Continuing live daily reports of our Viking River Cruise, we have been visiting every Christmas market we happen to see. Stopping in Vienna we enjoyed the largest one in Austria.
The cloudy day with temperatures in the 30′s was a stark contrast to the sunny 90-degree summer day we had experienced last summer. But hot Ghluwein, a traditional holiday beverage kept the crowd in a festive mood.
Visitors from all over the world joined Austrians of all ages who enjoyed roasted chestnuts, grilled Bratwurst, assorted sausages and other traditional holiday treats.
Gift-givers chose from hand-painted Christmas tree ornaments, nutcrackers, delicate straw stars, wooden toys, puppets, holiday wreathes and decorations, leather goods, unique craft items and fresh baked goods. For hundreds of years, only local tradespeople could sell their goods at the markets helping to preserve the regional charm and personality of the market.
Christmas markets have livened up the winter season throughout Europe for centuries, as they did for those of us who came by Viking longship.
We will have a complete review of the ship, crew, food and destinations shortly. For now, here are some more images from that Vienna Christmas Market: