On Monday morning, August 10, Elisabeth and Joel surprised us by bringing Elisabeth’s brother Peter and his wife Hermine to our hotel to continue our tour of Vienna. Steve and I had so enjoyed their visit to Virginia in 2013. After two days of architectural tours, this was Violet’s day. We headed to Vienna’s premiere attraction, Schönbrunn Palace. Our first stop at the Baroque palace was the Tiergarten. Founded as an imperial menagerie in 1752, it is the oldest zoo in the world. Awaiting us there was another surprise: Elisabeth’s niece Sabine and her friend Emma. Sabine was just five in 2003 when Joel and Elisabeth took her, her mother and her brother and me on a carriage ride around Schönbrunn Palace. Now here she was at the same place, all grown up.
Schönbrunn Palace, a World Heritage site, has 1,441 rooms and vast Gardens. Lilli and Violet spent time in the Maze and the playground while Peter and Hermine climbed up to the Gloriette high above. Some of us just rested and watched tourists from all over the world.
After a relaxing lunch, we headed for the Schönbrunn Children’s Museum. There we found scads of costumes and two friendly American sisters. What fun we had playing dress-up!
Our final stop was Prater Park. Violet was clamoring to ride the huge Riesenrad (Ferris wheel) there. What a day! We thanked Elisabeth and Joel and had a short rest before dinner with the Matouseks.