Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Day 40: in Vienna

Well what a lovely place Vienna is!

For one thing, it's a surprisingly stress-free capital (..on foot). The highlight was watching the morning training session of the Spanish Riding School of Vienna. The well-trained Lippizaners are always a joy to watch, but the training of nervous youngsters was very interesting. The riders have a very quiet way with the horses. They are worked pretty hard with each rider doing multiple half-hour sessions. 

Apart from horses, I spent a happy hour in a brilliant travel / map shop, and am now a) 38 euros the poorer, and b) fully equipped to tackle the mountains of the Czech Republic. And then head north. Possession of detailed maps is clearly not actually going to help me get up the hills, but there is a comfort in being able to pick a route, and to know where the next sleeping place is!

After lunch I headed to Schloss Schonbrunn which was the emperor's summer residence. It's really enormous - you get the impression it and its park were designed to be impressive and a display of power, rather than beautiful, comfortable, elegant etc. I'd still prefer Chatsworth, if anyone were asking.

Horsing around 

The cathedral, reflected in a modern neighbour

The Schloss (and from its folly above)

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