A Summer Palace & Sache Torte

Trip Start Jun 23, 2012
Trip End Aug 02, 2012

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Where I stayed

Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Saturday, July 14, 2012

Early start today so we could be one of the first groups to tour Schonbrum palace, the summer residence of the Happsburg family, who we have learnt a lot about on this tour so far. A very striking and huge building, we toured about 20 rooms of the 1,441 (!), with our local guide, who gave us lots of very interesting information. For a summer house (!) there was no expense spared and many of the walls had gold leaf on them. The paintings on the wall were all magnificent and told stories of the day. Can't make comparisons with Versailles palace as that is obviously much larger and more opulent, but it was still well worth the visit. Gardens outside were also very beautiful but again not as vast or interesting as the palace of Versailles. All in all a very enjoyable tour.
We were dropped back into the city centre by 10.30 and then had until 4 pm to ourselves. What luxury! First we had a coffee and some Sache Torte, which Vienna is famous for....yum. Then shopping, a horse and carriage ride and lunch, followed by lots of walking in this beautiful city which reminds me so much of Paris. The buildings are very similar to Paris. Could easily come back here for some more time.
Back to the hotel and a rare opportunity to Skype home so a lovely long chat with Mads.
A 4pm we were back on the bus for our evening optional to a small town called Gumboldskirchen. We stopped twice along the way, once to a small monastery and a visit to the small church built in 1200.
The restaurant was not huge but there were already two other tour groups there. The meal consisted of sour kraut, potato salad and cold meats like ham for starters. Then pork knuckle and pommes frites (chips), for mains then apple strudel for desert. I would say the meal was average, but the evening was fantastic. There was a guy playing a piano accordion for our entertainment. To begin with he was playing lots of German songs and the other tour groups were having a great time. Then I started up the Aussie Aussie Aussie oo oo oo chant, and he began playing waltzing Matilda, and many other aus songs. The wine was flowing freely and our table of ten were very loud.  Some of our group started dancing, we were singing german, nobody was not having a great time! It was so much fun, I cannot remember when I have laughed and sang so much, it continued on the bus home. A truly great night we will never forget.
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