The downside to having Easter come so early this year is that being out and about at the Easter markets has been somewhat less comfortable and pleasant than in years past. Our first time, we went in short sleeves and sandals. Not so this year, where the winter weather has stuck around longer than is typical and Easter came earlier than usual. All in all, it feels more like visiting the Christmas markets than the Easter ones!
But, we weren’t completely discouraged from attending — just wise . . . or so we thought. We waited until the last possible day to visit the Schonbrunn Easter market, because we figured it would be the warmest. We also watched the weather reports which seemed to support our hypothesis. All week, the weather for today has looked the best of the week — partly sunny with a balmy high of 44. Compared to what we’ve been getting, that’s nearly like summer.
Alas, it was not to be. Yesterday, which dawned cold and rainy, actuallly had a lovely sunny afternoon with highs in the mid-40s. We missed our chance on that, though. Today was cloudy, drizzling, and didn’t get out of the mid-30s. Brr. But still, we went. We wanted to visit beautiful Schonbrunn, and we wanted to show Jo the lovely Easter market there. Unfortunately, the entire population of Vienna appears to have had the same idea — so there were thick crowds of people packed into the market, in spite of the weather.
Despite the chilly temperatures, we had a really nice time. Upon our arrival, the kids immediately got caught up in a series of children’s games and acitivities. In Vienna, you never know — sometimes a “children’s program” is a fairly uninteresting performance or a tiny corner of poorly set up arts and crafts. And sometimes it’s a comprehensive, compelling collections of games, toys, rides and acitivities that captivates the kids for hours. We went to the market today with no expectations except for doing some shopping and eating some food. But the boys had a great time with a maze game with a wooden duck on strings with a ball (it’s not the easiest thing to describe), some chicken air hockey (not a real chicken), and a swan race (also, not a real swan). They also tried out walking on stilts and got to talk to a guy on stilts in a chicken suit, who spoke English (as if walking on stilts in a chicken suit isn’t impressive enough). It was a good time.
We ate too much food, shopped for handmade cards, hand-painted eggs and too much chocolate and got to practice lots of our German. Even though it still feels like winter, it was a good day at the Easter market.