We landed in Krems, Austria on our journey around Europe, visiting Christmas Markets along the way. I decided to spend the day exploring the town on my own, walking the winding residential cobblestone streets up to the top of the hill where the orchards are and then back down again, making my way to the town square and the darling shopping streets which were all lined with Christmas cheer.

The Bailoni Company'sapricot distillery building is so beautiful. They've been making their apricot products in this building in Krems since 1872.

Making my way down from the residential area above to the town below:

My mother-in-law, MaryJane, had begun feeling a bit under the weather so I made my way to a store to try and find some medicine for her. There was a section labeled, "Gesundheit" so I figured it was the cold and flu section. But after staring at the packaging for a while, I couldn't figure anything out. So, I asked an elderly gentleman who was standing nearby if he spoke any English and he told me he spoke a little. (Almost every time I hear this when I'm in Europe, it turns out that the person speaks English very well). He told me I was in the diabetic section. Oops. I explained that I was looking for some cold medicine and he told me that I needed to go see the "Chemist". He walked me out of the store and down the street to the Chemist who was lovely and wonderful, asking me many questions about MJ's symptoms and then prescribing two different medicines that ended up working quite nicely. I was so thankful for the stranger's kindness and the wonderful Chemist!

I love the pedestrian zones in Europe, where motor traffic isn't allowed during the day. Vehicles can deliver in the early morning hours and then the zones clear out for foot traffic only. (I was walking through in the early morning, so vehicles were there doing deliveries).

A life-size gingerbread house built into a bakery for the Christmas season.

Krems had such a dear feeling about it. Quiet, sweet, and cheerful. And although the Christmas market wouldn't be opening until the next day, I found plenty of Christmas to inspire me. It was one of my very favorite days.

The Christmas market was scheduled to open for the Christmas season the next day, and the little stands were all set up, along with lots of Christmas trees with the most amazing firewood tree skirts. They were everywhere and I completely fell in love with the technique!

This is the fourth post in a series covering my visit to Europe and the Christmas markets in cities along the Danube River, all via a Viking River Cruise. You can find the first post here, the second post here, and the third post here.

MEET SERENA!

Stay-at-home mom, Serena Thompson, dreamed of creating a fun and happy little event to sell her vintage and handmade goods. In 2002, she and some friends held the first event in her neighbor’s barn. The sale became wildly popular and began attracting visitors from across the country and recognition in national magazines. Today the event fills the Spokane County Fairgrounds and features hundreds of creatively and carefully curated spaces filled with vintage and handmade goods. Many describe it as a bucket list event, magical, inspirational, and the best vintage & handmade fair in the country. Serena describes it as the happiest on earth.

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