In Honey Travel

European Christmas Markets Part II

I'm back for my second (and final) Europe post! After Slovakia, we woke up in Austria! We had four stops in this little country. Of course I started my morning with breakfast in bed again, ha! 

It was so different being on a crystal river boat instead of an ocean ship. Everything was so much smaller and so you were inevitably up close and personal with a lot of the workings of the boat. 

The small village of Melk was my favorite stop of the trip! We did not have a tour planned.. we just strolled along. 

This abby was so unexpected and absolutely breathtaking. 

AJ and I got such a kick out of this Chinese restaurant... Wok In.. get in? hahaha

The Christmas Markets seemed so much more special in these little villages than the ones in the big cities.. just oozing with charm. 

That night back on the boat, E was recognized as the cruiser with the most Crystal Cruises -- she will have to correct me here, but I think it's 70 something??

She's a celeb! Ha but seriously, she is going to kill me for even mentioning it. 

The next day we were in Linz. We did a little walking tour..

That ended in a Linzer Torte baking class! 

This stuff smelled ahhhhmazing. And wasn't too hard to make either! 

While we were waiting on our torte to bake, we were served more sweets! haha 

And we got certificates as official Linzer Torte bakers! 

After the class we walked around a bit more as the sun started to set. 

Pictures can never capture the beauty of churches/cathedrals. I was in awe -- something so serene being in an almost empty church around Christmas time. 

We strolled through a Christmas Market as we made our way back to the boat. It was a pretty great day! 

The next day.. we were in Krems! Another super quaint town that I adored. 

The blue skies were absolutely gorgeous.. but don't let that fool you. It was still FREEZING.

We did a walking tour that had a stop at a chocolatier. 

His presentation was fascinating - so cool seeing ALL the work that goes into those gigantic chocolate bunnies. 

We veered off from the group and did our own thing after this. Another breathtaking cathedral.. 

And a little bit of shopping.. 

And back to the boat! 

The sun setting as we were about to head toward our last stop.. Vienna!  

That night at dinner -- I was trying to suck in my baby bump. And ended up just looking ridiculous. Whatever.. 

In Vienna, we just took a bus to town to look at the Christmas Markets. We stayed in Vienna for three nights on our honeymoon backpacking, so we felt like we had already seen the high points. 

We wanted to get an authentic meal before heading back to the boat and I found somewhere close to the markets with amazing reviews. 

It was down these stairs - AJ thought I was out of my mind when I was directing us, ha! 

But it turned out to be an amazing find and we did have a very authentic Austrian meal! 

We tried to take an uber back to our boat.. and let's say our German isn't very great and we ended up in a deserted parking lot. We had no idea how to explain to ANOTHER uber drive where to pick us up/take us ... so we started walking. Man oh man I was SOOO cold and SOOOO mad. One of those things that you look back and laugh at, but those 2.5 miles were pure misery. 

That night we had dinner at a tapas place that is only open a few night of the cruise. Unfortunately, a lot of it wasn't pregnant lady friendly (not like I had much of an appetite anyway) but AJ and E loved it! And I must admit, it was pretty! haha 

And the next morning we were up bright and early for a flight to Paris then back to Atlanta. Of course with a little stop in Laduree in the Paris airport for macarons. 

This trip was definitely different for me. I'm normally one to have every minute of every day planed. Packing in as much seeing and doing as possible, because who knows if/when you will be back. But I was struggggling - so nauseated and so tired every single day. I'd say we probably spent 40% of the trip sight seeing and 60% of the trip napping, at the spa, or reading.. (I read 4 incredible books in 8 days!)

Part of me felt really bad. Like I wasn't making the most of being in Europe. But the other part of me was so thankful for the time away.. With no responsibilities and truly resting so I could make it through the rest of the first trimester with our little guy. Of course I missed Maddie Jane like CRAZY - this was the longest time we have ever left her. But she was in the great hands of my step sister Ashton part of the time and my mom the rest. 

So anywho.. that's a long way of saying we had the best time! We are so thankful for E including us in her travels around the world. We are so lucky and I don't want to ever take that for granted. Cheers to our next big adventure.. post baby! ha

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