to Europe's Christmas Markets
were a real treat...
rushing around all day evenings were low key and pure
relaxation. There was no pressure to participate in anything.
The hours were yours to use as you needed and wanted to.
The helpful cruise director was always available to answer
questions and to take care of any concerns the passengers
had. New found friends gathered in the lounge to chat,
read, listen to music, play bridge, review their photographs
or enjoy the talents of singers and dancers that came
on board to entertain. We were especially impressed with
the fabulous Spitweg Quartet, four young men who sang
acapello for us. Their evocative rendition of Silent Night
was so lovely and tugged gently at our heart strings.
From time to time I thought about last minute shoppers
shlepping shopping bags through malls back home. This
year happily I wasn't one of them. Nirvana.
Some of my favorite
hot chocolate at the Schonbrunn Palace Market in Vienna.
G. who graciously allowed me to photograph her in Regensburg's
-- The elegant
Austrian church where Julie Andrews was married in 'Sound
-- The mouthwatering
breakfast waffles served aboard the M/S Amacello.
-- The spectacular
library in Melk's Benedictine Abbey.
-- A cup
of steaming mulled wine in Pest's Market Square.
the passenger who 'dressed' for dinner every night. Gorgeous!
helpful friends from Texas when I was hopelessly lost
down on Prague's Christmas Market from the Prince Hotel's
my M/S Amacello smiling fairy godmother who kept my cabin
spotless. Bless her.
-- The Linz
Market by night and the vendor who offered samples of
-- The horse-drawn
Christmas buggies in Salzburg. Magical.
world famous spiced Christmas cookies (Elisen-Lebkuchen).
-- The swans
that swam beside the ship when we were docked in Vienna
Goulash and bread dumplings at Cafe Slavia (Smetanovo
nábreí 2) in Prague.
-- The apricot
schnapps I tasted in the charming town of Melk.
the snow fall silently on the Germany landscape as we
sailed the Danube.
What should I wear?
the fancy gowns and glitz at home. Part of the joy of
a river cruise is its wonderful informality. There was
only one evening when we dressed up a bit, otherwise we
all opted for comfortable sweaters, sweatshirts, jeans
or slacks. Going on a Christmas Market River Cruise means
travel in December. Northern Europe is cold and damp at
that time of the year. So what? It's supposed to be cold
at Christmas time. It just means you'll be drinking lots
of hot chocolate and delicious mulled wine. Just make
sure to pack appropriately and understand you'll be exploring
markets and sightseeing for long stretches of time. For
me that meant wearing a warm coat, hat, gloves, scarf,
socks and long johns. I also made sure I had boots that
had thick soles so I was never cold.
If you're lucky you'll get to see Europe under a sprinkling
of snow and in a very different way than if you'd travelled
by train or car during the summer.
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