We spent most of the afternoon at Schönbrunn, the summer palace of the Habsburg rulers of the Austrian empire. We’ve been here several times before, but never this time of year. We took the UBahn (subway) from Stephansdom (St Stephans cathedral) , changing lines once to arrive at Schönbrunn (about 40 minutes), then walked about 600 meters to the palace itself.
The stalls of the Christmas market ringed the large front courtyard of the palace. There were several stands selling gluhwein in the center which I’m sure we’ll take advantage of later. It’s a bit colder today than yesterday, about 33 degrees, but with the wind, it “feels like” the 20’s. It’s cold!
When we arrived mid afternoon, there was a modest crowd, but by 4pm (and starting to get dark), the crowds built.
It is difficult to give you a sense of the size of this palace and it’s grounds, but they are enormous.
We walked around to the rear of the palace. There are no Christmas stalls here, just a magnificent view of the Gloriette at the crown of the hill in the distance.
You can see the remains of the most recent snow. There are wooded trails on both sides of the walkway up to the top. We’ve been up to the Gloriette before, but too cold for that today.
The rear of the palace looks out and up to the Gloriette.
Walking back around to the front of the palace, we continued to browse the stalls and bought a few ornaments and a hot gluhwein.
There is an enormous nativity scene underneath the Christmas tree in the front of the palace.
It’s getting dark and colder so we’re going to head back into the city for dinner and someplace warm.
After returning to the city, we window shopped down der Graben before returning to Trzesniewski again for dinner.
Their website http://www.speckmitei.at is amusing. Speckmitei is one of their sandwiches and means bacon (speck) with (mit) egg (ei). All the sandwiches are the same price (€1.30), just choose your combinations. You can see them all online.
More window shopping , with another stop on the HWT (Hermès World Tour) at the Hermès shop across the way.
and then the LV store around the corner.
We convalesced at the hotel for a bit before heading out to a nearby Christmas market about two blocks away. This market too is setup at a city square, about the size of the market across the street. There’s even another “bio” market across the street from this one, but those stalls are closed for the night.
There’s a panorama painted on the exterior wall of the market.
Back to the hotel. Have to pack up as we are leaving for Prague tomorrow. We could easily have spent a few more days here. Vienna is a city we really enjoy, but it’s a bit longer to travel here.