Since we got back from our
three weeks of stuffing our faces R&R to the States, I have been trying once again to lose that last few pesky pounds! So, every day I have been either going to the gym or going on a good walk. Yesterday, I hopped on the U-Bahn and went to Maria Theresa’s palace for a brisk walk around the estate. What, you don’t do that at your post? :)
Anyway, I have visited Schloss Schönbrunn before, but I didn’t realize until I started Googling for interesting paths around Vienna that there were three or four miles of public paths on the grounds. They are apparently very popular with walkers and runners, probably because they are mostly packed-earth and mildly hilly. Easy on the knees, and no annoying purse dogs nipping at one’s heels.
Everything about the Schloss is truly over-the-top Hapsburg. Honestly, even for the Baroque era, I don’t think these folks had very good taste. I am not an art expert, by any means, but I have seen enough Baroque here (and during a previous tour in Prague) to recognize the difference between a well-balanced, nicely executed sculptural piece and one that is just plain showy.
Schönbrunn is all about the show, in my opinion. It just screams “LOOK WE ARE THE HAPSBURGS! WE MAY BE HOPELESSLY INBRED AND BAT SHIT CRAZY BUT WE ARE TOTALLY LOADED SO SUCK IT PEASANTS!”
But hey, as a historical artifact (certifiably so, as a UNESCO World Heritage site) it is undeniably impressive. And the shady walking paths are lovely on a warm day.
Thank you, Maria Theresa Walburga Amalia Christina, Duchess of Lorraine, Grand Duchess of Tuscany and Holy Roman Empress, for putting your palace here, so that I, a descendant of lowly peasant folk, may stroll amongst your topiaries for free.