not know, but now I know you a little better. It was fun to read your comments and I thank you very much.
In the beginning, I must admit, I was a bit apprehensive to be in the company of well-educated commentators. Don’t worry I got over it.
And now we move on in life and I hope to see my family soon and perhaps I may see or hear from my fellow commentators.
Opa, Gerry Koning.

by G Koning

Wow 28 points - that's great. Did you skunk your Dad?

by Jane1

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