After a light breakfast we are picked up by James and Liesa and we are driven to Seefeld. After we park the car we take the funicular to the top of the Rosshutte ski resort. We spend a couple of hours admiring the skills of all the skiers zooming down the hill. We then go down to the Christmas market in Seefeld and have some lunch.
After having recovered from the previous evening we have a light breakfast and are picked up by James and Liesa who drive us to Achensee where we had coffee. We then drive on to Sixenhof Museum where we see a “live” telling of the Christmas story with donkey, ox and sheep. When we come back outside it is snowing on Christmas day.
We meet James and Liesa and visit a museum with local arts and crafts. We are then collected later by James and meet Liesa’s parents Karl and Silvia for the first time in their hut. They could not have been more hospitable and have laid on a wonderful spread of food and drinks. While we have tried to make a large dent into all this we are defeated by 1am and go back to our apartment stuffed and well inebriated.
We wake up to a clear blue sky and lovely sunshine. After some discussion we decide to take the train to Potsdam. We have a leisurely stroll through an Christmas market in Potsdam and visit the “Sans Souci” palace. It is often counted among the German rivals of Versailles but it is much smaller.
We take the train back in the late afternoon and visit the Christmas market near the Charlottenburg Palace.
We’re off to Berlin and are visiting Susanna and Luka in their new flat. Leaving work early we drive to Gatwick to catch the Easyjet flight to Tegel. We arrive at 21:00 and take a taxi to the Hotel “Hansablick” which is just around the corner. We then have coffee and wine with Susanna.
It is already the last day of our mini-trip and plan to visit the Perlan museum and planetarium. We see the night sky and wonderful northern lights in the planetarium which are very impressive. We then continue to explore the history of Iceland, the people and wildlife. A very informative experience which includes a trip through an ice cave and get to know a lot more about Iceland. It used to be covered in trees but were mostly cut down and soil erosion since has been a major issue. They are also very proud of their national parliament “The Althing” which has been in existence for over 1000 years.
We then have one last look around Reykjavik including a flea market before we head back to the airport.
A memorable short break.
Again it is dark when we awake and after a big breakfast we gather in the lobby for the “Golden Circle Tour“. We are collected on time and are driven through a wintery landscape, first to the Thingvellir National Park which is where the European and North American tectonic plates drift apart. A spectacular scenery but bitterly cold as the wind is very strong.
We then continue the tour and visit the Gulfoss waterfalls which are very impressive but also very cold as the wind has got even stronger and very little protection. We have a hot drink in the cafe to warm us up and then continue the tour to the Geysir. The hot thermal vents spout water on a regular basis and are impressive to watch.