holiday doings (2007-12-29 - 7:50 p.m.)
So there didn't seem to be much going on in Bangor (all my friends have left, for one thing), and I heard all the good parties were in Germany. So here I am. I'm staying with Malcolm in Marburg, which is, as promised, a very pretty town. Also they really do up the Christmas thing in Germany. Lots of lights and other happy Christmassy things.
My Christmas was, er, pretty quiet really. My friend Michael had rented a cottage in the south of Snowdonia (in a collection of houses called Corris Uchaf) with some other Kiwis and I tagged along. Unfortunately Michael was sick as a dog and his friends didn't seem that into the whole Christmas thing. So not all that many festivities.
We did a couple of day trips, though. One was to Portmeirion, which is a bizarre planned village. All the houses are painted fairy-tale colours and it looks as if the designer just sort of picked the bits he liked from cities all over the world and plonked them all together in North Wales. Memorably, there is a sort of pagoda with a large gold Buddha just down the road from a vaguely Greek temple facade. We walked around the gardens, as well, which were full of Kiwi plants (apparently they don't mind the Welsh climate) and palm-tree-type-things.
Also did a quick trip to Aberystwyth, where Michael and I went for a walk and came across the ruins of a castle, which always makes me happy. This was quite a nice ruined castle, very Famous Five. The rain that was pouring down (Christmas in Wales!) at least made it atmospheric.
However, Boxing Day was the day that Christmas really happened this year. My supervisor had invited me out to her place on Anglesey for Christmas. She had a bunch of Calgarians visiting (which was a bit random) and they did up the whole thing - giant turkey, gorgeous veg, and the pudding was something else altogether. It started with homemade chocolate cake soaked in liqueur, to which was added homemade chocolate mousse and homemade chocolate sauce, along with various nuts and cream and whatever else sounded lovely. They had Christmas crackers and games and lots of sitting around the fire with the Christmas tree in the background... just generally everything I love about Christmas. (Except that my family wasn't there, of course, but at least I got to hang out with SOMEONE'S family).
We also went for a walk on the beach, replacing the usual tradition of going skating. Wales at Christmas - not all bad! And there sure are some gorgeous beaches on Anglesey. I will definitely be going back there.
Anyway, very very kind of my supervisor to invite me, and that really made it feel like Christmas.
So yeah, spending a few days in Marburg with Mal, then I think we will head to Prague. I've been meaning to go for years, so am quite excited. The main problem seems to be getting back to Bangor... we will see how that goes. Keep your fingers crossed please!
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