There are often surprises on a first visit to an area. One of these and something that Sweeney and I really liked about Salzburg was the way the Altstadt (Old Town) was nestled under a cliff and guarded over by Hohensalzburg Fortress (or Festung Hohensalzburg, meaning High Salzburg Fortress) one of the largest Medieval castles in Europe.
Vienna’s old town is a treasure chest of architectural and historical gems, including many churches which seem to be ideal to view at Christmastime. On our pre-Christmas trip earlier this month, we took notice of the various nativity scenes as most of the European churches we visited in the weeks before Christmas presented their own special versions.
I’m addicted to European Christmas markets! In Germany and Austria, they’re called Weihnachtsmarkts and Christkindlmarkts depending on where you are. Each market has distinct aspects and settings that highlight its individuality, but there are many similarities — festive lights, hand-made arts and crafts, food, drink, and entertainment. I love sipping Glühwein and eating bratwurst sandwiches while browsing the arts and crafts stalls and talking to the artisans amid old European settings.