"So this is Christmas. And what have you done. Another year over. And a new one just begun. And so this is Christmas. I hope you have fun. The near and the dear ones. The old and the young …" – John Lennon
Christmas and New Year’s is a time to reflect back on what you have done throughout the year and MAN has this year been big…
In January we started off our year in jobs we enjoyed in the little old country of New Zealand. By April we had said ‘goodbye’ to our colleagues, family and friends and headed on an adventure that started in Australia (Adelaide) with one of my best friend’s wedding.
By the end of April we were traveling through Africa (South Africa, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Zambia, Tanzania, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya) enjoying all the wild and adventurous activities it had to offer.
And finally by mid-July we were in Europe where we travelled to Slovakia, Bosnia, Croatia, Spain and finally settling in Austria in September to find jobs.
Now let’s just leave out the months from September to October as they are boring and move on to mid-November and up to Christmas. This is when Vienna is transformed into a Christmas wonderland, although sadly this year there was no snow … (In my head I was happy!). This was my first time experiencing a winter Christmas and the Advent Markets did not disappoint.
The main market for tourists is at the Rathausplatz and this was the first one I visited. Here the market becomes a shining fairy tale land with roughly 150 stalls which offer Christmas gifts, Christmas tree decorations, sweets (mmm chocolate coated strawberries and langos!) and lecker punsch in flavours raging from orange, vanilla and raspberry, apple, berry, chocolate and more!
Very addicting and easy to get a bit tipsy when you’re standing out in the cold. The lights and decorations on the trees in this market make for a wonderful evening out and date night.
The Second Advent Market I visited was at Karlsplatz. Here we met up with friends and again joined the festive season by drinking punsch and eating very unhealthy food. The main attraction that makes this market stand out is that the pond is transformed into a farm yard scene, kind of like a nativity scene. Here you can marvel at some rare domestic animals and play in the hay like you are a kid.
The last Advent Market we visited was my favourite. It reminded me of the culture and vibe you get in Ponsonby, or Britomart in Auckland. The tiny alleyways and historical cobble-stone streets of this Market in Spittelberg have a romantic, fascinating atmosphere.
Spittelbergs vendors have unique culinary gift ideas, Christmas decorations handmade with love, jewellery for your special girlfriend, friend or wife and wonderful home-made winter clothing. The market just has this homely atmosphere where you are relaxed, happy and fall into the Christmas spirit instantly. We were enjoying ourselves so much there we spent a bit too much euro on the punsch and delicious Indian food that was there to eat.
If you want a unique Christmas experience then Vienna Christmas Markets are the place to be. The whole city is lit up with lights and decorations that even when you're miles away from your family you can’t but help to get into the Christmas mood. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Love Nikki and B x