Once again, we’ve had quite a busy week. If I’m remembering the schedule properly,1 we’re now done with the ‘Conversation’ component of our Survival German classes and are moving into the Grammar unit. I’m excited – historically, I do better with a language by learning the grammatical structures than I do trying to memorize specific instances of those rules.
The other big thing we did this week was our district presentations – something that faithful readers have already seen a hint of. To be honest, there wasn’t much more to the presentations than what you can see in the aforelinked2 blog post, but for the presentations we had a more captive audience than anyone here reading is.
That said, once the weekend hit, we split up a bit: I know that there’s a group, as I write this, hopping on a bus back from Bratislava, and Paris, Sierra, and I headed over to Schönbrunn3 to explore the park.
So, the quick run-down on Schönbrunn: it was the summer palace of the Hapsburgs, and so it’s home to some pretty massive gardens (the park) as well as the oldest functioning zoo4 in Europe.5 You get into the park through the main entrance to Schönbrunn itself, which means you have to walk across a courtyard big enough to drop my entire neighborhood in with space around the edges.
For some reason, people feel the need to have horse-drawn carriages at places like this.6 And now I can say I’ve been sassed by a horse.7
Once we got into the park, we kinda just wandered aimlessly. It’s a pretty massive place, so it wasn’t like we were going to run out of things to do. The first thing we stumbled across was this fountain: quite pretty, if you ask me.8
Next up, a delightfully strange little bit of history: the fake Roman ruins. Despite the amount of Roman influence in the area, these weren’t actually built by the Romans.
But before you feel cheated, they were constructed in the 18th century, so they’re still older than, like, California.9
Next up, we came across a large fountain, one of the centerpieces of the park. Lots of Greco-Roman imagery for a city that was the capitol of the Holy Roman Empire, but I think there’s a rule that says every Historic Park in Europe has to have some sort of Greek god involved.
From there, we headed to the other side of the park, where we found what I thought was the Orangerie. I was wrong, it was actually the Palm Tree House.10 Either way, it mostly just reminded me of Steamboy, which is why Sierra and I wound up talking about steampunk for a while.
That’s out towards the edge of the palace grounds, where they’ve also handily got their own church. Hey, when you’re as rich as the Hapsburgs were, leaving your backyard to go to church just isn’t done.
We finished up our exploration of the park with the Gloriette, an architectural counterpoint to the Schloss11 that sits atop the hill at the back of the park.
The structure itself is fairly simplistic, just a single enclosed space12 and a flight of stairs13 up the viewpoints on the roof.
But my oh my, what a pretty view it is.
- I could look at the actual schedule printout, which I’ve got somewhere on my desk, but that juts sounds like a lot of effort. ↩
- If “aforementioned” is a word, I think “aforelinked” should be, too. ↩
- Currently the end of the U4 metro line, though as of tomorrow there’s going to be a few more stops. Assuming the construction went according to schedule, that is. ↩
- And no, we didn’t go in, it was too hot for it today. ↩
- And the world, I think, though I don’t want to say that without checking and I don’t want to check because I’m tired. ↩
- In case you can’t tell, my opinion on horse-drawn carriages is “we invented cars for a reason.” ↩
- I’m kidding, this wasn’t the first time. ↩
- And don’t try saying you didn’t ask me; you’re here reading my blog, aren’t you? ↩
- As a state; the actual geography of California is, like all geography, older than anything ever constructed by humans. ↩
- Or something like that; I’m remembering my own shoddy translation of the German name. ↩
- Or “Castle,” for those of you not taking German classes all day. ↩
- Now converted into a restaurant. ↩
- Blockaded by a toll-booth, unfortunately, thus the lack of pictures from on top of the Gloriette itself. ↩