Night Location: Munich, Germany (The Anna Hotel - our favourite)
Song of the Day: White Christmas - The Drifters
Mumisode of the Day: Mum got stuck in between the carriages of the train with back pack in tow. She wasn't quite fast enough for the super-efficient Swiss trains.
Part two of the customs debacle today. Gemma, Amber and David set off to the train station ridiculously early in order to get the required stamps. Arriving in St Margethon, we alighted the train into a blizzard. Gemma was left on the platform in the blizzard to guard the bags while Amber and David headed out into the open blizzard in search of the well-designed customs office. Fortunately, they had success and we will not be charged additional Swiss fees for tax evasion. They returned to find Gemma buried in the snow. Significant amounts had built up on the back packs during this time. David decided this was ludicrous and led us into the cafe. After purchasing one drink (expensive Swiss drinks with limited cash resources) we all sat down and began to thaw out.
Sheltering with other passengers in the platform box, we waited for our train to arrive. Keeping a keen eye out for Mum as the train whizzed by, we saw that unfortunately Mum and Dad were waiting with their bags at the very carriage in front of the platform box where everyone was trying to get on. Mum and Dad's one job of the morning was to locate our set seats. They had failed to do so and had only just discovered from the conductor that the seats were in first class at the front of the train. Hence, with bags in tow, we all had to make our way through several carriages including the restaurant car to find our seats. ICE trains have no luggage space, which makes it tricky when you are travelling with a mound.
After locating our seats, the remaining trip passed quickly as we whizzed through snow-covered fields and towns. Gemma played Swiss trains on a Swiss train! In 2007 when we visited Munich, we stayed in the Anna Hotel, our favourite of the trip. This time we are lucky enough to have returned, something we have been looking forward to for some time. The hotel has huge beds, great lighting and massive rainforest showers. It is also conveniently located near a major department store and the underground station.
We have decided to have Secret Santa this year, given that we have both space and weight restrictions. The rest of the afternoon was spent individually in search of good presents. It was quite funny to see people hiding from each other.
Not only have we returned to the Anna Hotel but we have also returned to the fantastic vegetarian restaurant that we visited last time. The trip home was a little long as the footpaths are icy and treacherous. We all made it safely. Gemma still hasn't fallen over!