Happy New Year! I hope everyone has had a great start to 2016 so far and that all of your resolutions are still in place. I resolve to be more diligent about posting my travel adventures here. Many of you have asked if I have stopped traveling ... not to worry, I was in four different countries the last week of December alone, but my schedule means I don't often have time to report about it!
I spent New Years in the most adorable medieval alpine town in Tirol called Kitzbühel. Renown as a sophisticated ski village (like many places, there was no snow this year!), it is located not far outside Innsbruck in Austria. On the morning of the 1st I took an early morning stroll around the town and stopped for breakfast at Praxmair, a traditional Tirolean bakery right in the center.
As soon as you walk in the front door you are greeted by the large pastry case. You order your cakes at the counter and then go and sit down at the tables in the back, where a waiter will come by and take your drink order. We opted for a piece of Linzer Torte and cheesecake: just delicious!
The windows were decorated with traditional marzipan pigs and mushrooms, symbols of good luck for the new year.
After breakfast we popped inside the St. Andreas Parish Church. The bell tower of the church is considered the main landmark of Kitzbühel, complete with beautiful frescoed ceilings.
A popular evening activity is to try your hand in the local casino: I haven't seen many casinos with a facade like this one!
Another spectacle not to be missed in Kitzbühel is the fireworks display at the base of the mountain that takes place each year on Januray 1st. With live music, torch skiing and fire jumping from the local ski school, and a half hour fireworks show, it is a perfectly celebratory place to welcome in the new year.