Saturday, December 22, 2012

Schönbrunn Christmas Market, Vienna

Schönbrunn Palace at dusk. Sort of a still life, with palace and tree and lights and a row of Christmas product vendors and a ton of people walking around. Not that still, really, when you think about it. But when I thought about it, I couldn't think of much to say here. So you got this instead.
There are Christmas markets all over Vienna, supposedly. As I write this, I've been to three, but it took a bit of work. It's a bit like you'd expect as an American, in that you can buy Christmas ornaments, some of which are cleverly and charmingly handmade and some of which are glass blown in the factories of an Eastern Austrian province known as 'Chinoa'. Where it differs is the other crap you can buy, like ceramics and knitted goods and various handicrafts, and crap toys for kids, and the food specialties - whole stalls of cured meat, and pretzels, and donuts (although they call them 'krapfers', isn't that crazy?! It's like someone's asking "What's all that krap fer?").
Guess what else they have, these hedonistic and godless Europeans - LIQUOR!!! Big vats of heated liquorous products! I know what you're thinking, you're thinking "You jackazz, you're at a CHRISTMAS markt here. The whole point is the glorification of CHRIST, so how can they be godless?" Point taken. But they have a bunch of drinks, that's fer damn sure. We had started seeing stalls in other parts of the city long before we made our way out here, and they were selling what I've since come to learn is the standard menu - Gluwein (no horses harmed in its production), Punsch, Orangepunsch,...

BEERENPUNSCH! I was all freaked out and excited by this - are these mustachioed schintzel-pounders really going to serve me hot beer? So I got one, and here it is in all its delicious, warmly alcoholicness - pretty sure it started with a healthy slug of rum or somethin', then hot juice, and finally half a dozen himbeers right one top!

Which are a lot less threatening when you realize they're raspberries.

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