I like sparkly things. In fact, a significant part of my enjoyment of ballroom dancing came from the sparkly dresses (and I’m not entirely kidding about that). As a dancer, the more sparkly the dress, the more beautiful it is, and the best sparkly dresses were adorned with rhinestones made by Swarovski. Swarovski makes all manner of crystal things: jewelery, knick-knacks, keychains, Christmas ornaments, chandeliers. They are all really sparkly. (Have I mentioned that I like sparkly things? I often catch myself looking at various items around our house — clothing, furniture, children — and trying to decide how many rhinestones I could get away with applying to them . . . usually 0).
Swarovski is based in Austria, which I knew. Since I’ve been here, I’ve been in to a few Swarovski stores, looked at lots of sparkly things (ooh) and even bought a few. The shops are pretty impressive — much bigger and more extensive than the ones at the malls at home. But today, I found the BIG one. Really big. And really sparkly.
Apparently, while out looking for Christmas ornaments today, I happened to go into a store I hadn’t been into before. Turns out it’s the Swarovski Wien flagship store. 3 levels of sparkly heaven. Crystal on everything. More kind of Swarovski jewelry than I’d ever seen before (including pieces designed by artists and not available online or at the other stores), more keychains, more pens, more knick-knacks and statues (including two dragon statues covered in tiny crystals which were for sale for 15,000 and 18,000 Euro), crystal tattoos, crystal appliques and loose rhinestone crystals. (I didn’t even go up to the top floor. God knows what they had up there.)
I was so excited. I felt like a little kid, peering into all of the display cases, fogging up the glass (literally), picking up everything I could get my hands on, deciding that no, I don’t actually need more knick-knacks or keychains or an entire tree full of Swarovski Christmas ornaments.
Really, it’s amazing that I came out at all. I didn’t try to hide away in a closet or camp out in their massive, crystal covered Christmas display. I didn’t even have to be escorted from the building. More amazing that I only bought 5 things. But, really, we didn’t bring that many Christmas ornaments with us, so it’ll be nice to have these . . . and we’ll treasure them, because they’ll be mementos of our time in Vienna . . . and they’re so, so sparkly . . .