After four blissfully quiet days on the slopes, the world finally makes sense again: as of today, Kitzbühel has crowds... and lots of 'em! For my final day of skiing this year (seriously — look at the date, will you), I once again got in as much slopes-time as I possibly could. But today, I was battling some fierce hordes on the pistes and in the chairlift queues. Looks like I got in my ski trip just in time, before the rush — if it's going to be like this for the next week, then maybe the fact that I must depart Kitzbühel isn't so bad after all. Maybe... but probably not :P.
Americans don't have Boxing Day: WTF? According to our American friend Margaret, there's nothing at all special about the 26th of December, if you're residing in the USA. It's simply "the day after Christmas". I always assumed that it was more-or-less a worldwide thing, celebrated by most Christian countries. Or by most protestant countries; or at least by most English-speaking countries. But no: apparently, Boxing Day is only recognised and celebrated in England, and in a few countries in the British Commonwealth — Australia, New Zealand, Canada and South Africa, to be precise. Just goes to show: you learn something every day. Especially when you travel.
Christmas lunch was cancelled today, on account of having better things to do; but we made up for it this evening, with a fine dinner of roast chicken. Craig, Sarah, Kade and myself feasted on chicken breast (originally frozen — they were out of fresh chook), crispy potatoes, corn cobs and various vegies — with a side of seasonal cranberry sauce. Sadly, the roast (as roasts do) took much longer than expected to cook, so we were bloody starving by the time it was ready. Shots of Jäger and several card games comprised dessert.
In Australia, we dream of a white Christmas. Well, this year — as of now — I for one am dreaming no longer: here in Kitzbühel, Christmas has arrived; and Christmases don't come much whiter than this. What with the snow, and the cold, and the cosy Austrian mountain village atmosphere... in a nutshell, I believe that this is how Christmas was meant to be. What could possibly be better than Dec 25th in Austria? I may be Jewish, and I may have never properly celebrated Christmas (or any other Christian festival) in my life; but I've been exposed to it my whole life, and I know something special when I see it. To all my readers: wishing you a very merry Christmas; and wherever you are, try not to be too jealous of me. Bwahahahaha.
In the past three weeks or so that I've been train-hopping around Europe, I've been seeing Christmas markets everywhere I go. You may have noticed my blogging about them again, and again, and again. That's because at this time of year — in December, leading up to the big holiday itself — it seems that you're guaranteed to find them in virtually every city and town around. I've seen them in Switzerland, in Belgium, in Germany, and now also in Austria. Here in Europe, they really take their Christmas festivities seriously: every man and his dog's off to the local Christmas market, to share in the spirit and to have a bit of fun.