I woke up this morning with only one thought on my mind. It is 1 December which means that I can finally open my new Lindt chocolate Advent calendar. I bought it in mid-October when I was going back from a business trip to Italy. My new colleagues asked me if I bought it for a kid, but no, I blushingly explained, I bought it for myself. Yep! That’s me, carrying a big chocolate Advent calendar back home from a business trip. And I’ll be 33 in 17 days!:) But what can I say, I just love chocolate Advent calendars. The waiting part, the excitement part, the part when you get to open a new window each day which hides a new sweet treat and the tasty chocolate itself. It’s the best thing ever!:)
I didn’t really have a chocolate Advent calendar when I was growing up. First of all, I grew up in 80’s and early 90’s in a country that no longer exists, deprived of shopping malls, McDonald’s and a mobile phone until the age of 16. I got my first PC when I was finishing high school. But you know, I had better childhood than most kids today. I spent my days playing outside with real friends. And reading lots of books, of course. Anyway, I’m digressing too much, the point is, there just weren’t Advent calendars and most other things until I was a teenager. So now, I’m making up for some things, like the absence of a chocolate Advent calendar by buying it for myself. And I enjoy it shamelessly. I probably enjoy it more now than I would have when I was a kid!
I used to buy ordinary, plain, chocolate Advent calendars but last year I splurged a bit and got myself a Ritter sport chocolate advent calendar. You can read the story about my last year’s Advent calendar here. I loved it! It was just great!
Christmas market in Villach
Three years ago I took my mum to Austria for a day trip. Our destinations were Villach and Velden and their charming Christmas markets. We both love Christmas markets very much so I decided to ask her and not my boyfriend (now my husband) to join me. Besides my boyfriend and I went to a chocolate factory near Graz (Austria) just a few weeks before this Christmas markets day trip.
About Villach & Velden
Villach is located on the Drau river and it’s the seventh largest town in Austria with a population of around 62 000. It’s got a big Croatian community too so it’s not a surprise that Villach is very popular for shopping and Christmas trips from Croatia. Velden am Wörthersee is a market-town and a popular holiday resort situated at the Wörthersee lake and close to Villach.
I hope you’ve spent a wonderful Christmas with your family& friends. Are you already getting ready for New Year’s party?
I love family gatherings even though I feel a bit exhausted afterwards. Probably because I always eat too much and make it my mission to try every single kind of cake there is 🙂 I’m not ashamed to say that I haven’t baked anything for Christmas; I like baking and I make mean muffins but somehow I still haven’t done any Christmas baking because we always get so much cake from our families so there’s no point really.
Since it was my birthday a week before Christmas ( I’m now 32! Ouch! ) I got probably a few kilos of chocolates as my present together with other normal stuff and together with Christmas pressie. 🙂 So I’m starting the new year as a newly made chocolate magnate! I wish! 🙂 Anyway, since we got so much cake from my mum we’ll leave the chocolates for the time being and enjoy them after new year’s and my husband’s skiing trip (I’ll be home alone with the cat &chocolates, not a good combo).
Birthday chocolate presents
Birthday and Christmas chocolate presents
As far as New Year’s wishes and resolutions I wish you all love & health & happiness. I’ve had a good year but I was too preoccupied with an issue that I have no control over to be able to fully appreciate what I do have e.g.good health and loving family &friends and a very cool job sometimes. I don’t want to feel that anxious and frustrated anymore. However, that’s easier said than done but I will try to express more self-love. And hopefully that which I have desired for so long will eventually happen.
Regarding this little piece of blog world that I call my own I can say that it has brought me so much joy! It’s wonderful to chat with other fellow travellers and to explore other blogs and to get ideas for new trips. Where am I travelling next year? I’m not sure yet. I have a few ideas but it really depends on some other things too so I’ll keep you posted. And I’ve got something exciting planned for my readers! 🙂 Stay tuned!
Wishing you all a very Happy New Year and lots of exciting new trips!
Let’s be friends Facebook // Bloglovin’ // Twitter // Google+
I wish you all joyful times with your family& friends and new adventures in the next year!
I want to thank you for stopping by my little corner of the blog world. I appreciate your comments and likes. I’m happy that I’ve met some new people who share my passion for travel and exploration. I hope you’ll continue to follow my travel stories. 🙂
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
p.s. There’s only one thing I want for Christmas….and it’s not something that can be bought…hopefully I’ll get it by next Christmas..
Let’s be friends Twitter/ Google+
my cat (last year)
Don’t you just love them? Even if they jump on your Christmas tree and knock it down for the umpteenth time. And break a cherished Christmas bauble and destroy the Christmas lights but luckily avoid to be electrocuted by them?Of course, I’m talking about cats!
We’ve got a new Christmas tree this year because our previous one was really old and started to look rather sad and run down. We haven’t put up the new tree just yet but I’m worried what’ll happen once we do. It’s quite bigger than the last one so it’ll have a lot more decorations too. Hopefully my cat won’t be able to knock it down that easily anymore. But if he does, I just hope the tree doesn’t hurt him. And I also hope that my cat doesn’t destroy my lovely Christmas baubles from my trips. I’ve got a few special Christmas tree decorations from Oslo and Austria 🙂
My family’s tradition is to put up the Christmas tree on Christmas Eve day (24th Dec) but I like to do it a bit earlier, just after my birthday passes. So, the operation Christmas tree will start next week!:) And I’ll decorate the house a bit as I usually do. I still haven’t finished my Christmas shopping because I’ve been away for work quite a lot this month (Vienna).
So, have you got a cat? Or a dog? Do they attack your Christmas tree? Have you already done up your house for Christmas?
Let’s be friends : Facebook Bloglovin’ Twitter Google+
I’ve been in Nice (France) for New Year’s a couple of times. You might not associate beach and the palm trees with Christmas spirit but Nice has it in abundance. The biggest city at the French Riviera likes to show off a bit in the winter time which means that you can enjoy the festive decorations and the Christmas Markets as much as you can in traditionally more Christmassy destinations (e.g Austria &Germany ). But in a milder weather 🙂
This year I visited the Christmas markets in Vienna, but last year and the year before that I spent a couple of days in Nice just around New Year’s. I really love Nice and it’s my favourite town at the French Riviera and I’ve been lucky to see it in different seasons. The main venue for all things festive is of course the main square Place Massena. You’ll find a giant Ferris wheel there as well as a Christmas market. You can drink vin chaud (mulled wine) or eat pancakes&waffles or choose some other sweet or savory snack to nibble on while you browse the goods at the Christmas stalls. Everything is beautifully decorated and lit so you have to take a stroll in the evening to fully appreciate the festive lights. Another festively decorated square is the Garibaldi square. All the palm trees along the Promenade des Anglais are festooned with Christmas lights too. The Old Town under the Colline du Château and the streets around the Cathedral look very Christmassy and are as usually full of people. The main shopping street Avenue de Jean Medecin prides itself with exquisite lighting and nicely decorated shops’ displays.
But unlike in Austria or Germany in Nice you can almost have a picnic at the beach if it’s not too cold 🙂 And you can ice-skate too 🙂
So, enjoy the photos of the festive season in Nice (they are not from this year but from the previous years).
What says Christmas better than having a mug of glühwein (mulled wine) in one hand and a giant pretzel in another? Every town in Austria has its own Christmas market but perhaps the most famous ones are in Vienna, the city of the waltz. The Christmas markets are scattered around the center of Vienna but there are a few at the outskirts too.
The biggest and the best is the Christmas market (Christkindlmarkt) in front of the City Hall. It celebrates its 30 year anniversary this year. Beware of the crowds though! You should visit it twice. Once during the day so you can see the goods at the different stalls (Christmas decorations, chocolates, gingerbread, candles, ceramic ware, leather notebooks, etc.) and once in the evening so you can admire the Christmas lights and decorations which hang from the trees. If you have got children then you can take them to participate in the Christmas workshops in the City Hall so they can make marzipan cookies or candles or other stuff for a small fee. You can also hear Christmas carols or Christmas stories read by different Austrian celebrities at the stage under the giant Christmas tree. Of course, there’s plenty of choice of food and drinks. You can have hot chocolate, or punch or mulled wine in beautifully decorated Christmassy mugs. The average price of mulled wine is 3.50 euros, but you actually pay it 6 or 7 euros because of the deposit for the mug. If you return the mug you get back 3 euros, but if you decide to keep it ( and it is so nice that you would want to keep it) you actually paid your drink 6.50 euros. But it’s worth it. Trust me, I had the best mulled wine and punch at Vienna’s Christmas markets.
Every Christmas market has got its own style of the mug so you can drink around and decide to keep the one you like the best or collect them all 🙂 You can eat sausages and you can have soup in the bread or baked potatoes or chestnuts or toasted almonds and many other traditonal foods. So, don’t be on a diet when you come to Vienna! Apart from all the gorgeous foods&sweets at the Christmas markets there are so many old fashioned traditional pastry &cake shops that you just can’t say no to a piece or two of cake.