Originally published on 16 October 2015.
Saturday morning dawned early for the O’Haleks! Not necessarily for the Viennese, but certainly for us. But a little jet lag is nothing that a brisk run can’t fix! Steve (very) graciously runs with me when we travel, which I love, but that means he has to run a lot slower! We ran through beautiful gardens, past ornate palaces, and through lovely town squares!
Now for a delightful breakfast. And what was the best part? The amazing and adorable individual coffee pots!
The breakfast buffet was one of the most impressive and vastest I’ve ever seen! There was a made-to-order egg station, cold cuts and smoked seafood table, cheese selection, fruit, breads and pastries, muesli, yogurt, jams, honeys, cakes (including Sacher Torte!), strudel, juices, and five kinds of infused water!
After fueling up for the day, we set out for a day of culture and adventure! First up, a long, looooooong walk to Schoenbrunn Palace! I don’t think we realized quite how far it was, but after nearly a year of no long walks together on account of foot surgeries and recoveries, we didn’t mind! We were holding hands the whole time, so we hardly noticed the length of the walk. And anyway, it’s a beautiful city to walk through! Best of all, this waited for us at the end of our walk:
We learned more about Empress Sisi and other members of the Hapsburg dynasty. Did you realize they ruled from the 11th century until just after World War I? The palace was a bit disorganized going in, but the content was interesting! When we walked into the courtyard, we saw a bride and groom having pictures taken. Can you imagine getting married in a palace like this one? Wow!
Aside from the museums, there was a garden maze, orangery (like a greenhouse) that they still use today, and several lovely gardens! There was also a beautiful auxiliary structure called the Gloriette where’s there’s a cafe and stunning views from the top.
We walked all the way to the top and enjoyed the views from the roof! And then we had lunch. A German crepe for me and a Viennese cappuccino for Steve (he was still full from breakfast!).
While we were in there we noticed that even the ceiling was gorgeous!
Most everything in Vienna is beautiful!
When we finished up at the palace (sorry, no pictures inside; bummer), we decided to take the metro system back to the city center to see a few more sites. There are a LOT of art museums in Vienna, and most of the buildings themselves are practically works of art themselves!
The day had been overcast and a bit chilly, so once we saw everything we could handle in a day, we decided to get some relaxing done at the hotel. The gym was sort of small, but Steve and I both squeezed in a workout (no, walking all day just wasn’t enough–haha!), then tried out the steam rooms. I’d never been in one before, especially not one so fancy! There were actually three steam rooms and a sauna. One of the rooms was just constant steam, and another one added three sets of herbs to the steam to help you relax. We were alone in that room for a few minutes, then another couple came in… and the woman decided to go European style. We averted our eyes for a while, but before too long we decided to enjoy our steam elsewhere… Except that in the third steam room was a woman who was also going European style, and in the sauna there was a guy doing the same thing. Steve went into the sauna for a bit, but I opted for sipping tea and eating some of the spa snacks in the sitting area for a while.
When we returned to our room, we were a bit disappointed to find that in fact the chocolates would not be replenished! Bummer. We love using Trip Advisor to help us plan our travels, but not all reviews are necessarily true on all counts! But the bed was comfortable, the view from the window was stunning, the room was quiet and lovely, and the soap in the bathroom was made with chocolate!
Check back tomorrow for Sunday’s escapades and the long Monday home!