Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Thanksgiving in Vienna, Austria

     With Christmas just around the corner, I thought I should make a short post about our Thanksgiving in Vienna, Austria this year!  We only spent a few days there, but they were busy with eating, shopping, and meeting new people.  A friend has an Austrian girlfriend living in Vienna, and he invited us along on the 8-hour drive to her hometown to share an American tradition with the Austrians.  Since it was 8 hours, we left Wednesday afternoon and arrived very late on Wednesday night, so we got up the next day, did some grocery shopping and then started cooking.  Most of the foods were bought on an American military base before leaving as you can see from the picture below.

     After many hours of cooking and baking, we sat down to a huge table of about twenty people to share our meal.  Many questions were asked about what different foods were and the traditions of an American Thanksgiving.  Unlike Italians, most of them knew how to speak English which made things much easier.  The food was delicious, but the next day at the Christmas market, I found my favorite food from the trip!

     Though it is called a hot dog, it is nothing like an American hot dog!  After walking around for a little bit and shopping, we got hungry.  The maker first takes a long bread roll, shoves a stick down into the bread, and then puts a huge piece of sausage filled with pieces of cheese inside.  They also put any condiments (ketchup, mustard) into the roll before the sausage.  It was delicious!

     The market was huge.  As you can see below, it is made up of small stalls with vendors selling food, Christmas decorations, gifts, and toys.  There are Christmas markets all around the city, but the one we chose to go to is right in front of an old Town Hall building.

     While we were shopping, I found the perfect ornament to remember our trip.  Below is the Town Hall where the Christmas market is, and in the ribbon it says "Christmas in Vienna."  It is on our tree right now!

     After wandering around for a bit, we went inside and they were having a craft time for kids!  For about EURO3, kids could make ornaments, candles, and other crafts.  The picture shows how it was set up--they had large stalls with all the craft materials and adult helpers inside, and then a wall of windows to keep out the adults.  It looked like so much fun!

      Here I am in front of the beautiful ornament stand (all white ornaments as you can see from the glow!) that is at the front of the market.  And in the background you can see the top of the Town Hall!

     The next day we went around the town for a few hours and we took the trolley once. 

     We also got to see some of the historic buildings like this church that is right in the middle of the shopping district.

     Vienna was a lot of fun and it was nice to have an American/European Christmas and meet some new people.  When Christmas comes, some people will be able to have a little bit of Vienna with them when they open their gifts!  On Sunday we are going back to Austria, but this time we are going to Innsbruck, Austria which is much closer--we will get to have another market to walk around and hopefully some more hot dogs!