Christmas Schlepp

     Christmas is a special time of year.  But last year, we were in Egypt in December.  That was when they celebrate Ramadan.  After we left Egypt, where it was warm and nice, we went to Austria.  Vienna was very cold but they celebrate Christmas!

One night when it was cold and clear, Karl and I went out for a walk to see the city with all the Christmas lights.  We saw palaces and enchanted forests, beautiful streets and stores full of toys.  And at the Kris Kringel Mart, I met Walter, a Christmas bear who's job is to guard Christmas wreaths.

This is the Hofburg all lit up at night. 

Across a garden from the Hofburg is the Rathaus or town hall.  In the garden the trees are all decorated with big lights, like these red hearts. The Kris Kringel Mart is right in front of the Rathaus and they sell all kinds of gifts.  It was there that we saw Walter and bought him. 

This is a big Ginkgo tree, still holding on to its Fall colors, and lit with big white lanterns. 

On the way back to the hotel we walked down beautiful streets with all kinds of incredible lights.

Here Walter and I chat with some bears in a Vienna toy store as we wander back to the hotel.  I must saw that he helped me with my German quite a bit. Christmas is a good time to help strangers and make new friends. 

The hotel had a marvelous Christmas tree almost 15' tall made up of Poinsettias.  It had lots of gifts around the bottom.

Here we are beneath the Poinsettia Tree looking at all the beautiful packages.

That night Walter and I were glad to be back in a warm hotel room.  Even with our thick fur, it was cold and damp outside. 
Now Walter and I are safe in New Mexico.  Its still cold in Winter but the sun shines and they light beautiful luminarias on Christmas Eve. This year's pictures are here.  Just remember to be kind to strangers, pray for peace, and cherish the ones you love.