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Christmas in Austria

Day 1 or 1.5

CANADA | Monday, 19 December 2011 | Views [333]

Day 1: Flight from T.O. to Vienna then Vienna to Salzburg. Total flight time about 8.5hrs total travel time about 12hrs. I arrived in Salzburg at about 11am Dec. 19.

I ended up snagging a first class upgrade for flight one (flight two too small for first class). As I preboarded and arrived at my little pod in 5C I was a little scared since this chair had more buttons on it than the largest universal remote I have ever seen, in fact it had its own detachable universal remote. The chairs are flexible in about 15 different places including stretching right out to create a flat bed. Resting on the seat was a plush pillow and blanket (woohoo but I normally don't sleep on flights). In the compartment in front of me which could not be reached sitting back in my chair was a complimentary head set, slippers and a pretty little toiletry bag filled with brand name creams, socks, shoe horn, mints, tooth brush and toothpaste, pen etc. In the next moment I see a woman wearing a chefs outfit headed my way and she hands me a menu to pick my selections for my main dinner dish and my breakfast in the morning. She informs me that she will be back in a moment for it along with my champagne. She does return in a minute fighting the throngs of economy passengers now attempting to board. As soon as we hit altitude the attendants bring around warm lemon scented towels and a table cloth and cloth napkin for our little trays. We get full sets of silver ware and a little china dish with a miniature salt and pepper set and a dish of piped out butter rosettes. Next an appetizer of smoked salmon and cheese rolls, cheese slices, pickled peppers and capers. Then a choice of carrot soup or a shrimp or beef frisee salad with grilled asparagus mango and a spicy tamarind dressing. Mmmmmmmm. Next our mains, a choice of mushroom raviolis, lamb or salmon with complimentary wine, champagne...etc. For dessert amazing strudel with vanilla ice cream and warm vanilla sauce. Then everyone settled in for a movie and then tucked into bed. I read for a while and then totally zonked out. Apparently the key to me sleeping on a plane is first class. Will have to see if I can swing it on the way back.

Breakfast this morning was fruit medley, fresh warm pastries, vienna's famous coffees, omlets, yogurt and muesli.

The flight from Vienna to Salzburg was about 30min. Enough time to hand out little bottles of water, serve coffee and tea to everyone and then pack it all in because we are in our descent. When we landed it was a snowy wonderland. There is snow on the roofs and on the trees and open park spaces but not in the street. After checking in, cleaning up and unpacking I decided to hit the town. I love this place. While it does not have the family ties that my current home(s) do there is just something about Salzburg that reaches deep in my soul and I feel perfectly at home here. It refreshes and refills me. The air here smells of spices like cinnamon, nutmeg and anise. It reminds me of mulled apple cider on the stove. Everywhere in stores, in the streets and in the hotel, my very own room smells of it. Between that and the cool mountain air, my appetite for all things Salzburg has been kicked into overdrive. I wandered the two main Christmas markets in town today (it will take me all 10 days to get through them thoroughly) started my Christmas shopping. I went to the museum in Mozart's family home and then had a lunch of cappuccino and goulash with fresh bakery rolls. Hmmm I love the food here. I then wandered through St. Sebastian cemetery where a number of the mozart family are buried along with other dignitaries. Took a lot of photos and got back into the swing of things. 

I grabbed a couple of pastries at the Christmas markets only to come back to the hotel to find free coffee, tea and cakes in the lounge every day from 3:30 to 6pm. I had my first gluhwein (mulled wine) and had bratwurst #1 for dinner. I am going to watch a few Christmas movies (dvd collection here free for borrowing to watch in rooms) and settle in early while my electronics have a chance to charge and my batteries too!!

Tomorrow I am going to try and get to Hellbrunn palace and their Christmas markets, the Residence palace museum and some of the major cathedrals. Thanks for taking the time to follow along in my journey. Hope you enjoy the pictures.

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