Sunday, December 20, 2009

Let it Schnee, Let it Schnee, Let it Schnee....

We have snow in Vienna! It does seem that regardless of one’s religious beliefs, Christmas, especially if you live in a city, can be exciting, captivating, romantic. Add snow and it’s all of the above, multiplied. Vienna’s expression of Christmas is among the world’s best, and how lucky we feel to have snow around Christmas!

Here are some scenes from our visit to the Christmas Market at Karlsplatz. An old streetcar, decorated for the season, winds around one of the old Karlsplatz pavilions designed by Otto Wagner:

Approaching the Christmas Market from Naschmarkt:

Handmade items for sale include colorful glass baubles:

Great-smelling, über-cute, cake-shaped soaps by Maria Knapp at

Native American dream catchers:

Gorgeous hanging crystal candle-holders:

I especially love the wooden huts erected all around town offering tasty delights such as open-faced sandwiches, heart-shaped waffles dripping in apricot sauce and dusted with powdered sugar, traditional Austrian Kiachl (unsweetened donut-like dough with either a cranberry or sauerkraut filling), hot chocolate, glühwein (hot, spiced wine) or spiced orange punch. They provide an opportunity—an invitation, really—for strangers to stand at the same table, take photos for each other and share a little merriment. It is an atmosphere conducive to friendliness.

Traditional Austrian Kiachl—sauerkraut on the right and left and cranberry in the back:

This cute couple, Christina and Edi. Now this looks like a happy man! They encouraged us to try the heart-shaped waffles with apricot sauce...delicious!

The funny Ingrid, Mathias and Timo, waited with us for the arrival of the angel, who was late for her performance. (“Where the hell is the angel?”)

Finally, the angel appeared with her massive, ruffled, butterfly wings (delayed, I think, because some poor guy had to go up and carefully brush the snow off the disco-ball earth):

Our lovely angel had to balance her wings in the blowing snow, move her body to make them open and close while she climbed a tall ladder to reach the top of the planet, and do it all looking graceful while artificial clouds obscured her view. Thank goodness she had a safety harness on!

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