Austria

Christmas Markets

We’re in Vienna once again. We wanted to use this opportunity to visit a number of Christmas markets, but life got in the way. 

Nürnberg

Christmas markets, or Christkindlmärkte, are a big thing in German speaking countries. City squares are transformed into festive villages of tiny log cabins selling useless crap and wonderful food. And to keep warm, you drink all the Glühwein (mulled wine) or Punsch (warm rum with fruit) you can.  So when we decided to visit Vienna by car, this seemed like a great opportunity to drop by the Christmas market in Nürnberg.

Last Friday we departed from Amsterdam in a good mood. The drive would be less than seven hours, which meant that we would arrive in Nürnberg around dinner and have all the time to visit the Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt, reportedly one of the biggest Christmas markets in the world. The weather was a bit foggy, but as you can see we were good to go.

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That’s not what happened. The German Autobahn might be known for their quality and lack of speed limits, but driving through Germany on the first day of the Christmas holidays turns out to be bad plan. We crawled from traffic jam to traffic jam, and every time we thought we had seen the worst, the radio happily informed us of yet another Stau ahead.

In the end the trip took us more than eleven hours, and by the time we arrived at Hotel Noris in Nürnberg, the market was closed. No Nürnberger Christkindlmarkt for us.

Vienna – Türkenschanzpark

The drive from Nürnberg to Vienna was how we originally imagined the entire trip. We arrived at our apartment around noon, and it looked like we would at least make the second Christmas market: the Christkindlmarkt at the Türkenschanzpark.

The Türkenschanzpark is small park in the western part of Vienna. It runs up a small hill and every year they have a Christmas market at the upper part of the park. It’s a small market, but they compensate for this by having the best Christmas drink ever: the Feuerzangenbowle, mulled wine served with a burning loaf of sugar on top.

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This is a picture of the last time we visited the Türkenschanzpark, which is over a year ago. This year, instead of visiting the market, mr Dodo decided to lose his phone. We spent the entire afternoon alternating between our apartment and mrs Dodo’s parents’, hoping to find mr Dodo’s phone. No Christkindlmarkt im Turkenschanzpark for us.

Sidenote: a few days later mr Dodo’s phone was retrieved from the depths of a toilet.

Vienna – Schönbrunn

Until recently, most Christkindlmärkte closed at Christmas. Since we arrived in Vienna only on the 23rd of December, it would be a close call to visit them all.. Today, on the brink of Christmas Eve,  we finally succeeded in visiting our favorite: we went to the market at Schönbrunn, the imperial summer palace. We finally had the chance to look at some useless crap:

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Drink punsch:

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And enjoy the courtyard in all its glory:

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Mission accomplished.

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