There are many reasons to visit the historic city of Vienna in Austria, but planning a trip in November will treat you with the extra treat of the Christmas markets. The markets in Vienna start in the middle of November, which is earlier than most of the other markets in Europe. We were there two years ago and visited four different Christmas markets that were located near the top sightseeing sites in the city. Although you can certainly visit the Christmas markets during the day, to really enjoy them, you should go at night.
Obviously there are plenty of hot drinks to be found such as hot chocolate and gluhwein (hot mulled wine), but there are many more things to be found in the markets. Handmade crafts are on display with many of them being for the holiday season as well as items that make excellent gifts for family and friends. Food is certainly another highlight of all of the markets with many choices of bratwurst, roasted chestnuts, pretzels, and a variety of sweets. We actually purchased a candle holder with images of Mozart and Vienna at one of the stalls as a souvenir of our trip.
The markets are a great place to spend time with family and friends or just to stroll as a couple. With so many people gathering to enjoy the spirit of the season, they are certainly places of happiness. One of the markets that we visited in Vienna also included ice skating as they had frozen the walking paths and turned them into a skating rink. It certainly was one of the more unique Christmas markets that we have seen. Clearly Vienna has many reasons to visit at any time of the year such as the palace, opera house, and cathedral, but if you plan your trip during the holidays you will also get to enjoy some of the best Christmas markets in all of Europe.
Many of us point and click our cameras and cell phones as we are traveling and when we get a chance to look back at our photos, sometimes the photos capture something different than what our eyes actually saw. Often these are happy accidents where the images turn out to be quite special and other times we are disappointed because it seemed so special at the time. We usually use auto-focus when traveling since we don’t always have time to stop and manually focus, which means that the camera might choose to focus on something different than intended. Also, the lighting might change how the image appears once we get a chance to look back at the photo. For this week’s Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge, which is Horizontal Lines, we have decided to share some of our unintended results. Have you ever been pleasantly surprised by a photograph after you go back and look at the pictures that you have taken that day?
While we were in Vienna, we made a point of visiting the Sigmund Freud Museum. We have always been fascinated with the famous psychiatrist and were looking forward to seeing what the museum had to offer. Our opinion of the museum is a little mixed. The museum is set in Freud’s apartment where he would see patients, but don’t expect to see it as it would have been when he lived there as the only furniture is in the waiting room and the famous couch where clients would lay as they recited their dreams, aspirations, and fears now resides in the museum in London.
You are given a map as you enter and you proceed on a self-guided tour of the apartment. There is a wealth of information on the life of Freud displayed through writings, pictures, newspaper articles, and other documentation. The net result is that it is a little like trying to read a book spread out across the walls of several rooms, so it becomes overwhelming quickly and much is lost.
The building was built in 1891 and Freud moved in after its completion. He lived in the apartment for 47 years where he produced a wealth of writings that were extremely influential to the growth of psychoanalysis and the science of mental health. There has always been some controversy over some of his theories, but it is fascinating to imagine him discussing them with his contemporaries.
We would still recommend that people visit the Sigmund Freud Museum when they are in Vienna, but it is helpful to know what to expect in advance. If you are expecting a refurbished home or typical museum exhibits, you might end up being disappointed. If you understand that it is more of a academic experience, then you will find certain aspects extremely interesting.