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Christmas markets

Best Places To Spend The Winter Holidays

We cannot deny it but winter has finally come a bit early this year.  The holiday season is a peak season for travel too. My family and I booked our tickets 6 months ago and back then, seats were already getting full for Manila-bound flights. We will be spending the Christmas and New Year holidays back home. How about you? Have you planned any holidays this winter time? If not, here are some places you may consider and you can always count on lastminute.com for those spur of the moment bookings for hotel and flights.

Here are some great places to visit during the winter holidays.

ANY OF THE DISNEYLAND RESORTS AND THEME PARKS

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Yes, Disneyland is the happiest place on Earth! At least for me and my family it is. Where else can you spend the holidays beaming with glee and excitement? Only in any of the Disneyland parks around the world. They always have annual Christmas and Winter holiday themes, parades and activities during the Yuletide season. So, soak in the holiday feeling in the magical kingdom of Disney.

VIENNA AND SALZBURG, AUSTRIA

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Visit the outdoor Christkindlmarkts at night and enjoy the various Christmas crafts they sell which double as great gifts for family and friends and Christmas tree ornaments.

Enjoy the Vienna Choir Boys who render beautiful Christmas songs for the public every Sunday at night. Aside from the beautiful music, you can eat tasty finger foods and drink Vienna’s famous spiced mulled wine or gluhwein.

ITALY AND THE VATICAN

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Being a Roman Catholic, it has always been my dream to attend the Christmas Eve Mass, officiated by the Pope in St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican. This is still in my dream list and one day, we will fulfill this dream.

You can enjoy your cold Christmas time in lovely Rome as well and experience the Italian celebration of the holidays.  The famous Baroque square in Rome named Piazza Navona is converted into a Christmas market where you will find various kinds of toys, Italian sweets, Nativity scenes and other Christmas ornaments.

You can go further North of Italy if you want to enjoy skiing like places in Bormio and Cervinia.

TROMSO, NORWAY

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If you like to visit a place where the possibility of seeing the northern lights is a high probability, then head on to Tromso, Norway.  There will be limited hotels but you can check yourself in at Clarion Hotel Bryggen near the Harbor.

NEW YORK, USA

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A visit to the Big Apple on Christmas season also tops the charts of most travelers. You can visit the big Tree in the Rockefeller Center and also enjoy the ice-skating rink in the same vicinity. Enjoy shopping at nearby big department stores like Macy’s, Bloomingdales, Nordstrom and Saks Fifth Avenue for last minute shopping and you may even score further discounts offered for the holiday season.

AUSTRALIA

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When the other side of the world is experiencing cold, winter season, Down Under Australia is welcoming summer. So, if you want to get away from the drab, cold weather and soak in the cool breeze of Australian summer, then get on that flight and head on to Australia.

Spend Christmas in the beach along the famous Bondi Beach in Sydney and enjoy the frolic under the sun.

NUREMBERG, GERMANY 

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The Nürnberger Christkindlesmarkt is a well-known open Christmas market. The famous Christmas market welcomes millions of visitors yearly with a giant carved wooden Ferris wheel. The stalls sell all handmade nativity ornaments and other Christmas decorations. Not only that, even adults will enjoy this place as they can eat plenty of sticky buns and finger foods while the young ones can spend the day at the Toy Museum.

THE PHILIPPINES

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There’s no place like home and even more enticing during the holiday season. Metropolitan Manila’s famous thoroughfares are well-lit with Christmas lights and decors. Most big malls house gigantic Christmas trees adorned with pretty decorations. Christmas revelers will not miss the Misa de Gallo and a bite of the tasty bibingka and puto-bumbong right after the early morning mass. Children go caroling and ask for aguinaldo from their neighbors, family members and godparents.

No matter where your dream takes you, enjoy the spirit of the holiday season and remember, the reason for the season is Him. Happy Holidays!

 

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Going To Europe In November? Why Not!

I am not sure what’s happening to me but I have been obsessing about the Christmas Markets in Europe for some time. We have been delaying another trip to Europe for some time now because going to the US was more convenient. However, I really miss going to the beautiful cities of Europe. I just want to check another item in my bucket list. It’s something that motivates me to work harder and then enjoy life.

Christmas Markets regularly open at the end of the week of November and open until the days leading to Christmas. I have been discussing this with my dear hubby and our daughter would second the motion. We are just waiting for the hubby’s nod so I can finally plan the whole trip.

I am eyeing Warsaw first then will head to Prague and move on to Vienna and back to Dubai. That is one of the option. The other option is a daring and a more cold one. We’ll head up north in Stockholm, move to Copenhagen then visit Amsterdam and back to Dubai.  It won’t be a long vacation, just 7 days but the whole objective of the trip is to soak in the Holiday spirit of the Christmas Markets around Europe.

Oh, I can’t wait! I hope hubby will consider. For a change, I am not keen to visit the US this winter time. It’ll be nice to experience the winter of Europe. I am looking forward to that!

(Photo credit: yahoo images)

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No Travel, All Work

Posted in Christmas markets, Europe, personal, travel, vacation, work
on August 24, 2013

I am one gal who cannot stay put for a long period of time in a certain place. That is why my family and I always go on vacations or out of town trips to feed that wanderlust in me.

Honestly, the last vacation I had was last April and it is already 4 months since the last one and I am feeling restless. I am already thinking of the next one, carefully planning the costs, itinerary and tours we will take. The only problem is, I revoked all my vacation leaves until the end of the year so I am baking them for next year, just in time for my daughter’s collegiate studies back in the Philippines. I am not one happy gal, I tell you!

Well, this no travel and all work setting is not working for me. I feel hapless. I need to go somewhere, anywhere, just not in this same town. I am begging hubby to consider a short vacation to Europe this end of November in time for the opening of the Christmas Markets there. I have yet to convince him but I hope he says yes. I don’t think I can travel there with only my daughter in tow. I like him to be around to share the happiness with. Let’s see.

For now, I am really antsy here. I have to go somewhere. It doesn’t matter whether it’s just here in UAE or somewhere near. It has to be soon or I’ll lose my marbles!

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