After months of planning and preparations, finally we were all set for Austria, a cultural highlight of Europe, for our X’mas holiday.
Necessities: Air tickets with gluten-free food menu selection on flight, Eurail Pass, Apartment with Kitchenette, One suitcase with all the kitchen utilities, Electric lunch box to make food warm, Prescriptions by Doctor to carry our food and Medicines, Adapter (for Europeans switches)
With all preparation done from our end we started our journey with our 7 years old celiac son. It was almost 20 hour flight so I carried “paneer and puri” for dinner, “ vegetable poha” for breakfast and “kadhi rice”( as it does not get spoiled even after many hours ) with all the snacks including GF chips , biscuits. Chocolates, Candies. Last time, in our flight the meals did not come upto my kids taste, But this time was very fortunate, the Gluten Free Meal served was tasty. It had chicken, rice, vegetables along with gluten free sweet muffin. In the snacks also they served gluten free sandwich that was awesome to taste.
We had a connecting flight from Frankfurt to Vienna, and while passing through the security check of Frankfurt our hand bag was caught. The security said “no liquid” and we had the “Kadhi” and cough syrup with us. So this was the time when the prescription from the Doctor helped us. And we could easily, though a little time consuming, cruise the security check.
As we stepped down our flight, it was Snowing!! There was a white snow sheet everywhere.
Vienna: It was Christmas time, the city was bursting with Beauty. We had the Eurail pass, we got it activated and it was now easy for us to reach our apartment in Vienna. Our apartment was just walking distance from the train station. We reached the apartment, got fresh, covered ourselves from head to toe as it was freezing cold outside and went to the Christmas Market. This typical market has made “culinary temptation” an art form. Though Vienna is a celiac heaven, in the market there was nothing Gluten free, so we went to the Restaurant in Pizzeria Scarabocchio for our Gluten free meal. Our first order was a simple GF Margarita Pizza. To clear our single doubt about cross contamination when asked the waiter there, he laughed and said don’t you worry about!! They know each and everything about allergies and are very particular about everything. It was a big relax and then we could enjoy many food there including GF chicken , Spaghetti, pasta, rice with vegetable curry, Ice creams, cakes and mousses. At Café Mozart, the best was the chocolate mousse served. And non Gf food was great too. There was this famous Christkindlmarkt on the Rathausplatz (the square in front of town hall). It was packed with its hidden displays, nativity scenes, lighted trees, and illuminated ice skating trails and the park had amazingly beautiful decorations. The Europeans are much more aware and understand the difficulties of allergic people. The supermarket (BILLA), we had all the things labelled and we could find many GF chips, biscuits, and the complete range of schar products.
Salzburg: Salzburg was our next destination, were we reserved our next apartment. The train journey between Vienna and Salzburg takes about 2.5 hours. The first was to explore the old town of Sazburg. Salzburg has the best Christmas market in Austria with the beautiful setting, the delicious food, and the absolutely gorgeous Christmas stalls, it was an unforgettable place, every corner of the city was decorated including smallest of the market. People in our apartment had decorated the lobby area and it had all the sweets and treats with a Christmas tree lightened to its best.
Innsbruck: The average train journey between Salzburg and Innsbruck is about 2 hours. Where we headed directly to the fantastic Nordkette. There we reached by a cable car that had 3 stops to get to the very top. There are great views and food and drink options at all three stops. And D enjoyed the outside Guranteed GF food while we (my daughter and Me) just had coffee, the vegetarians only option up there. but the breathtaking 360° view was so much worth it. An altitude of 6,250 ft it was so relaxing, with nature at its very best. After that we enjoyed all that glitters at Swarovski Crystal World.
Hallstatt: Exciting holiday among mountains and lakes along with a lot of nature Hallstatt is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. We reached Hallstatt by train and then took an extraordinary ride on Lake Hallstatt on the ferry. And it was so picturesque. The village Hallstatt is such an unbelievably spectacular place. Hallstatt is a small village and people are less aware, so D was a little disheartened (as he has been getting his food everywhere we went), but we always had his food with us… the walk up to the salt mine cannot be described in words.. the best of the everything, Nature at its best of best!!
Kitzteinhorn: The Kitzsteinhorn Glacier is one of Zell am See’s must-do attractions, A cable car whizzes up to top-station Gipfelwelt 3000 mts. We got clicked at the Top of Salzburg mountain-viewing platform at 9,842 feet (3,000 meters), relished the word class GF non veg food along with panoramic vantage points and not Forgetting the my home made DAL MAKHNI that we enjoyed at the top !!
All the places (Salzburg,Vienna, Kitzsteinhorn, Innsbruck) we visited had many Gf options but we preferred cooking our own food in our apartment. We packed it in the lunch box and kept it on heating in trains and the places where ever we went. All the restaurant people would easily warm the food in microwave also when told about the allergy. All the people are so aware of the allergies and everything available is non vegetarian , it was me and my daughter eating D’s veg food in the lunch box. Europe is great for Gluten Free food, though finding vegetarian was a tough task. So my son D relished more outside food than us.
There really is nothing quite like a White Christmas in Austria. Cities are dressed to impress with twinkling fairy lights and giant Christmas trees with tempting aromas of roasting chestnuts and gingerbread, and snowy landscapes along with Gluten Free Delicacies!!!
A perfect Gluten Free X’mas Holiday!!
This is my alphabet X for “Gluten Free X’mas Holiday”, in #BlogchatterA2Z #AprilA2Z in Parenting Tales with A Celiac Child. Do share your experiences as it’s always incredibly beneficial to connect with others who share similar experiences.