Today was pretty relaxing here in Vienna. We went on a group tour of the Schonbrunn Palace in the morning with our tour guide Manuela and had the majority of the rest of the day free to do what we pleased.
The Palace was absolutely amazing and I think everybody learned a lot about the importance of the Schonbrunn family to Austria through our audio guides. The palace was just the family's summer house and there are over 1400 rooms inside. We got to see 40 of the rooms during the tour, which many had chandeliers and large had paintings. Many of the walls were even hand painted or made out of the finest wood during that time and some gold! I'm definitely glad we got the chance to see this place with our own eyes and were able to picture how royal families lived in the 17, 18, and 19th centuries.
When the tour was over, the group split in different directions. Many people visited the zoo near the palace to see the panda bears and others went to see the St. Stephen's Church. As for me, a few of us went back to the hotel for a few hours to rest up and then took off for the Danube river. There are many different boating docks here in Vienna and places to swim along the shore. We rented a paddle boat for an hour to relax and enjoyed the beautiful weather outside. We really enjoyed the views it had to offer and are even thinking about going back tomorrow!
For dinner we made reservations at a restaurant near the hotel for all of us to eat together. It had many common local options as well as pizza, burgers, and salads. The service was even fast for having such a large group, and that's something we haven't experienced yet! It was nice to all sit down together and enjoy the meal without being in a rush, too. Of course after dinner we all had to stop on the corner for some gelato for dessert!