Quiet day on Saturday. When we were at the Gasometer Buildings, Greg bought a piece of apfelkuchen apple cake from a supermarket and has been searching for it since. He tried a couple of places on Saturday morning without success. In the afternoon we walked to, and around, Schonnbrunn Palace. It’s across the road from the apartment we stayed at … sort of. There’s actually a street, tramline, river, metro line and a couple of fences between the apartment and the palace grounds, but we could see it from the apartment, and the huge grounds were a lovely buffer in a city of over 1.5million people. The Viennese equivalent of Central Park.
We walked to the gate closest to the apartment, which had a Lindt chocolate shop conveniently located at the entrance. Bought a couple of blocks from the huge selection – whole product lines that we had never seen before. Then walked through the park to the palace. All 1400+ rooms of it. Part of it is open as a childrens’ museum, a gallery and it is possible to do tours of palace and concerts are held there. Outside, it’s a fantastic public space, free to wander around the huge grounds, which also has a zoo, a swimming pool, a maze and other things that you can pay to see. The cafe in the palace does a Strudel making class which I was going to do until I realised it would all be in German.
We walked up the hill to the Gloriette which offers a superb view over the city, and we think we found the street we stayed in, just past the trees in the palace grounds. Then we walked back to the apartment via the main entrance, with its enormous open space in front of the palace. Hot day, we didn’t take enough water and were very thirsty by the time we got ‘home’.
Yesterday, Sunday, we drove out of Vienna to Czech. We didn’t buy a vignette in Austria so had to use secondary roads, which was fine, through little villages and along a tiny sealed road on the side of the motorway. Probably just for the local farmers, and we did meet a tractor coming in the opposite direction, but a few local cars and a motorbike also used it. Nothing is open in Austria on a Sunday, but as soon as we crossed over into Czech … BAM! Outlet shopping centre just across the border, casinos, 24-hour nightclubs. If anyone can explain how they work, we’d love to know – I thought the point of a nightclub was that it was, well, night-time. Our new favourite supermarket, Albert, was open in Znojmo so we went and bought a couple of things we’d run out of and some bread rolls for lunch. Gosh, the Czechs are good bakers!
Our second-last night of camping last night, and tonight is our last. Then we’re staying in an apartment in Prague for 4 nights and heading back to Munich on Saturday, flying home on Sunday. We’ve been on the road for 5 weeks, but it seems like a much longer period of time, because we’ve been to so many places and seen and done so much.