We headed out of Dodge at the end of last week, before the French hit the roads for the holiday, and somehow managed to avoid all the weather-related travel snafus that struck on both sides of the Atlantic, making our way without incident first to Vienna and then to Prague.
It was snowy and cold, dang cold, in Vienna (-8 C according to one sign we passed) but we kept moving from one venue to another, stopping for refills of coffee and hot chocolate to keep everyone in good spirits. The trams were decorated for the season and even Emperor Franz Joseph didn't seem to mind the dusting of snow.
There were Christmas markets around every corner. Some were nothing but schlock; others had stall after stall of hand-crafted items. Had I been in the market for Christmas decorations, I would have been in real trouble. Instead I just admired and took a big whiff of these cinnamon stick stars.
It was slightly warmer in Prague, perfect for wandering the streets and admiring the charming streets and squares which avoided serious damage during the last century's wars. Prague dazzled me with its awesome Art Nouveau architecture and design.
The only puzzling point: the Jewish museum and cemetery were closed for Christmas.