By , July 25, 2012 9:52 am

Mike’s biggest disappoint at Versailles, France was the absence of a hedge maze. In his mind, every self-respecting castle or palace should include a confounding labyrinth of greenery in its gardens. Preferably with a minotaur.

Forget chandeliers, intricate paintings, and fancy decorations… this is what every palace REALLY needs

So, when we found out that the gardens at Schloss Schonbrunn in Vienna had an area called “The Labyrinth,” there was no question about whether we would pay the 3,50 Euro entrance fee (the fee is for the Labyrinth, the gardens are free).

When we entered the Labyrinth area, we were greeted with a children’s playground. Wanting to squeeze every last bit of value from that entrance fee that we could, we played in it. Alright, alright, it wasn’t about the money – we’ve actually played in at least a dozen playgrounds since we left home. What can I say, we’re young at heart!

Part of the playground consisted of a series of “carnival” style mirrors that we naturally had to stand in front of while taking pictures of our distorted reflections while small children had to wait. Hey, we were there first!

Where did my body go?

And, of course, there were the mazes. Three of them.  Well, two and a twisting path with no deadends which I can’t bring myself to call a maze.

One of the hedge mazes

Mike, playing in the hedge maze

Mike, playing in the hedge maze

They each had puzzles and games hidden within their paths, but… alas!… no minotaur (sorry to mislead you with the title) – though Mike certainly tried to fill the void.

Mike as a minotaur

And even if we got shown up by a six year old in the maziest maze and stumped on the math puzzle in the “one-way path that we shall not call a maze” path, we had a great time. Definitely worth the 3,50 Euro. (As long as you’re a fan of hedge mazes, that is. If you’re not a fan of hedge mazes, crazy mirrors, or moving pteradactyl playground equipment, you might be better off staying home. Or, I’ve heard that there’s some sort of palace there that’s supposed to be a big deal. You could probably check that out).

Schonbrunn palace

I’m stumped

It’s left!  … or is it right?

We finally made it to the centre! (picture taken by the smarty-pants six year old kid that beat us there)

Mike, hugging the male harmony stone in the centre of the labyrinth

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