Happy Holidays everyone! I just got back from Vienna where I spent Christmas… I didn’t see enough the first time so I decided I had to go back. This time I took a tour with some Vienna natives who showed me all the rich history of the city, as well as some of the stuff only locals know about, which was really cool. There were several Christmas markets placed all throughout the city, and I made it my mission to visit as many as I could. It’s an amazing experience that really can’t be described in a way that does it justice, though I did try to take as many pictures as I could to remember it properly.
Christmas itself was different than how we celebrate it in America, but there were enough similarities that I felt at home even though I wasn’t back in Connecticut. My favorite of the Christmas traditions I experienced was the lighting of the Christmas tree. No one is allowed to see the tree until Christmas Eve, and its unveiled after a bell has been wrung signifying that the Christmas Angel has arrived with presents. The tree was decorated with different chocolates and candies, and even had sparklers on it! The whole family stood around the tree while it sparkled and sang O Christmas Tree and Silent Night. That combined with the massive amounts of traditional Austrian food I ate made for quite the Christmas.
Although I am going out of chronological sequence, before I went to Vienna I also visited Luzern, as well as the country’s capital Bern. Both were really cool, and very different. Luzern was beautiful and full of character, filled with winding roads and small boutiques. The river runs through the city much like in Zurich, but the difference is that they have several covered bridges that you can view the city and river from. In Bern, the capital building was huge and the architecture was impressive. Although there didn’t seem to be a special occasion on the day we went, for some reason there were fireworks at night, and when they went off above the capital building the view was awesome. My mom and I took a great picture from the view you got looking out from the capital building.
Going a little further back in time, on one of our off days from hockey my roomie and I finally visited the zoo (she has literally been dying to go since the first day we got to Switzerland). Since I am all about making dreams come true, we went for a couple hours and saw some exotic animals. We even arrived in time to watch the penguins march through the zoo. Visitors were allowed to follow them and take as many pictures as they wanted, which meant I was about three feet away from an adorably fluffy baby penguin..I found Happy Feet!
Anyway, lots of travelling around Switzerland and Europe left to do before hockey starts up again in early January, so that’s all for now…I wish you all a Happy New Year and a great 2014!!