• arianna

Palaces & Day Trips

Saturday in Vienna was a day of awe. I apologize now, as this will be short. The sights I saw are not something that I can translate into words. I knew before traveling abroad that it would be nearly impossible to bring all of my memories back in a way that I could share. Some places and experiences are truly meant to be lived.

We journeyed to a nearby palace where royals had previously spent only 3 months out of their year vacationing in the Austrian summer. It was completely and utterly breathtaking. Imagine, walking in a park, expecting to be sweep off your feet, and as you walk, you cross under trees, and enter into a magnificent courtyard. To your right is grass and flowers and statues provoking emotion, love and of greek inspiration. Continue looking further on and you see a grand waterfall. A waterfall so beautiful I had no words, but felt myself gravitate towards it. God of the sea and a force sailors feared, Neptune stood valiantly in the heart of the fountain with nymphs and magical creatures surrounding him. It was incredible to see, and a beautiful piece of work.

Adjacent to the fountain, and across the entirety of the courtyard stood the summer home, the palace. A palace that was gifted to an empress in a time when women typically did not rule. This empress was incredible. She defied the norm and ruled in a way she knew she was meant to. She knew that without being told, her position in power, especially as a woman, was being watched. We toured the palace and walked through the same halls she did. I was in awe of how one could push through so many hurdles and have the weight of an empire on their shoulders.

I am unable to show any photos from within the palace as cameras and photo-taking is profited within Schöbrunner Palace, however, if ever given the opportunity, I highly recommend a visit.

In the evening, upon our return from the magical palace, our energy and sense of adventure was high. From Austria we journeyed to Slovakia—adding another country to our roster of travels. We arrived late afternoon, and set off for a castle, as one does when in Slovakia. We walked through small urban areas of homes and small business and the US Embassy of the country. The architect of this world never ceases to amaze me.

We continued walking uphill for what seemed like forever until we came to a fortress of stone. A fortress overlooking a city across the water. The colors of the sky to the terra-cotta colored roofs made me speechless. The air felt like everything all at once. It was there, after being in two countries and now another, sitting on the stone of a castle standing high above all that I realized how great the life I live is. I felt renewed and grateful for the beautiful skies all of my days had been filled with. I felt amazed as I was sitting on stone that was hundreds upon hundreds of years old. I felt lucky to be surrounded by all the tourists and people who had the courage to travel and see the incredible world we live in.

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