Graptolite is at 36:49.20N 028:18.56E Yat Marin, Marmaris, Turkey on
Wednesday 30th December. The skipper is in the village of Mission, Val
d'Anniviers, Valais, Switzerland.
Christmas Eve, or the German Christmas Day of the 24th, was at Heike's
sister Micki and Frank's house in Berlin. They do some things that are a bit
different in Germany for Christmas. A brace of geese with dumplings and red
cabbage was the main course. The goose had to be followed by a lot of
schnapps to ease the digestion. They had never heard of mince pies, Xmas
pudding or crackers. A scary Weihnachtsmann brings presents on the 24th and
I got a professionally recorded CD with silly boat songs we made up in the
On the evening of the 24th we put the car on a train at Berlin's Wannsee
Bahnhof going overnight to Munich. The station was used during the war to
deport Jews but their customer service is now much improved. We squeezed
into a small sleeping compartment and a British-style Father Christmas
managed to arrive in time for the morning of the 25th.
On Christmas Day we drove south to the Alps and then once again with the car
on a train over the Furka Pass into the Swiss Rhone Valley and arrived late
in the day at the chalet in Mission in the snowy Val d'Anniviers.
We are here by ourselves for five days until John & Linda and Johnny &
Alison arrive in time for New Year. Neither of us ski much but we have been
up and down cable cars and had gluhwein and cheese fondue for the
atmosphere. The valley and villages are very picturesque with snowy
mountains and trees and chalets that look as if they would play music if you
lifted their roofs up.
The grand total for 2009 turns out to be 21 different countries where I have
hung my hat. Coincidentally, but a much more important milestone for me is
that my daughter was born 21 years ago today. Have a Happy Birthday Holly
and a Happy New Year to All.