We went to Vienna two weeks ago today. It's just a two hour drive from here. Amazing. :)
We wanted to go to the Vienna Zoo, which is the oldest zoo in the world, and tour the Schönbrunn Palace. The zoo is located on the palace grounds, and although we had been to Vienna several times (Kevin has been lots more due to school and basketball things), we had never been to that part in southern Vienna. We thought it would be a great time to go.
To be honest, the zoo was a disappointment. They had plenty of animals and things to do as well as lots of history in there about the zoo, but it seemed just like any other zoo. I don't know what I was expecting, but I guess just something more grand since it is the oldest zoo in the world. We were particularly disappointed because the Budapest Zoo is great in allowing you to touch so many animals. Seth was disappointed on several occasions because he couldn't touch any, and they were all a good distance away in most cases, unlike the Budapest Zoo. Seth did manage to climb under a fence to try and pet the bison when we weren't looking, so I guess the animal "territories" aren't too heavily protected.
After the zoo, we decided to walk around the palace grounds. They were beautiful! We walked through the gardens, and I learned so much from Matt, who is a landscaper. They had humongous hedges, and he explained to us how they get them to grow that way and care for them. I learned a lot about all of the gardening and appreciated all of it, especially as every palace/castle in Europe has these beautiful grounds. I know he enjoyed taking in all of that carefully manicured beauty. :)
I have so many pictures, and it was hard to choose which ones to put in. And these pictures do not do it justice! I will have to upload pictures to an album soon of the whole week with the Hecht's!