A Cruising day in Copenhagen

A Cruising Day in COPENHAGEN

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Get that Hygge Feeling…

Copenhagen is right up there of popular places to visit in Europe – and we can see why. On a sunny day (which are apparently on the rare side) Copenhagen has a warm an vibrant feeling. I’m sure it has the same feeling on a rainy day, but be sure to rug up!! As the first stop of our Baltic Cruise we docked into the port and our first stop was the ‘Little Mermaid’. I think as tourists we are expected to overwhelmed with every national icon and memorial, but I am standing tall and announcing that we were underwhelmed with slightly compact statue that, if it wasn’t on our path into town, we would have been slightly miffed. It is a bit of a schlep along the docks.

Nyhavn

It’s the central focus of the waterways in Copenhagen. With our luck in the weather department on this cruise, we were able to enjoy it at its finest. The colours of the building lining the dock, as well as the old fishing boats create a really cool atmosphere and there is plenty of icecream to be had!!! In fact every second shop along the dock is an icecream parlour. It seems to be a bit of a Copenhagen specialty.

 

Palaces and Gardens

Copenhagen is home to the oldest royal family in Europe. Amelienborg Palace makes one of the main squares in Copenhagen, home to the current day queen, Margrethe II and Prince Henrik. In a similar set up to Buckingham Palace in London, there is a changing of the royal guards at 12pm every day.

The Royal Library and Gardens are a lovely courtyard garden to have lunch or coffee at the cafe. The gardens are situated between the Christianborg Palace and the Royal Library.

The Tivoli Gardens is a famous amusement park situated close to the town hall. It was opened in 1843, making it one of the world’s first amusement parks. This is a great place to visit at Christmas time.

Rosenborg Castle is one of the oldest castles in the town of Copenhagen. It has extensive gardens and art installations. Fortunately, it is on the walk back to the ship, and leads towards the old Fort of Copenhagen, which is worth looking at too. It features windmills and military barracks, dating back to 1664 it was created in the shape of a star with a moat at high earth mounds.

 

Bath Christmas Markets 

Bath Christmas Markets

The magic of Christmas is contagious- and this year it has thoroughly ravished the beautiful regency town of Bath in Somerset, England!

It is exciting and festive! Featuring all the essentials to make this Christmas Market equal to the traditional German scene!

The best thing about these markets is there are local products, gifts and ideas to emmerse yourself! There are some fantastic stalls including Somerset Christmas smellies, Devon Lavender cosmetics, Chocolate wine, Elderberry Port….. the list goes on!!!

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A test of a good Christmas market is the mulled wine… and it is good. Ranging from £3-3.50, some even include a truffle or a mince pie!!!

Two Travel Europe will be back next year!!!!

Vienna Chriskindlmakt

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Vienna Christmas Markets

Coming for Australia, where Christmas involves long summer days, beer and BBQ’s, Christmas in Europe is something magical!

Having spoken to many of my English colleagues, not many of them have experienced a Germanic Christmas holiday. Why? When they smell and look like Christmas should be!!!

0184e9ceb1e22b56ac4b0cfa2920ac486e198044e0As you walk through the grounds of the Rathaus of Vienna you are first overwhelmed by the many lights decorating the huge trees. Candy canes, cupcakes and Father Christmas’s hand brightly from the branches.

Then the smell hits you! Cinnamon, nutmeg, orange and bratwurst spike each nose nerve all at once, leaving your mouth watering and your eyes bulging!

‘Where is the food?’

Suddenly your feet are seeking out all the delicacies your nose is lapping up!

01bca5b3139f8d690d1efa7828bed7db3f1dfe600cThe best thing (in my opinion) is the endless selection of mulled drinks.

Warm fruit wines, mulled cider, Christmas Punch, mulled Bailey’s, mulled Aperol. I can keep going but am considering pouring another glass of wine as I write and maybe that wouldn’t be good?!

And the best thing about the mulled drinks? CUPS, yes, every different market you go to you get a different cup!!! I have lots! I had lots of drinks! 014f4e825257cd595921f303df1d02f5557c1eef37

Here is exhibit a – Me, outside the Vienna Dom, with a different cup. This was mulled wine. It’s in the shape of a boot!

So, your thinking that all we did was eat and drink. Yes, this is possibly mainly true, but we did see some of the sites.

When I was a child I was into horses. When the Spanish Riding School of Vienna visited Hobart I was there with bells on. So, we went to see it for real. It was all I could remember from my childhood and more. Very worth a visit to get into the history of the great AustroHungarian Empire.

We also stumbled on the Schmetterlinghaus. We went here mainly because the name is awesome, don’t you think! I learnt German at school and one of the only words that has stayed with me is Schmetterling. What is a Schmetterling? Look it up and find out!

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If you are a fan of last minute shopping – This is the place for you. Ever wondered what you should get people for Christmas when you have no idea what to get them? Get them a beautiful Christmas gift from the markets. There are gifts from €5 to €5K.

I got a few presents for people, however due to my love of mulled drinks they might have been left in the hotel room.

We stayed in a Benedictine Monastery. WHAT? Should I have lead with that?

Benediktushaus was comfortable, with modern rooms and a standard continental breakfast. We didn’t realise it was an active monastery until we saw the nun cleaning and the friar manning reception when we left. Honestly – really good accommodation and very central.

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