The Labyrinth at the Vienna Schoenbrunn palace is a kids park with a small entry fee. Inside is a cool kids playground as well as several mazes. We had never been before so we decided to go with the kids and Nana. It was awesome!
Before arriving at the park, Elora had to pose for us inside one of the guard turrets. She's such a ham, when she wants to be. Usually she avoids the camera though.
The main maze was actually pretty elaborate. It didnt' look like it could be that big or hard, but we got turned around for about 10 minutes before finding the right path through, and even then we got lucky and guessed right on every turn at the last half.
We'll spare you the 10 minute video of us wandering through the maze. Chris went on ahead and found the way after getting bored with Elora "marking the trail with berries". She'd pick some berries off the plants and lay them down to mark the path. When she came across the berries again (since we got turned around in about 6 circles) she'd stomp on the berries. She pretty much stomps on every berry she sees.
Finally success! We made it to the center of the labyrinth and Ollie was happy to make it out of the stroller and run around with Mom.
At the center of the maze there are two Feng Shui stones which were "activated by the Chinese Feng Shui Master Dr. Jes Lim." We don't know how you "activate" stones, but the inscription does say, "The larger stone represents the male principle. The smaller one represents the female principle. By touching or embracing the corresponding stone, you will transfer harmony to yourself or your partner."
Both Karen and Mom gave the stones a loving embrace, which means Chris and Dad have plenty of harmony.
But Chris felt too much harmony could be a bad thing. Who wants a perfect harmonious life anyway?
There was another Labyrinth, which was much easier for kids to run around in. At the center of the kids maze there were a lot of fun little things to play on.
These tiles were mounted on top of springs which rang bells everytime you jumped on them. Austria probably has a surplus of engineers, so they put them to good use designing fun play ground equipment. What a fun job. "Hey let's get some spring loaded tiles that ring bells at different tunes everytime you jump on them!" Who thinks of this cool stuff? Well Ollie was excited about it!
A mini outdoor hall of mirrors. Ollie and Elora really enjoyed seeing reflections of themselves in every direction.
Elora invited her friend Grace to meet us at the Labyrinth. She also brought her two Teddys with her. This marks the first time Dirty Teddy has allowed his wife Clean Teddy to leave the house... Usually, Elora and Dirty Teddy are very protective of Clean Teddy to make sure she stays home and avoids dirt. Notice the "fancy" necklace Nana bought Elora, which Clean Teddy is wearing.
Repeat after me. Parks in Europe are cooler. To climb inside this flying eagle thing (we told Elora it was a dragon since she loves dragons) you had to climb up a rope lader at a 45 degree angle. Every time you pulled on the rope ladder the eagle flew up and down and flapped its wings. This thing is just too cool.
Elora wanted to bring Grace back to the kids maze to show her the tile-bells.
Finally we left the Labyrinth and started walking home. The view on the way back through the gardens is ok....
Elora hamming it up for the camera in front of the Schoenbrunn. It was a beautiful day!
She must have been having a good day because she usually hides from the camera and we have to sneak photos of her or bribe her with Gummy Bears. It's probably the fact that Nana was here that she was so happy.
We walked back to Karen's favorite Cafe, Kurkonditorei Oberlaa. We didn't get a picture of the main courses, but remembered the camera just in time for the desert. Nana got Apfel Strudel with a huge side of Schlag (unsweetened whipped cream), which was really amazing, probably the best one we've had in Vienna. You can see Elora thoroughly enjoying the cream.
Karen had the Schoko Mousse Torte (dark chocolate mousse cake). About half way through, Ollie noticed it looked pretty tasty and just reached over and picked the whole thing off her plate and shoved it in his mouth. Both of our kids are chocolate monsters.