As Maria said to Mother Superior, “The sky was so blue, and the hills were beckoning, I just had to be a part of it.” Or something like that. Today the sky was indeed blue, the kind of winter blue that compels you to be outside, to be a part of it.

So outside we went. But first, inside, to tour the catacombs beneath Stephansdom (no photos permitted!)  A very interesting tour, and highly recommendable. I’d be happy to tour again should you come to Vienna.

Coming above ground, we were drawn to the excitement of a city preparing for the new year. From what we have been told, Vienna is the place to be for New Year’s, and we are looking forward to celebrating with our new friends.  Austrians also have a fair number of traditions, many involving the pig, long considered to bring good luck in the new year.  Our stroll along two of the city’s most tourist-heavy streets provided ample opportunities to secure a lucky charm.

But the good luck charms do not end with the pig. Ladybird beetles, chimney sweeps, frogs, and four-leaf clover are also considered to bring good fortune in the new year.

As are symbols of the Zodiac.
And for the fashionable, a dress from Louis Vuitton may be all the charm a girl needs. 
A stuffed pink pig in hand, and their pockets full of lucky charms, two friends make their way home…