I don't know about you guys, but I do enjoy a good palace. Qualities that make a palace very palacerific for me include rooms designated just for drawing, rooms just for playing cards, rooms for fancy dining and rooms for semi-fancy dining. Let's also not forget huge staircases for making grand entrances, a room for dancing, a room for meeting cabinet ministers, and a room where you brush your hair.
Schoenbrunn has all of these!
So as I mentioned, touring the palace of Schoenbrunn was the first thing on our agenda last Monday; Dan is a sucker for historical tours and I'm a sucker for imagining that I live in such grand surroundings. I can't show you any pictures inside the castle as you weren't allowed to take pictures, but this was a good thing as sometimes I need to remember to stop looking through the view finder and actually take-in my surroundings.
We had an audioguide on our tour and it was probably one of the best ones I've listened to as it really helped iron out the Habsburg family tree which I found very confusing and alarmingly circular. Another odd thing about the family is that all of the multi-generational portraits of the Habsburg children and young adults show THE EXACT same face regardless of gender or age. All the kids have soft oval faces, big doe eyes, small rosebud mouths, and grey hair.
Inbreeding man, it totally messes with your hair colour.
We also learned of Austria's beloved Sissi, Empress Elisabeth, who was adored and celebrated for her beauty; however, when you really pay attention to the audioguide it's easy to deduce she was an anorexic, possibly bulimic, woman obsessed with remaining beautiful, young, and petite. It specifically mentions that she rarely ate dinner with her family and would become anxious if pressed to do so because she was trying to maintain her weight of 110 pounds, even after four kids. Yikes.
Beauty obsession is far from being a modern construct, that's for sure.
After we'd taken our tour we wandered around outside wherein I proceeded to go shutter crazy and take a zillion pictures of Schoenbrunn's stunning butter yellow architecture.
I think this is where the military people would hang out and clean their guns.
Or maybe it was here.
"Go inside and put on some clothes! It's freezing out here!"
There were two golden eagles flanking either side of the palace's entrance.
They are quite grand.
I wonder if I could smelt it down and make some teeth?
I was all over the lines of this building.
I really liked the scale of the place.
Well done, 17th century architects.
Wandering around the back of the palace there is a whole bunch of avenues through park space, there's a zoo (which we didn't go to), and there's this other building far off in the distance presiding over everything and looking stately.
Hello, I'm glorious.
Dan was instantly smitten with this structure so we walked up to take a closer peek at what it might be. Of course, it would be too easy to read the brochure that tells us exactly what was this building's purpose (now it's a souvenir and coffee house), but Dan decided it was a games room.
"But Schoenbrunn already had a room just for billiards and another one for cards."
"Okay, you're right. I guess I just want this to be my games room."
Dan's new man cave.
He concedes the floor-to-ceiling windows might make his cave a tad bright, but he's willing to compromise.
"Yes, this will be the perfect man cave. I can have a bar in there, a big screen t.v., a pool table, some poker tables. Yeah, it would be awesome."
"Alright, let's go to the Austrian government and make an offer. Do you think they'd laugh in our faces if I present them with a few thousand? I mean, the place is old. There's probably structural problems, and I bet if I went far enough back in time someone was murdered here, and murder always depreciates property value."
Then Dan planned out the segway paths he'd have leading from his palace (apparently we're now also buying Schoenbrunn) to his game room.
Entry to the game room.
A very wee Dan, showing me the splendour of our new fixer-uper.
Oh who am I kidding?
It doesn't need fixing up!
Here I am.
I think he's going to need start lifting weights if he's going to be able to heft up his new empire.
I just hope the birds come with the place.
Big plans for this...
As we were leaving Dan looked at the frozen pond in the above picture.
"You know, my segway paths are going to be awesome in the summer but I need something in the winter. I'm going to turn that pond into an NHL rink and then get them to come over here for the Stanley Cup finals; Marc, your Dad and I will all have front row seats."
"Yeah, okay. Sounds good. But just so we're clear, I'm never cleaning your game room."
"That's fine. No girls allowed."
Then I tried to hit him, but he dodged my mittened fist.