Friday, December 7, 2012

Snow in Haarlem!

We woke up to snow this morning!  It was still dark at 0830 when I took these first pictures:

Later on in the day I had an appointment at the gym. I had a trainer (Darcy) show me how to use all the machines in the "circuit" area. While I was there I did an ab workout and an "afvallen" workout which was quite intense!  I am feeling it tonight! While I was out, I took a few more pictures!

 They just put the Christmas trees out for sale today!
 "Our" canal!

Andrew and I did wrapping of gifts today in preparation to send off to the "kids" tomorrow!  We got a couple in the mail today......the rest we will send tomorrow morning!

Trip to Vienna!

Late afternoon Sunday, December 2nd, Andrew brought me to Schiphol so I could catch a flight to Vienna. It was a two hour flight. When I arrived at the Vienna airport I took a taxi to the Imperial Riding School Renaissance Marriott, which cost me about 35 Euro.

When I walked in the door, my friend Pat met me in the lobby!  Soooooo wonderful to see her!  Pat had purchased a bottle of wine....soooooo....I dropped my things off in my room (625) and went back down to sit and chat with Pat. Her friend Mary was in their room, so I knocked on the door and she joined us downstairs!  We shared the wine, made plans for the next day and headed up to our rooms around 2200. 

Monday, December 3rd

The next morning we got up and had a wonderful European breakfast with salmon, coldcuts, cheese, fruit, yogurt, delicious coffee and pastries. There was a nice array of food! 

We headed out for Linz in the late morning. We took a cab to the train station and bought our tickets there.

When we arrived in Linz it was snowing!  Sooo beautiful!  We weren't sure which way to go, so we stopped at a little stand for some Gluhwein to get some fuel for our adventure! It's pretty yummy stuff!

We got directions from the proprietor to the Christmas we headed that way on foot...and here we are at the 1st one (or was it the 2nd one?!?!'s a long story which I will tell you in a bit!)

Linz is known world wide for the "Linzer Torte"....of course we had to try some! Another tasty treat well worth the stop!

We decided to try an apple strudel too.....since we were there!

We went back to the Christmas market and found a scrumptious savory treat!

The round of cheese is melted from the top, scraped off and put on a slice of's gooooood!

We walked a bit more more gluhwein.....

Back to shopping at the Christmas markets! Mary found some cute pompoms!!!

Walking down the streets a bit more:

 A "street artist" with a grand piano!!!

 Suuuuure! Why not have another gluhwein?!?!
More Christmas markets......or maybe it's the same one?!??! We were walking around the Christmas market.....we thought it was the 2nd one we had found......and noticed that all the tables were set up the the same order...and selling the same things as the "first" market we had found. Mary then saw one of the vendors that she had seen earlier and we finally realized we were had gone back to the same market we had been to earlier!  Aye!  Three directionally challenged women!

We stopped for dinner. Goulash soup....delicious!!!!!

The Christmas market outside of the restaurant was so beautiful.

We continued down the street....the holiday lights in the city were so beautiful! Buttttt, now we were at the canal and we realized we were further away from the train station then we planned on going!  So, we found a tram stop and some very nice people helped us buy tickets to get back to the main station!

 Being silly on the train! three......take the U3!
Tuesday, December 4th

We decided to take it easy today....We met for breakfast around 1000hrs.  I love European breakfasts!
We just kind of "hung out" all day.  Later on, we walked around Vienna for a bit and then headed over to the Best Western Premier Kaiserhof where we met Tim and Gail who had just flown in!  They were feeling okay, so we decided to walk around town a bit!

Goulash soup!


We walked around a bit more after dinner:

Later on we all went to the Marriott and sat in the lobby and had a few glasses of wine and talked for a while....then Tim and Gail headed back to their hotel for the night!
Wednesday, December 5th

Today, the five of us decided to go to the Schloss Schonbrunn in Vienna.

No pictures allowed inside.....The tour was very nice. We had headsets that narrated the tour in English as we went along.

Afterward the tour we went to the Christmas market in the plaza...1st on the list...what else!?!?! Gluhwein!

 Sinterklaas is in Vienna too!!!

"The Bow" at different times of the day!

We walked around a bit:
 Then stopped for some world renowned Sachertorte!

After dinner all of us go back to our hotel...and sit in the lounge for a while. Two more friends are coming, Tim, Gail, Pat and I head over to their hotel to greet them.  We met with them for just a short time, talked about what to do the following day, and then Pat and I went back to our hotel.
Thursday, December 6th

Today is my last day in Vienna. I was up at 0730...took a shower, then called Pat to make sure she was up and getting ready for the day! Pat, Mary and I met for breakfast at around 0900...then headed out of the hotel around 1015. We met with Tim, Gail, Debbie and Carol!

Debbie looks very European in her sweater and hat that she made!  
We walked down the main shopping street and headed to St. Stephan's Domkerche:

 This guy was trying to sell us tickets to a concert...but ended up posing for pictures instead!

 Okay, where to next?!?!?
How about Karlskirche?!?

We headed inside where we got a group discount, so we only paid 5Euro each to get in:

Tim and Gail's new fashion statement!

 My last meal in Vienna!  Goulash soup, Raclette and gluhwein with wonderful friends! Can't get much better than that!

On my way back to Haarlem.....