Christmas Enchantment

26 Dec

It was Christmas day.  I was needing a little jaunt about.  So I walked out the door to see where my feet would take me.  I didn’t expect much other than quiet streets and fresh air.

As I wandered not far down the road I was soon in the familiar museum quarter.  I started to see pockets of people and soon realized that the Christmas market by the museums seemed to be in action… and so I partook!  Despite my full serving of Christmas markets this holiday season, I found I still had room for a little pleasure from one last market.  Just one more glimpse at the hand-made goods.  And, of course, just one more serving of roasted chestnuts, maroni in German… my favorite.

My last Christmas Market of the year located between the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Art in Vienna.

My last Christmas Market of the year located between the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Art in Vienna.

Maroni, or roasted chestnuts.  A holiday favorite and my last sampling of the season.

Maroni, or roasted chestnuts. A holiday favorite and my last sampling of the season.

A few things caught my eye and soon I made my first purchase.  It was a beautiful spatula made from olive wood.  I have come to love my host’s wooden spatulas for cooking, and this was a dreamy version of them with swirls and patterns in the wood. Soon after I stopped, mesmerized….but not making a purchase…at was has become my favorite book maker this holiday season, Bomo Art from Budapest.  With their traditional handmade books and rich designs, I am a new fan.  Check them out if you like at their website.

My feet then led me just a little further into the inner city.  I was in good company with a gathering of international visitors and tourists.  Soon I was in the heart of the city and once again, simply enchanted by Vienna.  All decked out in her fancy Christmas decorations, I discovered visual delight around every corner.  It was raining that day which cast a slight gloss on the city, merely adding to her beauty.

Christmas beauty in the inner city of Vienna

Christmas beauty in the inner city of Vienna

Christmas in Vienna

Wet winter streets in Vienna

Wet winter streets in Vienna

I took a peek inside the St. Peter’s cathedral and was simply blown away by the feeling of reverence and visual beauty.  I took in a few extended moments of silence, awe and prayer.  Not long after I wandered again by St. Stephens Cathedral.  I had visited this cathedral before, but had heard there was a great view from the top that I had not yet checked out.  I snooped around trying to find the way to get there and soon found a place to buy lift tickets for just 5 Euro.  Okay, I thought… and bought a ticket.

The astounding beauty and reverence of St Peter's Cathedral.

The astounding beauty and reverence of St Peter’s Cathedral.

As I boarded the tiny elevator with five other guests, I said a silent prayer that I didn’t have a panic attack from feeling claustrophobic.  This, as it turns out was the wrong prayer… because when we exited the elevator I was shocked by another tiny area – but this one was at the top of the cathedral giving way to the outdoors and the city.  There were no solid floors, but grated floors and walls leaving me feeling completely vulnerable and triggering my fear of heights.  “Oh… I should have thought about this before hand…” I said aloud to myself and no one else in particular.  After exiting the elevator, I stayed glued to a small patch of wall and solid floor, as panic flashed through my eyes.  I did my best to breath and relax for a few minutes until gratefully the elevator returned and I quickly made my exit.  Phew.

It was still a beautiful outing nonetheless.  And another of those simple but powerful moments that remind you what travel has to offer… unexpected moments of beauty and enchantment in a way the feels fresh, new and alive.

With that, I wish you much peace, comfort, rest and delight with the remaining time on your holiday season, wherever you are in the world.  And rich blessings for the New Year!