Monday, November 28, 2011

Vienna: November 2011

We just got back from weekend in Vienna. What a beautiful city! And it was all decked out for Christmas so that made it even better. We stayed in the inner city near everything we wanted to see. The pedestrian walking area was just outside out hotel door. Every street had a different light display. Some were quite elaborate. It was so beautiful at night. I definitely got into the Christmas spirit! (You might note the McDonald's sign in the upper right. McDonald's is everywyhere...and there was a Starbuck's right across the street.  I think it's quite cheeky of Starbuck's to establish itself in Vienna - the home of European coffee.)

The Christmas Markets were open and we enjoyed them so much. Here are some photos of the three we were able to get to.

Our first Market was in a small neighborhood and had some really unique offerings. I found a lady who made rose "liquer" for use in baking...and drinking. It's fantastic. 

This market had the most unusual things to see both in the stalls and out...

The biggest market is held on the plaza just outside the Vienna City Hall. The City Hall is a beautiful backdrop for it and it is big. 
There are stalls offering everything! Decorations, gifts, foods, drinks of every kind.  Of course there are every kind of sausage you can imagine to eat and... the very special hot mulled wine. Yummy!

What would a Austrian Christmas Market be without a gingerbread house.
In the evening we went to another market in the Maria Theresa Square. It was especially fun at night and they had a stage with musicians playing.

Charlie liked the candy stall...
I thought these hats were interesting and a fun display. There were lots of stalls with hats. They are a very necessary article of clothing in the Austrian winter.

After being dragged all over the Markets, Charlie was happy to sit in a typical Vienese cafe and have some hot chocolate. The hot chocolate there is indescribly delicious. Definitely NOT Swiss Miss.

I loved this window display in the Lanz store. It is a "drindle"which is a traditional Austrian woman's dress. They had them in different styles and a wide array of colors.

As we strolled the streets, Charlie was happy to find his link to Austria: the Rosenbeger Market. He had Rosenbergers in his family tree.

Our hotel was beautifully decorated, too. I loved this table in the entry.

And the hotel's Chef had made his own gingerbread house for the lobby.

One of the highlights of our trip was my birthday dinner at the Grand Hotel. It was truffle week in Vienna so we had truffles with every course...including dessert! Absolutely unforgettable.

Here is Charlie in the hotel's lobby right before we left for the airport to go back to Pristina. I think it describes how we both felt after our whirlwind trip to Vienna...tired, ready to sit awhile, but happy!

I am going to try to catch up on our adventures this week. I have to tell you about our wonderful time in Lucca and other stuff. I will get busy on that.

Charlie has definitely decided that he will not "re-up" for another year so we will be heading home the last weekend of January. So...I better get caught up before this adventure is over!