To finish off my exploration of Vienna, this afternoon I went and visited the Schönbrunn palace — the largest of the many mansion residences built by the Habsburg dynasty in Imperial Austria-Hungary. The Schönbrunn is considered "the Versailles of Austria" — although having visited mega-opulent Versailles several years ago, I assure you that the Schönbrunn is hardly competition, neither in its size nor its majesty. It's just a quick trip on the U-bahn over to Hietzing, in the city's west, from where you can enter the palace grounds from the Tiergarten gate, and from where you can start by exploring the extensive gardens.
This morning I hopped on the U-bahn (i.e. metro) from the Westbahnhof (central station) to Stephansplatz (city central square), and embarked on a walking tour of Vienna. It was rather freezing here — so chilly that the ground was covered in frost and ice in many places — but that did nothing to mar the Imperial glory of this, one of Europe's most charming cities. Vienna is a city of soaring churches, imposing palaces, and grand town squares — and of all those I saw plenty.