Imperial and Animals!

Trip Start Jan 27, 2009
1
5
20
Trip End May 15, 2009


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Where I stayed

Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Sunday, February 1, 2009

Gruss Got, and welcome to ...another entry!   Hurrah!

I tried the auto-weave-media-feature thingy, it didn't work so well, no doubt due to the immense number of medias to weave. Oh well deal with it I'm too tired to properly weave em in :P
 
This morning when I went down for breakfast, I nearly knocked into a young lady also collecting food. She said "Sorry!" and my auto-response was "oh, you're right!" meaning 'it's partly my fault', in Australian. Not long after, as I sat in my corner alone reading my guidebook (I must look a bit pathetic, really :P) an older lady who was with the younger lady called out to me. Well it turns out that these three are Queenslanders (although the younger two have lived in Britain for a while) and are currently travelling about Europe. It was really fun to hear their stories so far, we did get a bit carried away with stories about being ripped off but hey it happens, might as well make fun of it! Aside from being fun, it made me feel better not only to chat and be understood linguistically, but culturally too. And to know that there are other aussies about who also don't speak a word of the local language and are getting around fine XD
 
After an invitation for me to join them for breakfast tomorrow (of course I will! They're really nice people!) I headed off to finish that guidebook I was huddling over and decided today to visit Schloss Schönbrunn, the regal palace. I purchased a winter pass (http://www.schoenbrunn.at/en/plan-your-visit/tickets-tours/winter-pass.html) to get me the imperial tour of the palace (of which there are 1441 rooms in total... but only 40 on display :P) as well as entry to the zoo, and a couple of other attractions. I figured this would keep me busy all day... How right I was! I spent a really long time admiring the imperial rooms, following the audioguide on my ipod (downloaded earlier) which was far more comfortable than the audioguides they had there, which have to be held to your ear like a 90's mobile phone to be heard. Although I learnt a heck of a lot about the old emperors and empresses, it would have been far, FAR less confusing if the damn place had been set out in some sort of logical order. Like if the rooms discussing Franz and Elizabeth came after Maria Therese, and stuff like that. But it was still very cultural and awe inspiring! Empress Elizabeth (otherwise known as Sisi, for reasons as yet unknown to me) was incredibly beautiful, as I think I mentioned earlier there was a particular painting of her that I still do want to see, and just seeing her paintings made me all 'ahh, wow' and googly-eyed. But learning a bit more about her, I don't like her so much - her husband Franz seemed pretty cool, and his mother Maria Therese (who didn't get along with Elizabeth) - well she was something else! I like this broad! Even her bed is pure awesome!!
 
If you want to know more, I'll be happy to tell you - but let's leave the Imperial Palace for now. I headed out to the imperial gardens, which were perfectly beautiful even covered in whiteness and without foliage. I wanted to visit the Privy Garden and the Labyrinth Garden, but first the Tiergarten Zoo caught my eye and we all know how I love zoos! :D
I got pretty excited, and for today alone I have 299 photos and videos. Considering no photos were allowed inside the Schönbrunn (spoilsports), you can bet where most of them were taken!  It was an amazing zoo, and tho it was cold and snowy the animals all had places they could hide from the winter. This made a lot of them hard to see, but it's better than making 'em freeze for my entertainment!
I had a bit of a giggle at the koalas, and simply had to get my photo there. Just to prove that I travelled across the globe to see a mammal that is easily found right at home - an animal that I don't even really like! Well it really tickled my funny bone. Unlike the other aussie animals who seemed to think that the snow was something normal! Well I guess it can get pretty cold in the desert but snow is not a normal part of your environment, little ones! Don't be fooled! XD
 
My feet were ready to fall off long before I was even halfway through the zoo, and I paused at every covered seat for a rest. I also found a little place where I could get a hotdog with bratwurst... well check out the photo! The bratwurst was twice as long as the hotdog, and there was more than enough tomato sauce and mustard for the whole sausage hidden at the bottom of the bun!! But for €3 in a zoo I guess I can't complain. It was pretty tasty.
 
I didn't end up seeing everything in the zoo, as the shadows were getting long and my legs were really pissed at me, not just for all the walking I've been doing but also because it takes some peculiar muscles to avoid slipping on the ice that was everpresent in the zoo and gardens. This meant going back to the hotel, and I never did get to check out the other three things that the winter pass gave me access to... Perhaps I'll return another day? The ticket is valid for a month, after all.
 
I thought I would be too tired to try to forage tonight, so I stopped at a supermarket that I'd discovered right across the road from my hotel (how did I not see this before?!?!?!) and grabbed snacks. So tonight I settle into my quilts and veg out, not that vegetables play any part in my diet today. Besides... it will save me some money, and boy - have I been spending money!
 
I am really missing home, and everyone associated with it. I do try to get on msn to fulfil my social needs but the timings aren't always the best - so send me an email so I can reply soon! Rhiannon dot creasey at flinders dot edu dot au is your best bet.
 
Take care, and cyas later! Xoxoxo
 
Ps OH!! I had my dates all in a twist, and thought today was my last day here! Turns out I have another day of action-filled fun tomorrow! ...Then again, maybe my feet would prefer a non-action-filled-day ;) it was still an exciting discovery.
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