Sunday, December 8, 2013

Waltzing & Fireworks in Vienna

We leave in just under 2 weeks for our annual New Year's Eve trip, this time to Finland, so it must be time to write about last year's celebration!

Last year in Vienna was one of my favorite experiences for NYE, the city put on an amazing show and it seemed like every citizen turned out for it.

Bakery windows were outfitted with cute sugary pigs, the symbol of good luck for the coming year, pop-up champagne bars appeared on random curbs, and the streets were hung with gorgeous light displays.
There were maps posted all over, of the streets that would be closed to traffic and transformed into open air parties. And all roads led to the best vantage points for the midnight fireworks.

We started our evening at home with champagne, cheeses, meats, olives, etc that we picked up from the market. After aperos we bundled up and took the subway to one of the main areas on the city party map, emerging from below ground we came up to this amazing sight.

There were stands offering all types of food and drink as well as stages with live bands performing various types of music every few blocks or so. Buildings were used for light-shows and live video, and everyone sang, danced, and toasted each other.

We made our way along the party path, and at one of the bandstands stopped to watch the revelers waltz along to the live ensemble. Young and old, all smiles and down puffy jackets, waltzing along in the streets of Vienna.

We continued on farther to the grounds of the Hofburg palace, where thousands were gathered for the official countdown. Everyone had champagne or mulled wine, everyone was gathered with their friends and family.

There were crowds but they were calm and fun. There were fireworks but they weren't aimed at us.
And after the fireworks everyone cheerily made their way back to the outdoor dancing, or off to home. A great night unspoiled by violence, or over-indulgence.

So now when people ask me where my favorite New Year's Eve celebration was I can at least give my top 3 (including the first). And if you ever get the opportunity to spend the holiday in this most gorgeous city, be sure to dance the waltz.

 Vienna photos here.