This weekend finds us staying local, but not for lack of trying to find us somewhere else.  (Weather, she is a cruel mistress.) We made the best of our First World Problem with a short and lovely outing on Saturday to the Hapsburg’s back up summer residence, Schloss Laxenburg.

A mere 25 minutes or so drive from our home, the palace and its green spaces welcomed us and for 7 km or thereabouts we roamed. Emperor Franz I, founder of the Austrian Empire and a romantic at heart, sprinkled the grounds with nods to chivalry, including crypts for “fallen knights” and bridges adorned with chivalrous sculptures.

Franz I was a collector of philosophical whimsy; the now ruinous House of Fancy was once a place where the Enlightened could discuss all such, well, enlightened, matters.

Rental boats for a lakeside viewing of the castle or shaded paths following streams brings hikers to Franzenburg, so named for the Emperor.

Every castle needs a handsome prince!

The requisite second-part of the outing. Schnitzel with a View.

A “ferry” (more like a mechanical dock) takes hikers and their four-pawed companions back to the mainland.

One more bridge to cross…

…and a short walk past the Blauer Hof, the official staterooms, to the car. For those keeping score, Crown Prince Rudolf was born here.

For fun we counted the number of Hapsburg residences we have visited. Our visit to Schloss Laxenburg marks 24; just 31 more to go!

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