Locked up in Belvedere!

    I had a plan. The plan was to go to the Belvedere palace in Vienna and get a shot of it at dusk. Should be fairly straightforward. I wanted a head on shot of upper Belvedere, with reflection in the lake, with the lights on at dusk. Simple.

Initially all went well. I took the metro to a station close by and hiked into the gardens. I noticed on the gate a sign that said the gardens close at 6:30 pm. That was going to be tricky, as the sunset around 6 and being in the north, I knew I would struggle to get the light balance right by then. I resolved to shoot until 6:25, then leave. This part went well. I got a nice shot that I was pleased with, that will enlarge nicely.


There is a bit of foot traffic, some joggers and the like, and I here a garbled announcement over a crappy PA system that I assume meant the place was locking up. I keep shooting until 6:25, then grab my kit and start heading for the gate. I get there and the bloody thing is locked already! I know I’m not late, but there is no way I can get over the gate or the 20′ tall walls. Time to look for a second exit. The palace gardens are big! I wandered around, trying each gate for about 1/2 an hour. I saw some people in the distance, but they ran off when I approached them and hid behind locked staff doors!

Now I’m pissed off and struggling to keep my usually good nature. I finally found a caretaker hanging out of a basement window in the palace having a smoke. He tells me where to go to get out. You go to the west gate. There are 3 iron gates – a big one in the middle and two smaller ones to the left and right. got to the one on the left and you’ll see and intercom. Push it. They watch you through the CCTV cameras and the buzzer sounds and the gate swings open. Finally!

I’m sure the security guards were wetting themselves at my antics. Or not. The Austrians don’t seem to have much of a sense of humour.

More to come…..

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