Weihnachten und Neujahr

2 Jan

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope that you rang in 2012 in style and the final night and send off of 2011 was a fun and debaucherous one. After a short hiatus I am back in the blog game! My last post was really not even worth mentioning as I’d had a crap week recovering from a cold but since then we have had the festive season and Mark has had some time off work, giving us the chance to get out there and do some things.

Christmas in Europe is celebrated for the most part on Christmas Eve – that’s when they do their big group family get-together, open the pressies and get merry, and then Christmas day is kind of a day for church and that’s when Santa’s gifts get opened so it was a little bit strange to come to terms with. We were invited for Christmas dinner (24th) to our friends place which was so lovely and it was nice to know we weren’t going to be on our own for Christmas. We were in charge of bringing dessert to the table so the entire day was spent in the kitchen making 2 pies – a pumpkin pie and fruit mince pie. I struggled somewhat with making the shortcrust pastry but after some ranting and raving and bowl throw-down action, Markie youtubed a video and we got it done with team work.

We headed over just after 6pm and were greeted by the (w)Hore Family with a glass of champagne…perfect way to get right into the spirit. Our friends have 2 children and the other couple that came over did also. It was lovely to be around kids because, let’s be honest, Christmas is mostly about them. There were some beautiful wines consumed throughout the evening and the meal of pumpkin soup and lamb shanks was delicious. During our breather, before Mark and my masterpieces, out came the Beluga Vodka for some shots chased with Beluga caviar. The vodka was so smooth but I wasn’t sold on the caviar and thought perhaps the chaser may become the precursor to a backwards swallow. We got home around 1am and weren’t too pissed so waking up on Christmas day wasn’t too much of a struggle. Our Christmas day was spent on the couch watching movies and episodes of Greys Anatomy, so not a great deal of action there.

I am so blessed to have one of the shittest days of the year for a birthday – Boxing Day which always means places are closed and people are hungover or busy or away. Also being in a new(ish) country we haven’t had a good chance to discover the fine dining restaurants around so I searched for a place that was open and had space and Markie and I headed there for lunch. I think it may have been the dining room for an adjoining nursing home because the clientele was, well, a little prehistoric. It was good to get out of the house though and have a bit of a date, and finish the festival of eating.

Since we had the use of a car the past week we decided to take a little drive to Stuttgart and check out the Porsche museum. Some of those cars, my God, were just unbelievable and it was cool to be able to compare it to the BMW museum in Munich which we went to a few months ago. I have to say BMW seemed to display their cars better and it was more artistic with how their museum was laid out, but the Porsche museum definitely allowed you to get right up close to all of the cars they had on the floor. During the past week we also had every intention to head to Garmisch, about an hour drive away, from our place with some good beginner and intermediate ski/snowboard runs. We even went out and got some gear for me as I didn’t own any prior to our little shopping spree, however, Markie was getting sick and didn’t even get to sleep that night so we haven’t yet gone…this week though, this week I’m going to carve it up and nail it, or maybe the slopes will carve me up. Hopefully not!

New Years Eve arrived pretty quickly and I have to say we had a really good night. A month or so ago our neighbours invited us to Circus Krone with them, which is Europe’s largest circus and has been in operation for 93 years travelling the world. We all got together for an early meal and had a raclette dinner which is traditionally from Switzerland and is a small grill combined with a kind of hot rock that you put on the table and can cook meat and a combination of potatoes, vegies and grilled cheese – it was really tasty. I had to bring some Australian to the table and brought over a Pavlova I made earlier in the day to finish off the meal. The circus was awesome – the acts were fantastic. It started off a little bit naff and I was wondering what we had gotten ourselves into but then the acrobats and the animals came out and it was really cool. The strength, balance and courage were phenomenal from the artists. We’d also organised to meet up with one of Mark’s colleagues and some of his friends afterwards for the midnight countdown which we got to just in the nick of time – literally jumped out of the cab for the final 10 seconds of 2011, quite the relief as being in a taxi for the tick-over wouldn’t have been ideal.

The general public letting off fireworks here is the norm and it was crazy to see everyone running on the road and letting off these giant rockets and fireworks. It was really quite dangerous and even though Sydney does have the most spectacular midnight show, it was nice to see the way they do it here. By no means was it pretty or cohesive but it was hilarious and seemed to go on forever but never got old. We met up with the group after a while and then headed back to the house party from which they all came. Most of the people were internationals and everyone spoke English and all were around our age – it was nice to be able to mix and mingle, communicate, socialise and get to know some newbies. We ended up leaving there at around 3:30am and got home and to bed content with our evening and introduction to 2012.

Markie is back at work this week but is doing home office so we still get to spend some more time together before it’s back to business as usual next week. We’re off to Berlin this weekend and making sure we continue our travelling right off the bat for this year.

If you’re back at work already, take it easy, and if you’re not, enjoy the rest of your break and the summer which I see has finally arrived.

Till next time…..xx

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