Trip Start Dec 12, 2012
Trip End Jan 07, 2013

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Flag of Austria  , Vienna,
Friday, December 14, 2012

Three more markets visited today! Despite the freezing cold am absolutely loving it here. It really is like walking around in a postcard.  Cobblestone streets, graceful buildings, people in big coats and funny hats with pom poms or ears, and fairy lights everywhere!!  started the day with a bit of a sleep in, well at least one of us did. The other lay there trying to sleep while Jeff snored grrrrr.  Nice breakky at our hotel. Could have walked out without paying but we're too

Booked ourselves on some tours then walked over to the gardens at the Hofburg.  This was the winter residence of the Hasburg family with a paltry 2,000 rooms. Really, I don't know how they managed!  Today it houses about 5 different museums and some government hoo haa.  There was snow in the garden! Whooo, so excited about a bit of white stuff. All the roses have been bagged against the cold and the water in the fountains was frozen.   Toad had fun trying to make snow angels but try as hard as I did, could not convince Jeff to lay down and make one too.

Found the Rathaus markets - wow they look very sparkly and much bigger than the couple we visited last night.  These are the biggest markets in Vienna, so might have to save them for last.

Picked up for our city tour. Saw a poster with 3 naked men on it during the drive to the meeting point.  Black, olive & white in a total full Monty!  Bit confronting when gazing idly out the bus window!

City tour was good from an orientation point of view though not so good for photos as we didn't stop until we reached Schonbrunn castle. Did spot another couple of Christmas markets on the way though, with one of them just a bit up the road from the larger one we found earlier
today.  More Christmas markets at the palace too so we had a quick look at those, stomped around in the snow and shared a huge sugar coated krapfen.  That's kinda like a pretzel shaped donut. What a lovely name to give it mmmm yummy Krapfen.  Palace was very ornate, gold leaf coming out its wazoo.  Even had a miniature version of the hall of mirrors like in Versailles.  This was Maria Theresa's palace, a very modern and progressive woman who introduced census, conscription, taxes and mandatory schooling - all while popping out 16 kids in 19 years!  I think she earned the right to have 600 staff... 200 of which were there to light the candles!

Back to the city centre and dropped off at the Opera building. More schnitzel for dinner. Bowl of complimentary help yourself mice in the bathroom at the restaurant (wt??). Walked to the Adventmarkt vor der Kariskirche near Karlsplatz - had more hot punsch and shared a crepe filled with banana and the ubiquitous Nutella.  Lots of people out and about.  The stalls selling booze and food are definitely the most popular. A cynic could wonder if the markets are really just an excuse to drink? Walked around the ring road until we got the Weihnachtsdorf market near Maria Theresien-Platz. Probably the biggest and prettiest of the markets we've visited so far. All the stalls are little log cabins with fir boughs draped on the walls along with sparkling fairy lights and ornaments.  Really Christmasy looking and so lovely to walk around.  Bought a few ornaments here. Would love to buy some of the pine cone woodland creatures but fear they would end up in a customs bonfire. Pretty late and even colder now so walked back to our hotel. Didn't get lost once, even with a short cut thrown in - we must be improving! 
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meaden on

> Whooo, so excited about a bit of white stuff

Must. Not. Comment.

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