Today we’re traveling from Prague to Vienna. There’s a short 10 minute train from Praha hlavní nádraží to a suburban station, where we change for the train that goes to Vienna. It’s a bit strange to me that a train that’s coming from Berlin and goes to Graz, stops at a station that has 3 tracks, rather than the main city station, but maybe it’s a matter of being more time efficient. While there aren’t many others waiting with us, the train car we board is fairly busy. The total trip time is about 5 hours, getting us into Vienna about 3pm. Once in Vienna, we transfer to an UBahn that gets us within blocks of our hotel.
At 3:30ish pm, it’s already starting to get a little dark. it’s about 37°, no rain or snow. After getting situated in our hotel room (exactly the same one we’re were in when here in September), we head out to the little sandwich shop we always visit when in Vienna, for little finger sandwiches and a beer. Trzesniewski has been our favorite here for decades.
Walking down the Graben back to the hotel , we stop at the Lions Club tent for a “punsch” – punsch with a “punch” (alcohol). When we were here in September, they had already erected the superstructure of the tent. The stand is really busy on this crisp evening with people gathered about the small tables.
There’s a Christmas market across the street from our hotel. We plan to visit the large Christmas market at the town hall tomorrow, but this one is so convenient, and there’s another just down the street.
The Weinachtsmarkt Markt has a lot of small stalls selling a tremendous variety of handmade goods and food and “punch”. We happened upon a stand that sold raclette and decided to try that. The vendor had two large “bricks” of raclette that sit under a heat lamp and you can see (and smell) it as it bubbles at the top. To prepare our order, he cuts up some small potatoes then scrapes raclette off the brick onto the potatoes, adds some spices, onions and a pickle. Interestingly, he takes any form of payment you can imagine, including Bitcoin. (YouTube video).
We bought another punsch that was orange in flavor and didn’t have the kick the other one had, but felt good in this cold evening.
Another block down the street is the Alt- Weine market, about the same size as the first. But walking back the other side of the street we “discovered “ an arcade we’d missed before. Beautiful and unique architecture with restaurants, specially stores.
It’s been a busy day with so much time on the train (at least it had Wi-Fi) and then visiting a few Christmas markets.
Country count 3
City count 4
Total Christmas markets 6