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Sumptuous Schonbrunn

February 05, 2008

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In 1762, six-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart played his very first concert before Empress Maria Teresa  in the Hapsburg’s Schonbrunn palace, Vienna’s homage to Versailles. Thus, a few weeks after her seventh birthday, our little Mozart did not want to miss the opportunity of playing at this “Emperor’s yellow” beloved summer palace too  and managed to gather a small audience and photographers.

We were disappointed that the children’s museum and puppet show were not open, but enjoyed ourselves in the large, lush enclave which is two-thirds the size of Central Park in Manhattan. It was past prime season, so few people were roaming the vast French-style grounds with formal geometrically trimmed trees and hedges, ornamental flowers, pleasant promenades and fountains.

A highlight for us was the beautiful charming bakery (http://www.cafe-wien.at/138_ENG_HTML.htm) where they make apple strudel before your eyes and have lots of supremely delicious treats. We decided to savor our treats in a lovely nook by a fountain under blazing autumn colored trees and near some marble statuary. Afterwards, Mozart and DaVinci had fun playing hide and seek and tag amongst some beautiful formal trees, giggles in the air probably much like the Hapsburg children or Napoleon's son many years ago.

We wandered and played all day and enjoyed the rose garden, still managing to bloom in the crisp fall weather, plus The Palm House, a large,110 year-old victorian looking glass-and-steel structure. It was filled with palms and tropical plants, but we enjoyed the autumn displays the most.

Until I catch up, I am going to do my best to be brief, so that I can get this blog back up to date and in real time. We were in Vienna around October 17th, but due to delays here, I am still behind. Our Christmas letter will interrupt the flow, but I will finish Italy as soon as I can.

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