Travelling with small children can be a bit of a challenge but in December my husband and I took our two daughters, then 3 and 7 months to Austria. (I have blogged about some of my favourite Tiny Human travel gear on my personal blog) My husband had travelled to Austria several times for business but this was my first visit to the country and our first vacation as a family of 4. I am a huge Christmas fan so we timed our trip to be there during the famous Christmas markets.
Our first stop was Vienna; I was instantly blown away by the city’s beauty and culture. Our first night, while my husband and eldest daughter went to the ballet, I toured my first Christmas market. Unfortunately, most of the stalls were closed for the night but I did get to try my first mug of Gluehwein, or mulled wine. (An après-ski drink that is also sold in the Christmas market stalls) The next night we set out earlier and I was able to fully appreciate the bustling Christmas Markets with their food, drink and vendor stalls.
My eldest daughter loved her visit to the Schoenborn palace and zoo a short subway ride from the city. We try to plan something for our eldest daughter to look forward to every day of our vacation and the palace was the hit of the trip, particularly the children’s museum where she had the opportunity to dress up like a princess and pose on throne.
After a few days in Vienna we took the train to Salzburg. I love train travel when travelling within Europe, it allows you experience the scenery without having to navigate in unfamiliar territory.
Salzburg is famous for being the setting for The Sound of Music but the city itself with its bridges and surrounding mountains is beautiful.
One of the best things about travelling in other countries is getting the opportunity to experience different cultural traditions. We happened to be in Saltzburg for the Night of Krampus, a night where Santa’s evil helper kidnaps the naughty children and carries them away in a sac. Today, individuals dress as Krampus and visit local restaurants and the Christmas markets to collect donations for charity. St. Nicholas/Santa follows close behind passing out sweets. Unfortunately, we were not aware of this tradition until Krampus visited the restaurant where we were having dinner. I am fairly certain my eldest daughter will have nightmares for years to come.