Vienna is one of my favourite cities; it’s just so seeped in old-world elegance.

Advent in Vienna is especially magical, with wonderful Christmas markets everywhere.

The Christkindlmarkt in front of City Hall seems to emphasise Christmas decorations and wooden toys – all in the most wonderful vibrant colours.

It couldn’t be the Glühwein or Weinachtspunsch talking, could it? After all, I’m just collecting a couple of the blue, designed-for-the-occasion Christkindlmarkt-cups. Besides, it’s a bit of a chill in the air. Need a little something to keep warm.

Inside City Hall is the Christkindls Werkstatt, a workshop for children 3 – 18. About 80 000 little ones stop by here during the 5 weeks before Christmas and entire school classes reserve time. Today, several classes are lined up outside; excited rosy cheeks and plenty of laughter everywhere.

Inside happy children dressed in aprons and bakers’ hats are covered in flour, playing with rolling pins and baking. Others make animal pictures and wooden frames, key rings, leather bracelets, candles, ceramic cups – all sorts of wonderful, self made Christmas presents.

My 5-year-old would have loved it here. And it really is wonderful – nothing plastic about this at all. I should have brought her along – in fact, now that I see it – well, it seems almost unfair not to. I shall have to make it up to her. Not presents, but experiences, I think.

I’ll do a proper post on Vienna and the Christmas markets later.