The clever Viennese never ripped out their streetcars and what’s more they have 24-hour passes that cover all forms of urban transport for 5 €. Tram 1 includes half the Ringstrasse on its route. Tram 2 includes the other half. One must change trams. If one is glancing at one’s guidebook at an inopportune moment, however, one gets to ride to the end of the line, thereby seeing how the rest of the city looks. I have this down to a fine art by now, having practiced this little manuever twice (both trams!).
As it turns out, I didn’t need these high falutin’ new transit skills to make my way out to Schönbrunn Palace in the afternoon (summer palace on the outskirts of town). Folks, Versailles is full of replicas and replacements. The Hapsburgs never suffered a revolution — they just went away quietly, leavig everything behind. And it’s all still there. So this palace is full of the real McCoy stuff. Amazing.
I came out here because the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra is doing their annual free summer concert on the palace grounds. Last year 80,000 attended; this year 100,000 are expected. I was early enough to snag a park bench, and spent the evening making friends with the young local couple sharing the bench with me. Yes, they really do waltz in the aisles. It was great fun!
To support this big crowd, there were a number of diesel-powered portable generators, and rows of porta-potties. Just. Like. Kandahar… ugh!