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Christmas in Austria

Day 7 - Merry Christmas

AUSTRIA | Monday, 26 December 2011 | Views [617]

It was an early morning this morning but not to open presents under a tree. I was hoping on a bus to a sleigh ride. It was beautiful, sunny and crisp this morning and I was once again joined by my adopted family here in Salzburg, Linda and Julie. The are originally from the US but Julie is over here in the Czech republic teaching English. I met them on my Schonbrunn tour in Vienna and we have done three tours and the Mozart dinner concert together. They really added to my trip, they are great women and I had so much fun being part of their vacation and wish them all the best!

We had about an hour by bus to our sleigh ride destination. It was a gorgeous journey along the old salt routes and through the mountains. Once we entered into the mountain ski areas there was a lot of snow on the ground and covering the trees. They looked like they were dressed in crystals for the occasion. It was truly breathtaking. I do have some photos that will be posted but they just are not the same.

Our sleigh ride was so much fun! The sleigh held 8 people so the three of us took the middle row and another family of 5 took the other seats. Our driver offered us a shot of schnapps to begin the journey (apparently the only one to do so). The views were stunning. Some of my pics will need editing though as we were bumpy and so I see that edges of my mittens have made it into a number of pics. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uOXXIEIYiMM&feature=youtu.be It truly was a Winter Wonderland. The horse behind us kept sneaking up and putting its head between the people in the back row of the sled. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrAtWDpw9Uo It was such a spectacular way to spend Christmas. We stopped for a quick break at a local inn and then headed out into the mountains again. We passed the Olympic ski jumps and where the Nordic mixed world championships are held. Everyone we passed waved and wished us a merry Christmas. At the end we got on the buses and headed back to Ramsau for lunch. We unfortunately did not get to go up to the dachstein look out. It was too clouded and we did not have enough time. We had lunch a a lovely Hotel Pehab and then wandered a bit in the town. After that it was back on the bus back to Salzburg.

For dinner this evening we headed to St. Peter Stiftskiller. It is one of the oldest restaurants in Europe with recorded histories back to 803 and Mozart's sister wrote entries in her diary about the family eating there and her father and her brother playing music there. They played Mozart's music and two opera singers performed between courses. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7tcK22qUNg I will post some video of that as well. We ended up seated with a group from England/Canada (Owen Sound to be exact) and a couple from Australia. We all had such a lovely evening together and the food was outstanding. It was so absolutely surreal surrounded in this old grand hall decorated for Christmas. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZlccjqS7kk Such a perfect ending to Christmas day in Salzburg. Sadly my friends will be leaving tomorrow so I will be wandering around town. It is the last day for the Christmas markets and mostly tourist things will be open so I may head to the museums and if it is nice the Untersberg. It was crisp and clear as we drove by this morning, taunting me. It will be early to be tomorrow because the next morning I have an early flight to Innsbruck.

Cheers all! Hope you had a fantastic holiday and to my family I miss you and thought of you all today. While I am so very happy to be here I miss the time I have not had with you.

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