We enjoyed one final Christmasmarkt last evening at Schloss Schönbrunn before today’s all-hands for the traditional holiday activities of cookie baking, pierogi making, and present wrapping.
Schloss Schönbrunn needs no additional adornment…
…except for perhaps a happy couple.
There are a few common elements to the markets, like hand painted Christmas ornaments and decorative candles and soaps; but each market we’ve visited has many unique stalls, as well, like this stall of Italian cheeses and sausages. Nearby to the stall the air was filled with the pungent aroma of a very strong cheese, and so we were drawn here (who wouldn’t be?). However, the heavenly aroma was not from the Italian cheesmonger, but from a raclette stall just across the way, so we indulged in Käseraclettebrot mit Speck und Grammeln (dark bread spread with hot cheese, bacon, and, basically, tiny rendered fried pork cracklings, sprinkled with cut herbs).  And mugs of warm Orange Aperol Punsch. I tried my first Aperol Spritz (Bitter orange and rhubarb aperitif with cold sparkling wine) this summer and was hooked; the warm Aperol and orange Punsch makes a cold winter evening that much warmer.
Beautiful handpainted glass ornaments tempted us, as they always do.
One could spend a lifetime sampling the various jams, fruits spreads, and chutneys offered at this stall.
I have a paper weakness, I confess. I have hand-stenciled paper from Rome, water-colored stationary from Japan, and original note cards painted by the crossing guard in our American neighborhood. Each to me is a beautiful piece of art, and I part with almost none of it.  So, no, I could not just walk past these beautiful displays.


No need to collect any of the Boleslawiec Pottery (Polish pottery, here it’s called Bunzlauer); I have plenty in the dining room cabinet. Plus, I get “the look” from my darling husband every time I purchase another piece that can not go into the dishwasher.
Puppets from the Czech Republic.
There is no shortage of foods to eat, and beverages to enjoy, at the markets.
Some, though, leave us curious. “Damen und Herren” Punsch?
Pumpkin seed liquor?
All said, though, we “Like” the Christmas markets very much.