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Tails From the Vienna Woods

Traditions: Pelzhaus. Vienna is notable for their love of dogs; and also, judging by the numerous fur shops sprinkled around, fondness of furry woodland creatures whose skins can be worn when the thermometer dips. This particular fur shop is more than 90 years old and all of their offerings are still made by hand, with pelts carefully selected from “humane” farms. No irony there.

 

Traditions

Once upon a time…(more like, just six years ago) our American Thanksgiving weekend followed a well-honed routine: Thursday of course was Turkey Day; and on Friday we procured the Christmas tree (no Black Friday nonsense for us!), which meant pulling the Radio Flyer wagon to our local parish and selecting an always-too-large tree from amongst the Boy Scouts offerings. ‘Tis a gift of maternal heritage; I also only know how to cook for either 2 or 10 people.

The entirety of the weekend was reserved for decorating both the tree; and, especially, the white picket fence around our garden with precisely-aligned lights and pine garland. Our home was on a corner near the elementary school and our neighbors and others had come to look forward to the glow of said precisely-aligned lights during the holiday season during their to and fro; in the first year following our move overseas neighbors even sent us sad photos of our house, void of holiday cheer, and writing about how much they had come to look forward to the lights.

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Place 11. “The Bonbons,” from “111 Places in Vienna That You Shouldn’t Miss.”

A shop as sweet on the inside as it smells, Vienna’s oldest candy store that first opened in 1936. A visit inside reveals nostalgic candies alongside the newest vegan and fair trade chocolates. Truly something for every sweet tooth.

Tannenbaum, Tirolerland, and Thai Food

A cringe-worthy post came across one of my Vienna social media news feeds last week: “Last year I went on a Christmas Market crawl and it was awesome! If anyone is interested I would love to arrange one for the group?”  

It is more than enough for me that the online presence of my adopted hometown has been taken over bloggers who only see the city for its “Best This” and “Top Ten That;” and like wearing flip-flops and sloshing Sturm from a plastic cup on a vineyard hike, traipsing from Glühwein stall to Glühwein stall is Just. Wrong.

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The Gods Were Ever in Our Favor. Athens! Postcards

All the best from the digital cutting floor.

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There exists a book, “111 Places in Vienna That You Shouldn’t Miss.”  Recently I happened upon a second-hand copy and thought it might contribute more meaning to my wandering. Of course I do not plan to wander in numerical order. This is Place 7. “Dissolved Ties”

For the latter half of its 1.000 year existence (with one tiny three-year exception), the Holy Roman Empire was ruled by Habsburg emperors.

In 1806, with Napoleonic France being a pain in the Habsburg backside of Emperor Francis II stood on the balcony of this church and dissolved the empire; then proclaimed himself Emperor of Austria.

The Gods Were Ever in Our Favor. Athens! Part III

Who knew olive oil is a “Dangerous Good?”

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The Gods Were Ever in Our Favor. Athens! Part II

Here’s the thing. Up until Anna Grace decided she could spare a few days of her autumn break on holiday (heavy IB load), I could never find the love for Athens, and I do not know why. There are other places I feel similarly about, as well, like Lisbon and California and Iceland and the whole of South America. Yet, Athens kept coming up as an autumn city break destination, and so the flights were purchased. By the time I had slogged past all “epic” and “ultimate” trip reports and blogs I came across during travel research to concentrate on the remaining writings by travelers with vocabularies, I was smitten. Funny how these things happen.

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Anecdotes on Austria

Firsts on many fronts.

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