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Diane Rose

Need help - Scenic tour in Vienna

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We have to choose a tour in Vienna on Scenic early October.  Choices are Schonbrunn Palace, Bratislava or Morning Exercise at the Spanish Riding School.  I would have loved to see the morning exercise, but no photos are allowed and I am an avid scrapbooker.  We are on the Jewels of Europe, so I know we will be seeing a lot of castles and quaint towns.  Any comments or recommendations on Bratislava vs. Schonbrunn Palace.  Thank you for any help.

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Bratislava is an interesting city in which the old quarter has been nicely tarted up, although I'd hesitate to call it quaint.  Schönbrunn is a vast Baroque palace along the lines of Versailles of the type which 17th and 18th century European rulers great and small liked to build to show off their power and wealth.  They are both nice to visit, but it seems that you would really prefer the Spanish Riding School.  If so, why is the lack of photography an issue?  Go and enjoy it and take your memories away (along with postcards, DVDs, and various items of kitsch that will no doubt be available.)  Just because you can't photograph it doesn't mean it's not real.

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Posted (edited)

We have been to all 3. It is a hard choice if you can only do one; that's really not a fair decision to force on you.

 

First off, if you were to do the Bratislava tour from Vienna, would you have any time at all in Vienna to go about on your own? Bratislava is a charming and compact town and there are some nice sights to see. If you're a country counter, it will be an opportunity to tick Slovakia off the list. There is some interesting history there which we had no idea about, and nice views if you make the (relatively short) climb up to the castle. BUT - if choosing Bratislava means that you won't have time to see Vienna, I would not do that.

 

There are a few pictures of Bratislava in my SmugMug galleries, in the April 2016 Danube trip.

 

We visited the Spanish Riding School on our own a few years ago. It was in the afternoon so no actual performances or practices, but we visited the horses in their stables, saw some of them training and exercising, and we were allowed to take some pictures in the tack room and the ring (empty). We have also gone to the one in Jerez de la Frontera, where there are similar rules about photos. Well worth a visit if you have not seen that type of thing. The photography prohibition is what it is. It did not ruin the enjoyment for us. The horses are amazing.

 

Schoenbrunn is aptly named - the palace is beautiful and the grounds are spectacular if the weather cooperates. We spent a morning here on our own. It was easy to take the U-Bahn there and we got there before it opened, killed time with coffee and a pastry in the cafe, then stormed the gate as it opened. We visited inside first then spent a few hours in the gardens soaking up the sunshine and walking ever upward to the panoramic viewpoint at the Gloriette (a building at the rear of the gardens). You can pay extra to climb to a viewing platform atop the Gloriette but we didn't need to do that.

 

Tons of Schoenbrunn pictures in the June 2013 gallery.

 

So - out of those three choices I'd only choose Bratislava if I had a special interest in doing so. It's nice but I suspect it would be easier to stay in Vienna. You could probably do the Spanish Riding School with Scenic, and then jump on the U-Bahn to Schoenbrunn and visit that on your own, if you wanted to do both. Then take the U-Bahn back to the boat. If the weather is favorable, that is what I'd recommend.

Edited by jpalbny

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I agree with JP. We toured Bratislava with our cruise line and went to a Spanish Riding School practice performance on our own, as well as the UBahn to the palace. Definitely, stay in Vienna and enjoy instead of coach ride to Bratislava.

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Thanks.  I agree we will stay in Vienna.  I think Schonbrunn and then maybe the Spanish Riding School on our own.

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Okay, so the BIG sign at the riding school says"No Photography" and the ushers seem to be running back and forth to tell people that photography is NOT allowed. My wife rode for years in 3 day and dressage.  She was NOT going to miss an opportunity to see and photograph the riders during the morning session. Be discreet or you will be asked to leave.  It was pretty neat to hear about how the horses were used in battle and see the exercises.

We did the Riding School and had time in the afternoon to walk through the town center, have lunch with friends, and find the bus for the return to the ship

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doverboy, are you encouragingly people to break clearly stated rules discreetly? If not, I apologize for misunderstanding. 

If so, shame on you.

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