For years Mum had pined after a White Christmas. We’d be sitting in the backyard on Christmas Day, jumping in and out of the pool, washing off the mango juice that had run down our arms, and smooshed across our faces, and dream of the other side of the world.
I don’t know when the dream eventuated into something real and substantial, but when it did, there was no suppressing the planning, discussions, and the day-dreaming. Accommodation started to be booked. Flights lined up, and all of a sudden we were going to Europe for a White Christmas.
To maintain sanity and ultimate relaxation, Theo and I traveled separately to the rest of the family, meeting them halfway in western Austria.
A quick recap of the trip, and then some dedicated posts later on for each destination. We flew into Prague the week before Christmas. Europe during this season is just a completely different world, what with the jet lag and foreign city business, but the Christmas decorations. They take celebrating and decking the shit out of those halls, to the max. Trees, markets, hot wine, carolers, decorations, lights, everything!
Prague was an incredibly beautiful city to begin in. It was full of culture, history, great food, and a great place to walk around. We also had reasonably good weather which made the world of difference.
From Prague we trained to Vienna. Going further south, and closer to the Alps, came with it cooler weather, and the additional clothes layers. We stayed relatively close to the city centre, which made it really easy to walk around well into the evening. The grandness of Vienna, the Castle, zoo (in the Castle grounds), meandering waterways was the perfect setting for more walking.
By this stage I was itching to see my family, and rather jealous of their adventures, gallivanting through Germany. We arrived in the evening, coincidentally met at the train station, and became acquainted with our new village home for the next week, Seefeld. It was as you would imagine an Austrian skiing village would look, quaint houses with pitching roofs, surrounded by beautiful snow capped mountains.
Our first night in Seefeld was made all the more special as it snowed (a first experience for a few of the holiday participants). We skiied for a few days, visited neighbouring towns, and walked through forests and along streams. A few snow ball fights were also had, including a particularly memorable one after Christmas lunch.
It was really, the perfect way to spend Christmas. It will forever be remembered fondly.
From Seefeld we trained (and a bit of bussing) to Munich where it was cold, snowy, and our first introduction to Germany. Our time there was full of touristy things, along with nights in watching True Detective and Sherlock (oh to be old spirited). The positioning of Munich in terms of its proximity to Bavarian sights was incredible. However we will still remember it by surfing in the middle of a park whilst it was snowing (and -5 degrees Celsius mind you), and having to walk to the bus stop, with our luggage in tow, in foot thick snow.
On New Year’s Eve we headed to Berlin by bus. I prepared accordingly by sleeping the whole six hour journey, in true Caitlyn style. New Year’s was incredible, and a once in a lifetime kind of opportunity. The following days were spent walking the streets of Berlin, and experiencing the liberation of the city, through sculptures, murals, and just the general feel.
To complete our journey we to a bus to Copenhagen, which in itself was an adventure. I came down with a cold while there, however again it was just an easy, beautiful city to be in. I don’t know what it is about water bodies, and the massive boost it provides, but wow! I’d move there in a heart beat.
We arrived back on Saturday. Washed plenty. Restocked the pantry and fridge. And have gotten back into the routine of normal life all too quick.
This trip was an amazing four weeks, probably the best I have spent overseas. The culture, the food (oh the food), the people we met along the way, the art, and the memorable experiences will forever stay with us. What a blessing!
More to come of each city we stayed in, and the sights we saw…