Woke late and wandered over to Laurens house about 9:45 to deliver pressies to the N&C and the boys. Still relatively mild (maybe 6 or 7 degrees). I stayed for a while and exchanged gifts with N & C and the boys dismantled their leggo. Back here for breakfast with Lauren and then out for a walk. Despite being quite mild (for Germany) the weather looked a bit ominous so we wore coats & took umbrellas. As we headed off across the Festplatz (showground) towards the Rhine the wind got a bit stronger and by the time we were at the river it had started to rain. A few silly photos by the Rhine and a look at the old Rhine bridge later it was raining hard enough to put up the umbrellas. Sadly the umbrellas didn’t stay up long .. Lauren’s blew inside-out and then exploded into several bits very soon. Time to head back!
I’d been trying to ring Ainsley all day and finally we got a FB message that the phone was down at home so we went over to Lauren’s to skype her. It was lovely to see & talk to her… but not so lovely to hear that the pool was green and the dog had needed a visit to the vet (and we owed Ainsley for a fairly substantial vet bill!).
Aside from a walk round the outside of the Medieval Town walls up to the Dom and the nearby Jewish cemetery (from 600AD) we have spent the day eating… cheese, cold meat, breads etc, drinking wine and playing three handed 500 (the card game). Alissa came over in the evening and we played board games, talked and laughed over several glasses of wine till quite late. A very low-key Christmas.
Newspapers the next day lead with the news that it has been the WARMEST Christmas day since records began!
Day 10: 2nd Christmas
Once again it was still dark when we got up… it’s dark till well after 8am in Germany in the middle of winter! Still no sign of Lauren at 10 and I wandered over & woke her up so we could all go into town in search of a bakery for breakfast. Probably not going to be much open but we don’t really want to hang around the flat listening to Armed Forces radio (the only English language radio station we could find). There’s a US base at Wiesbaden (just across the river from Mainz) and with them, their families & the need for an English language radio station. Advertisements aimed at military families are nearly as weird as Aussie regional radio ads aimed at the farming community.
We’ve also decided to sign up for the German telecom wireless … it means we can pick up the internet from hotspots (like Maccas) and on the trains. The lack of internet has been the only thing I would change about this flat. So the laptop as well as the camera will now be accompanying us on all outings.