Monday, 23 December 2013

Christmas destinations (Guest post by Marysia Maciocha)

Christmas are approaching, I can smell it in the air! You know this magical mix of mandarins, cinnamon and fresh forest after rain? That is how Christmas smells in Poland, for me.

As I’m a bit OCD, just a bit lol I have all gifts perfectly wrapped. Letter to Santa sent and gingerbread cookies baked. I can relax with a glass of mulled wine while listening to ‘Santa Claus is coming to town’ and dream about perfect Christmas destinations!

More and more I think of it, it won’t be a pristine beach in Maldives or crazy adventure in Peru.
I’m very old fashioned when it comes to Christmas! Only tones of snow, crispy cold weather, gluhwein, traditional carols and millions of Christmas lights can make me a happy snowflake this time of the year.

Always and forever, I love to visit this city in winter.
Zurich is normally superbly picturesque; add a layer of snow and it becomes magical. Whole December streets are filled with Christmas Choirs, in the evening Bahnhofstrasse sparkle with lights and candles, especially this year they look like natural stars!
And they have something unbeatable – Christmas Tram, where Santa is a tram driver, and angels who instead of checking you tickets feed you chocolate! Too good to be true? Not at all!
I can’t imagine more mystic place for Christmas Midnight Mass than Fraumunster - the Church of Our Lady with outstanding stained-glass windows by Marc Chagall. And let’s not forget that, after eating too much of those delicious cakes and cookies, you can quickly jump on the train and be in Lax, St Moritz, Davos and even St Anton in Austria in about a couple of hours!

The most famous carol ‘Silent Night - ‘Stille Nacht’ was written in Austria in 1818, therefore it is a perfect destination for all class, chic and tradition seekers. Vienna will charm you up with big balls, opulent Christmas parties in building which remember golden era of crinoline, periwig and crystal champagne glasses! Here you can definitely spend Christmas with style. Attend an Opera on the First Day of Christmas. Experience traditional Christmas Eve with a friend carp, goose, a lot of gluhwein and Lebkuchen - typical Austrian cookies served only for Christmas. I bet that real candles on the Christmas tree will make you to remember this Eve forever!

If you want to experience the mesmerising charm of Christmas and winter magic, then Berlin is definitely the place to be! The Weihnachtsmarkts are scattered all around the city, so you can stroll around and explore them on cold winter days. These markets magically tune me in to the Christmas atmosphere…every single time. Makes my face smile and fill my heart with joy. I’m always in amazing mood when in Berlin in December.

Last but never least, Oslo made to my list. I adore this city, and you all should as well. It is truly magical in winter and for Juletid - the Christmas time! If you want to dance around the Christmas tree, sit whole night close to the fireplace and enjoy deliciously rich food Norway should be your choice for Christmas! Come on, they have Northern Lights instead of Christmas lights, who can beat that?

I tend to keep my choices to ‘German’ speaking countries for some strange reasons, but believe me... You will never regret spending Christmas in those destinations! Real, traditional Christmas is always on the agenda here! So if you are like me (a smiley, happy elf in Christmas season), those are places for you to jet set around!

About Marysia Maciocha
She is the crazy Polish Girl behind My Travel Affairs Blog. Traveler by heart, she dedicates her time and energy to unconventional exploring the world in search of amazing people, unique places and immersing stories.
Always without a place of residence, often calls Tel Aviv her home. She is an author of Tel Aviv Guide, which reveals all the secret hangouts of this electrifying city!
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