PAUL BENJAMIN: Writer, Editor, Supermodel

Christmas (Markets) in Vienna & Prague

I’m not actually in Europe over Christmas. I’m actually back in Tashkent where we got up early on Christmas day to do some Christmas Eve Skyping with the Christian side of Lisa’s family plus a surprise bonus Skype with my brother. Christmas day here is just another Sunday in Uzbekistan, but we’re going to have a traditional “Jewish Christmas” day with Chinese food and a movie. This will be our first visit to the Chinese restaurant where all the Chinese diplomats take their guests. It’s supposed to be the best Chinese food in town.

In the spirit of the holiday, I figured I’d share some pics from our trip to Vienna and Prague. This was a work trip for Lisa, but we got to have some fun too. The beauty of both of these gorgeous European cities is enhanced by the holiday Christmas Markets, also known as Advent Markets. Streets are blocked off all over Vienna and to a lesser extent in Prague and filled with temporary shops selling all kinds of delicious street food, hot spiced wine, candies and pastries, Christmas decorations and other goods too varied to name.

The prettiest of the markets to my eye was in Prague at the town square in the Old City, over near the famous Astronomical Clock. There, angels blow pretty lights out of their magic trumpets.

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The only thing more beautiful than Prague by day is Prague by night.

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The markets are open during the day as well. Here’s the place in the courtyard of Vienna’s imperial palace where I had a juicy, literally mouth-wateringly good bratwurst.

 

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Vienna also had plenty of places to satisfy even my ever-demanding sweet tooth! Mmmmm…. donuts….

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We don’t have a Christmas tree, or even a Hanukkah bush, but if we did, this would be the place to go for decorations you can’t get at just a regular store.

 

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One of the coolest things about the market was the fact that it was right in front of the Imerial palace. I could just imagine walking among the crowds hundreds of years ago, buying food and goods in the market while slaving away at the behest of some pretentious nobleman. Good times!

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And, for all you Lego fans out there (especially @themightylayman) here’s Lego Santa!

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Merry Christmas and happy holidays, everyone!!

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