It may already be well into the second week of January 2017 but I hope you don’t mind me putting up this post a little late! Since we got back from spending our Christmas holidays in Austria it’s been straight back into flying and although I’ve (almost!) got my new MacBook fully set up, I’ve hardly had a moment to use it.
Joe and I were both lucky enough to get Christmas off this year – last year I had to go back to work on the 25th! So since we spent last year in Mauritius it was off to Austria this year to spend time with my family.
Luckily the flight going from DXB – VIE had plenty of spare seats, and once we arrived in Vienna we had a few hours to kill before catching the next flight to Klagenfurt. It was looking a bit hit and miss as it seemed we weren’t the only ones on standby trying to get home before Christmas, but before we knew it we were landing in Klagenfurt (it is only a 30 minute flight after all!) where Mum, Dad and my brother Harry were waiting for us.
We spent the evening relaxing and catching up at home, and making plans for the next few days.
Most of which included some form of eating…
…and who can blame us with this cake selection! Joe and I met up with my soon-to-be-married friends Iris and Claudio for coffee and cake, in a lovely cafe that has a huge variety on offer.
It was great to see them after so long, and hear all about their wedding plans. Fingers crossed we will both be able to get some time off work to go back to Austria!
After having our fill of cake we took a stroll through the town, towards the Christmas market. Obviously being crew as well Joe has seen plenty of German and Austrian Christmas markets before, but it was lovely to be able to show him my sort-of hometown. I spent 6 years living in Klagenfurt, so every December the market was definitely a very commonly frequented place!
In the afternoon Mum and Dad drove us to a lovely area called Plöschenberg for a walk. The weather, although cold, was bright and sunny, and the trees were covered in beautiful frost.
We had a nice long walk through the forest, admiring all of the pretty trees. It would have been even more magical if it had snowed, but it was just a couple of degrees too warm unfortunately!
Once you get out of the forest there’s a lovely view over the town and surrounding area – on a clear day you can even see Slovenia. Unfortunately however there was a thin layer of cloud that was just covering the town below.
That evening we had an early Christmas dinner – since Dad had to fly on the 24th, he didn’t want to miss out and we had an early celebration; roast turkey and all of the trimmings!
After dinner we strolled into town for some fresh air and to admire the Christmas lights by night.
The next morning, after Dad had gone to the airport, Mum, Joe and I drove up to our house in the mountains. My brothers Harry & Matt would both be joining us the next morning after spending an Austrian Christmas with their girlfriends (celebrated on the 24th instead of the 25th), and my sister Lizzie couldn’t make it as she’s currently in Vietnam!
First on the agenda before the sun set early, was to get a Christmas tree! The house is in a small hamlet with a farm nearby, and since most of the surrounding land belongs to the farmers, they kindly let us chop down a Christmas tree every year!
We didn’t have to walk too far until we found a lot of trees, the difficulty was picking the perfect one!
Finally the 3 of us decided on a good one, and Joe set about sawing it down. With a bit of help from Mum (and me giving orders, of course!) they were done in no time.
After a little bit of trimming at the bottom, the tree was soon up in the house and I set about decorating it. We spent the rest of the evening relaxing, cooking and catching up.
On Christmas morning, after Harry, Matt and his girlfriend Miriam had arrived, we got ready for a quick trip to the slopes! I couldn’t manage to persuade Joe to get skis on (despite Harry being a ski teacher and him promising a lesson!) so we left him with Matt and Miriam, and Mum, Harry and I set off for an hour of skiing before opening our Christmas presents.
The closest slopes are only a few minutes drive, and despite the lack of snow, there were a few runs open.
It felt so good to be back on skis (especially as I didn’t manage to go skiing at all last year!) and it’s such an adrenaline rush powering down the slopes.
We managed to get quite a few runs in, and it wasn’t busy which was great. I need to try and plan a ski getaway this year, perhaps I’ll be able to get a few days off in February or March to go somewhere!
We drove back to the house to get Christmas Dinner underway, and to open our presents!
The rest of Christmas was spent relaxing, eating the vast amount of chocolate we received, and playing with my brand new camera that Joe so generously gave me! I’m still learning how to use it in manual (it’s an Olympus OM-D E-M10, in case anyone is interested in cameras, and it’s absolutely gorgeous!) and loving learning how to use it properly.
The next day after driving back to Klagenfurt, we managed to catch up with my lovely friends Georg and Maria. Georg lives between Hamburg and Berlin, so I managed to catch up with him last time I got a flight to Hamburg, but I haven’t seen Maria for quite a while. We worked out that the last time all three of us had been together was when they (and another friend, Simone) came to Dubai around 3 years ago!
Sadly all good things must come to an end, and before we knew it, Joe and I had to head back to Dubai and back to work.
The flight to Vienna was quick and we had a couple of hours spare in Vienna airport before our flight home to Dubai, which although overbooked, we both managed to get seats on. Somehow we even ended up sitting next to each other – perfect!
I’m so happy I got to show Joe the town where I spent most of my teenage years. Although it may not be the biggest or the best, it holds so many memories for me and Christmas time was the perfect time of year to visit. I’m also so happy I got to spend some time with my family, just a shame that we were missing Lizzie!