After breakfast we headed to the Hundertwasser Museum. It contains the modern art of Viennese Friedensreich Hundertwasser. Neither Michael or I have ever been fans of modern art, but all four of us loved the art of Hundertwasser. It is really amazing, and I wish I could have brought some home. The museum is one of his buildings, which he built with irregular and undulating floors decorated with mosaic tiles. The walls, windows, and doors are all uneven as he didn’t believe in straight lines. The building was amazing, as was a nearby apartment complex that is still lived in.
Next it was lunch and our first Austrian schnitzel. Afterwards we roamed around Karlsplatz, a popular square with a pond, grassy areas, a gelato stand, and seemingly always a musician playing for spare change. We crossed the square several times and heard two accordionists, a violinist, and a clarinet player all at various times. All were very good. The gelato was good, too. Favorite flavor: hazelnut! We also crossed Hochstrahlbrunnen, a square with an enormous fountain. We stopped to rest and the kids and I cooled ourselves in the massive spray. An accordionist was there playing and Michael laid down to snooze.
Then it was off to Schonbrunn Palace. It was the summer home of the Hapsburgs. With 1,441 rooms it is second only to Versailles. I had read so much about the horrible crowds during the day that I prebooked a 1600 time. We got there early enough that we walked through a bit of the massive gardens and the kids were able to get lost in the 5 ft hedge maze. We entered the palace right at 1600, and there were no lines or tour groups. Many of the rooms we had just to ourselves. It was very grand and ornate. The audio guide was very good and easy to use. Even Hailey enjoyed all the history and commentary.
After Schonbrunn we were hot and tired. As we made our way across Hochstrahlbrunnen, we came across hundreds of people on their bicycles in what was an apparent protest against gasoline. They were mostly naked with their bodies painted in words or colors. They were filing down a main road essentially blocking traffic. We were happy to be heading the other way where our tram was waiting.
The next day we left Vienna. It is an incredibly clean, beautiful and vibrant city. The people are friendly and love to hang out in the cities’ parks and squares. We enjoyed stopping by the local fruit stand or bakery everyday. We barely got a taste of the city and its many museums and cathedrals and I definitely hope to return one day and see it properly.
We used the excellent public transit system once again to get to our rental car place where we rented a car to enjoy our next adventure: driving across Europe for the next ten days.
“An adventure is only an inconvenience rightly considered. An inconvenience is only an adventure wrongly considered.” G. K. Chesterton