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Well, we’ve made it to the end of a wonderful year; we are celebrating in Eastern Europe, in Slovakia! We woke up this morning to high winds and a beautiful snow cover.

Last night we had an enjoyable traditional Christmas Eve dinner – fish, potato salad, cabbage soup and salad with apple and roquefort, dressed with a balsamic vinaigrette – and each other’s company. We also had sparklers to welcome the festive time.

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The thing about arts and crafts, is that they have a real unique quality that cannot otherwise be found in the mass consumer and materialistic normalcy of holiday shopping. For this reason, we are seeking more authentic and aesthetically enjoyable gifts for giving. We are almost certain that the recipients will be more pleased.

Another place we visited yesterday was the Christmas Market, or Weihnachtsmarkt, at Spittelberg. This cozy eighth district of Vienna is breathtaking, especially this time of year. The crisp airs seems to accentuate the colors around you, making the blues and whites of the sky and snow clash with the warm colors of the wood and fire, and even faces.

Yesterday we went to the International Bazaar held by the local chapter of the United Nations Women’s Guild annually here in Vienna, Austria.

On the top floor of the bazaar there are booths from around the world, with handmade arts and crafts from each country or region of the world. Doesn’t that already sound lovely? But wait. When you head downstairs, you find yourself in a room twice the size, filled with stands serving food from each of the countries represented upstairs. Live music and tons of people to accompany, all with the same international background. How fun!

One our way back into the city, we caught the last of the sun falling behind the Vienna International Centre’s modern structures.