Merry Christmas!

Lake Achensee with the snow-covered Austrian alps in the background taken in the town of Maurach

Merry Christmas everyone! Wherever you are in the world, I hope you’re having a wonderful day and enjoying some festive fun!

This Christmas, I’ve been reminiscing about my favourite Christmas, in 2011, and thought I’d share it with you. It was just my parents and I for Christmas as everyone else was away, so fearing that Christmas for three might be something of a let-down, my parents decided to whisk us off to Austria for the holidays.

We were staying in the Austrian Tyrol in a town called Maurach on the edge of Lake Achensee and had arrived late on 23 December. The following day, it was overcast and the weather a little miserable, but we spent the day in nearby Salzberg where we browsed the Christmas market, enjoying copious cups of warming glühwein, and walked around the old town, which was very pretty.

Snow-covered alps and chalets near the town of Maurach in the Austrian Tyrol

The next morning, Christmas Day, I awoke to this fabulous sight (above). The low hanging cloud had lifted and for the first time I could see the surrounding mountains in all their snowy, pine-covered glory. It had also snowed heavily overnight, leaving a perfect blanket of powdery white snow.

I immediately grabbed my camera and ran out of the hotel, running through the town’s deserted streets to the lake. The only people I saw were the snow-plough driver and a woman walking her dog. I’m not very used to snow as we don’t get much at home and it was the most magical experience wading through the undisturbed, calf-high snow.

A snow-covered mountain near the town of Maurach in the Austrian Tyrol

It was one of the best mornings of my life and the most excited I’ve been for Christmas since I was a kid. The scenery before me was unbelievable and like something out of a film, it was just so perfect and snowy and Christmassy.

We spent the morning at the famous ski resort of Kitzbühel, where we took the cable car to the top of the mountain, mesmerised by the steady stream of skiiers racing down the mountain and admiring the spectacular views over the Alps (below).

View over the snow-covered Austrian Alps from the top of a mountain in the ski resort of Kitzbühel

Then it was onto Lake Mondsee in the afternoon, where we walked along the edge of the lake, which is beautiful, and up into the town, where we stopped off outside St Michael’s Church, where Maria married Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music.

My parents and I still talk about that Christmas to this day and if I could, I would Christmas in Austria every year. If it wasn’t already clear by now, I adored it. Best. Christmas. Ever.

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