Christmas Markets

I’m back from a 11 day trip to Europe, hosting a large group of 70+ people on a Christmas Markets river cruise with U by Uniworld.

Did you miss me? I had some difficulties getting a newsletter out while I was away (including a laptop malfunction), so I waited to do one when I returned. So – this is the perfect timing, given Christmas is coming this week to update you on all I’d seen and done.

No, I’m not going to boil down 11 days of experiences into a 100 word article – but – I can give you just a sample of what it is that we’d experienced. And may I say – wow!

After an extended layover in Heathrow, London allowed us to visit that airport’s Christmas shopping venues, we flew on to Budapest, Hungary; and toured the city and did the Christmas markets there. We then moved on to Bratislava, Slovakia to sample their markets. From Slovakia, we sailed to Austria; and visited Vienna (my favourite city) for their exquisite markets in town hall, as well as the magical ones in front of Schonbrunn Palace. We then had a quick hop through Melk, Austria and visited the Benedictine Abby; before going on to Passau, Germany. German food and wares at their markets were also supplemented by touring Ilz, and meeting the Christkind Christmas angel. And finally we finished our U by Uniworld river cruise in Regensburg, Germany; but not after experiencing several of their Christmas markets – including the Romantic Christmas markets at night. And to top it all off, we travelled to Prague in the Czech Republic to sample even more Christmas markets. It was magical!

What did I eat and drink? What did I buy? Which markets did I like best?

Across six countries (and yes, I’m counting Heathrow in London for Harrods alone!), we ate, drank, bought, and sampled a lot!

Favourite city – Vienna by far, but – Prague was absolutely beautiful.

Favourite Christmas market? – that’s a tough one but I’d say it was a toss up between Vienna Schonbrunn Palace markets, Regensburg Romantic markets, and Prague large city market – they all were glorious, but there’s something about lights and a choir that makes the nightime markets even more magical

Favourite drink – mulled wine! I’ll be making some this Christmas. I drank some in each city, and tasted their different spices/ take on mulled wine or Gluwein or Punsch

Favourite food – ooh, another toss up between Chimney Cake, Sacher Torte, Schnitzel, and Sausages

Favourites Souvenir bought – lots of treats for my family (some they haven’t opened yet), but I was especially enamoured by a Gustav Klimpt scarf I bought myself in Vienna, as well as a night watchman Nutcracker to go with my collection (of course, there is all the chocolate, ornaments, smoking Santa pieces, scarves, gingerbread, paprika, mustard, wine, and crystal)

Want to go? Let me know! I can get you there for next year’s edition!

And – by the way – U by Uniworld and the whole Shepherds’ Fashions and friends were absolutely astounding. What a trip!

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