Night Location: Rothenburg ob der Tauber, Germany
Song of the Day: Oh Holy Night - Celtic Woman
Mumisode of the Day: Mum managed to get a splinter from her fancy wrapping paper and threw the entire roll in the bin. Gemma had to pull it out of the cleaners hands, as she was not aware of the entire story.
It is Christmas Eve at last. We can't believe how quickly this year has just flown by. How is it possible that we are almost at the end of 2011? Sixteen weeks seemed like such a long time when we set off on this adventure.
Although it is freezing and windy, there is no snow in Rothenburg. Gemma and Amber are becoming a little distressed as they have been hoping for a long time to have a white Christmas.
The morning was spent wrapping presents. It is so much fun to be stuffing Christmas stockings and decorating Mum's hotel room. Mum bought a mini-Christmas tree yesterday and spent a long time decorating it with her new ornaments. It is beginning to look a lot like Christmas here.
David, Amber and Gemma ventured out to purchase supplies for Christmas only to find they were too late and the Christmas markets were closed. We had to settle for Schneeballen, the local speciality instead. David is not sure about it as he has read it is basically a massive ball of dough. Gemma and Amber are convinced that they like it as they tried it last time.
Found a great take-away shop for lunch complete with falafal rolls and then spent the afternoon reading, sleeping and other lay-activities. Dinner tonight in a traditional spatzel restaurant. We continue to hope that the snow might fall. We are prepared for a drive to Switzerland in search of snow if it does not!
Merry Christmas to all those back home. We celebrated the official launch of Christmas at lunch today, the beauty of Christmas in Germany.
Another tasty round of cheese spatial for the vegetarians for dinner tonight. Germany isn't particularly creative with its vegetarian options. Fortunately dessert makes up for this with hot apple strudel.
A particular highlight of the evening was the midnight (10pm) mass. Although the entire service was in German, we still sang our hearts out and lit our candles. Mum managed to resist the temptation to sing 'Silent Night' in English. The best part of the whole service was the organ medley played at the end; so great to hear the familiar carols played on such a magnificent organ. We went out into the cold night air to the sound of the cathedral bells tolling.
Amber and Gemma received surprise Christmas Eve presents from Mum and Dad so it really did feel like Christmas. Everyone could have a bit of trouble going to sleep tonight. Fingers crossed for snow!