"" Writer's Wanderings: Cruising The Danube - Vienna

Monday, December 18, 2017

Cruising The Danube - Vienna

St. Stephen's Cathedral is said to be the symbol of Vienna. Our hotel was right around the corner from it. Our first few hours after arriving in Vienna was spent exploring the cathedral and the square, or platz as it is called, around the cathedral where one of the many Christmas Markets of Vienna is located.

Lots of booths featured food and it didn't take us long to find some tasty sausage sandwiches and a cup of warm Christmas punch (Weinachtspunsch). The punch came in a small ceramic boot which was unique to this market. You buy the punch and put a deposit on the mug. If you don't want to keep the mug you can return it to get your deposit back. A lot of people collect them as they are different in each market area you visit.

As we wandered the market area we noticed that a lot of the booths were selling similar items. There was very little that looked homemade and we began to joke that it might say "made in China" on the bottom. Don't get me wrong, the items for sale were very nice for the most part but we had expected more hand crafted items and a little more variety.

The later it got in the afternoon, the larger the crowd grew, gathering around the food and drink booths mostly. We opted to spend some time warming up in our rooms before setting out again in the cold for dinner. The weather was such that the wind blew right through your coat and the dampness chilled the bones.

Dinner was something we had all waited for in anticipation of this trip--weiner schnitzel, the real deal. It was perfect. Almost filling the plate was the tenderest veal I've ever had with a thin crispy breading. Lots of sighs.

After dinner we walked around the market a bit and enjoyed the now lighted decorations of the area. Suddenly the bells of St. Stephen's began to fill the air. It was a beautiful moment. Maybe this cold weather was worth putting up with.

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