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Vienna and the out of season riding school. 

Unfortunately this hotel didn’t include breakfast but we made up for it with pastries and coffee in a nearby cafe, sat out in the morning sun. 

Another cute crossing. 

I checked the map and it looked like we could walk behind the plaza and garden from yesterday and through to the riding school. Turned out you could as long as you walked right round for an extended ten minutes. It wasn’t all bad as we saw the Palmenhaus as we walked round and we still made it in plenty of time. 

We made it to the riding school and took our seats. I knew very little about this whole enterprise but Peter filled me in on the whole horses performing etc. 

Unfortunately when we booked our tickets they didn’t tell us that the main stallions were down in Slovenia for the Summer and we had the backups and next generation horses! It was still a fun event to do but I think Peter was disappointed that it wasn’t what he had hoped for. The horses trotted about and did a few manoeuvres but nothing like the stuff Peter had shown me on youtube. 

Once it was over we had to decide what to see today. So after checking out some Roman ruins we took the underground  (Which is super impressive and easy to use.) to Schonbrunn Palace, a summer retreat for the wealthy Hapsburg family, surrounded by acres of land.

It’s free to get into the grounds but we didn’t enter the building as the weather was again glorious. The palace is huge and very impressive.

The grounds are even more entertaining, with mazes and flower gardens, a huge water feature and a great summer house perched on the top of a hill, looking down on the palace. We could just imagine the pained look on the servants when the royalty decided to dine up there.

You could even walk up and round the back of the fountain and look through to the palace. 

We walked up to the summer house and looked down to the palace. From here you could really appreciate the grandeur and you’d expect nothing less from the Hapsburgs. 

On our way back down the hill we took the scenic route through the woods and took a paid detour into the maze. 

It was loads of fun trying to race around the maze and get to the middle first. I thought I was beat for sure but some how made it to the prize first and then had loads of fun laughing at Peter and attempting misdirection. 

The prize was a lucky stone that yiu hugged to feel it’s energy. Once we were all energised up we hit the next maze and walked through the shaded parks where it wad a bit cooler. 

Once we left the palace grounds we found ourselves down by the canal and thought it would be a good time to stop for lunch. We found a table in a big restaurant across the road from the water and I ordered a ton load of food. 

Sausages, wrapped in bacon, filled with cheese. Yum! 

We walked through the streets of Vienna in the sunshine. It’s a beautiful city with grandiose buildings around every corner, green spaces everywhere and cafes/restaurants spilling out into the streets. 

Finding ourselves back by the Palmenhaus we stopped for a drink outside this incredible building. 

We continued on through the nearby park and sat out on the grass for a while. Loads of people were enjoying the early evening warmth and there were aerobics groups, art groups and what looked like book clubs out on the lawns. 

The only regret from the holiday was not spending time in any of the museums or galleries as they looked impressive and I imagine their content would be great. 

We walked back through the museum quarter down a route we hadn’t used before and back to the hotel. We had noticed some more bars and restaurants round the hotel the night before so got changed and went to a cool mexican themed bar where we had margaritas. 

We continued on, by now a little typsy and in need of food, we couldn’t make a proper decision so tumbled into a quaint little place down a dimly lit side street where we had I more schnitzel and Peter had steak. 

The food was cheap and cheerful amd we found our way back to the pub from the night before. Sat outside with some beers we reflected on what an ace holiday it had been. 

The next day was uneventful, the airport is an easy trip from the underground station marked on the map. We were just sad the holiday was coming to an end! 

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