Trip Start Nov 20, 2012
36Trip End Dec 25, 2012
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Where I stayed
Nice, warm & cozily enclosed in our train compartment for the next 4. 5 hours for the distance of 300 kms, the day dawned with a hint of pink. Once again the kilometers whizzing by showed several seasons.. A touch of rain, a little light snow and then the big one.. a regular snow storm!! Chuffing through the Czech republic, the fields, homes and everything not undercover had a thick blanket of the white magic ( to a tourist, that is!) over it
so thick was it at times the view became very bleak..and then ..in a blink of a eye..just before Vienna, Austria, the fields were once again wet ..then no sign of any snow at all...
Considering it a sign of good luck, the trek from station to hotel Meininger in downtown Vienna was without dramas.. wet luggage, people etc.
Once again early risers are early checking in(ners)..leave your luggage ..go explore.. said the ever so helpful staff . Better take our umbrellas .. the sky is a little black way over yonder, was the decision.. Out into the cloudy but patchy blue sky/ Austrian world we ventured.. arrived at the largest Xmas market at "Vienna's City Hall Square" It is an unforgettable highlight for visitors eager to get into the Christmas spirit. The unique backdrop of the Burgtheater and Vienna City Hall gives this Christmas Market a charm all of its own, and the delicious aroma of punch, traditional gingerbread and the variety of xmas decorations etc is sure to lull all visitors into the seasonal joy. Fantastic I say.. a clever side event is the Children's craft sessions run inside the hall.. here for a few euros, kiddies can create a special memento..probably a xmas gift for their favourite gran etc..a birdfeeder, a luggage tag, biscuits and candles were a few of the items being created as we strolled by.The intensity on the little faces was a delight to see.
Seeing that black cloud come closer, one imagined that rain was the obvious outcome.. but no!! The heaviest snowfall covered all and sundry in a matter of minutes.. delighted was this novice snow person, annoyed were the stall holders, Mum's with kiddies etc... Not letting up for quite a few hours , it was just a walk in the white stuff , revel ling in it. What a way to see Xmas markets I say.. plenty of warm clothes, umbrella in hand, a hot wine here and there and Vienna had a happy traveler. Side note.. the coffee in the famous and elegant Landtmann cafe..circa 1873.. went down very well with a serve of their equally famous apple strudel.. This legendary Café has been and continues to be one of the most popular in Vienna with regulars such as the late and still greats...Marlene Dietrich, Romy Schneider, Burt Lancaster, the Dutch Queen Juliane, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Sir Paul Mc Cartney and now the Aussie traveler.
The avenues & streets of the inner Vienna have gigantic, impressive buildings from yesteryear.. I'm sure tomorrow will show us some of Vienna's history and more of the fabulous Christmas spirit.