28 March 2010

Schonbrunn Palace and Easter Market w/ Amy and Amanda

Since the Schonbrunn Palace is close to our apartment it was the first touristy thing we took Amy and Amanda to do. The palace is huge with 1000 rooms and the grounds cover 500 acres. The tour we took only visited about 10 rooms, so there's obviously a lot we commoners never get to see!

This interesting statue is of Hercules prying open the lion's mouth. The palace, and Vienna in general actually, is lined with so many statues it's easy to forget them. But you could really just sit and look at a few of them and be pretty satisfied. Visiting 10 rooms is actually palace overload. One room blends into the next, as your sense are pretty much overwhelmed with all the "ornate-ness".

This is part of the dining room. You aren't supposed to take pictures, so we had to be sneaky. I just wanted to show off the cool napkin/folding thing going on with each plate and the little rolls tucked inside. Fun!

Amy and Amanda got the audio tour guides and listened to them in every room. They really enjoyed it, but when I asked them what the guide said, they didn't have much to say! One interesting thing about this room (and every room actually) is the large fixture in the back corner. It's a huge wood burning stove. The servants would load wood in from behind the wall and the ceramic fixture would heat up from the burning fire and heat all the rooms. But the people in the rooms never had to see the servants or worry about smoke, soot, etc. There's a joke in there somewhere about "forced air"...

Amanda looks really excited here. I think she's more annoyed at constantly being asked to turn around and pose for pictures.

It's hard to tell with these two, but they seemed to really enjoy it!

At Easter (and Christmas) the Schonbrunn hosts a fun market with food, toys, and decorations. Part of the Easter celebration in Vienna is to decorate your house with painted eggs (real eggs!). The hand painted eggs are pretty fragile, but look beautiful when you hang a bunch of them from a tree or from branches in a vase.

The girls bought a couple souvenirs for their family, then went for the food. Amy got a Pizza pretzel and Amanda got a Chocolate one.

I told them they had to try a traditional crepe with sugar and butter. These crepe stands are everywhere in Paris, and there's always at least one in every Viennese market.

The problem with the Easter (and Christmas) markets in Vienna is they have so many cool decorations, but the problem is you'd have to buy a lot of them to make it look good. Then you'd have to have a place to put them on display, and store them. But it looks nice.

Tourists come from all over Europe specifically to visit the Easter Markets in Vienna. It's fun just to walk up and down the booths looking at all of the hand made art and decorations. Easter is one of thos holidays that tends to get forgotten in America. We celebrate it, buy some chocolates, and then move on. But with the Easter Markets leading up to Easter in Vienna it's really like a whole "Easter Season" just like at Christmas time.

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