Christmas Wishes from Vienna


So I’m back on the old continent. It’s Christmas day and I was preparing to go Nordic walking at the Augarten park, something I deeply missed since I left Austria.

Christmas Wishes from Vienna

When I was about to leave my husband told me to be careful. That remark upset me in the context of recent attacks in Europe. When I lived in Vienna, I must have gone Nordic walking a thousand times, not once I worried about security.

But of course things have changed. This is not the Europe of before. It is not in vain that 2016 has been called the annus horribillis, one of the worst years ever. The conflict in Syria which has claimed thousands, the war in Yemen and conflicts in other parts of this world, the displacement of entire populations, the migrant movement towards Europe, the Brexit, elections in the US, the attacks in Europe, you name it, we had it all.

I believe there has been too much interference of other countries in crisis regions, where often they have not understood the geographical, political and even tribal sensitivities. The Arab spring brought change to the Middle East and I think it was up to the population in those countries to deal with those changes without external influences.

When we had the Carnation Revolution in my country, Portugal on 25th April 1974, with almost no shots fired, ending years of dictatorship, the world was surprised by how peaceful the process was. But the fact is that we had difficult years ahead, trying to come to terms with our regained freedom, the end of the war and independence of our former colonies and find the right democratic balance. It was a mess for a while but it was our mess and we dealt with it, without any other country telling us how we should do it.

I believe the same should apply today and countries should be allowed to solve their own problems. I know it is a very simplistic and naive view but we are suffering the consequences of misguided interference.

But is is Christmas, the magical time, when children write to Santa and tell him what they most wish for. We should follow their example and hope for the best. As we walked through the city on Christmas Eve, Vienna was as beautiful as we had left her.

Christmas Wishes from Vienna

Christmas Wishes from Vienna

Christmas Wishes from Vienna

Christmas Wishes from Vienna

Christmas Wishes from Vienna

As I entered the Rathaus Christmas Market hand in hand with my husband and daughter, I ignored the discrete metal barriers and armed officers and just concentrated on my daughter’s enthusiasm and the happy atmosphere.

Christmas Wishes from Vienna

If you follow the scent of Christmas spices, the Punsch and Glühwein can always warm you up from the freezing cold.

Christmas Wishes From Vienna

And the wonderful traditional Viennese sweets and cookies always put everyone in a good, mellow mood.

Christmas Wishes from Vienna

Christmas Wishes from Vienna

But there is so much more to see and experience. Above anything else, the Christmas markets are symbols of peace and places where friends and families enjoy each other’s company and be merry. No matter how much hatred there is out there, I believe human beings are resilient and will always find a way to preserve tradition.

Christmas Wishes from Vienna

Christmas Wishes from Vienna

Christmas Wishes from Vienna

Christmas Wishes from Vienna

As we approached the end of the market and I looked at the lights and Christmas decorations, I felt happy we came to spend Christmas at home. I thought about other homes, some belonging to my family in Portugal and also the ones spread around the world. I think about them and my mother who sometimes gets lost in her thoughts but is still present in our lives. I feel blessed.

Christmas Wishes from Vienna

Christmas Wishes from Vienna

We can’t change the world by ourselves but we can have hope things will eventually get better. As we walked to my mother in law’s home where family awaited, I believe a good place to start making a difference is with our families. They are the ones closest to us. Sometimes we are too busy to notice they may need our help or even too busy to call and be in touch. We can change that this Christmas.

Merry Christmas to you all!

Christmas Wishes from Vienna

Christmas Wishes from Vienna

Christmas Wishes from Vienna

Maria
About me

Welcome! If you love travel and photography and are looking for new places to explore, this is the right place for you! And of course a person gotta eat so why not follow in my footsteps, visit some exotic markets, get inspired and enjoy original and healthy recipes from my extensive collection of cookbooks.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

Snow, Salzburg and Literature
February 02, 2017
Celebrating Life
May 30, 2016
Mother’s Day and the Good Samaritan
May 10, 2016
Happy Anniversary Travellingspice!
March 30, 2016
Winter Landscapes in Vienna
February 01, 2016
Vienna Opera House: A Tale of Death and Rebirth
January 17, 2016
Where is Home ?
January 04, 2016
New Year’s Resolutions: The Meaning of time
December 29, 2015
Autumn in Vienna
November 20, 2015

2 Comments

JIm Weiss
Reply December 26, 2016

Glad you are still taking Photographs and writing... You have so much talent...

JIm at Pomfret Chocolates

    Maria
    Reply December 26, 2016

    Yes, always, thank you Jim. Moving to a new country is always a lot of work. Nice to hear from you and I'm glad you are still reading.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *