The Advent Market opened on the 20th November. Even on the first weekend there was a lot of people visiting, I have created a Picasa Web album where you can see the pictures I have taken so far. I will be adding more as we go. The atmosphere is really great! There are all these little wooden huts selling everything from soup in a loaf! to Christmas decorations, Krapfen (like doughnuts filled with apricot jam), Gluhwein (of course) and loads more. Everywhere you look there are Christmas trees and candles.
St. Wolfgang produces a special mug each year for the Advent Market and if you buy some Gluhwein it comes in the special mug which you can keep after you have drunk the Gluhwein. We tried the soup in a loaf, it comes served in a hollowed out loaf with the top cut off to form the lid. I had green pea with sausage and Tina had Garlic soup....mmmmm....very tasty!! After the soup I had a beer and we bought some lovely roasted Maroni....chestnuts!
There are horse and carriage rides available round the town, they are decorated with lights and lanterns and sleigh bells that sound wonderful as they pass by. The passengers are wrapped up warmly with blankets and the route takes them past the Schafberg train station, the ferry point and along the lakeside. The boats are all lit with lights and decorated inside with decorations, you can have a ride on the boat from one end of the lake to the other. At the Northwest end is St. Gilgen, they have a wonderful Advent market as well and as well as all the usual huts they have a special display of wooden carvings, especially Kripps, depicting the navitity scene. At the opposite end of the lake is Strobl, again they have a great market with whole tree trunks burning in the streets providing a wonderful atmosphere. The emphasis at Strobl is animals, they have deer, goats, sheep and cows all in pens in town centre providing a great treat for the children who can pet them.
Hope you have enjoyed a little taste of what the Christmas markets are like here in Austria, you can find my Picasa album here for more pictures: