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[Entry 27] Leaving a trail of stuff in our wake

27 December 201012:51AMepic-triptravel

Here's an amusing anecdote: Dad and I have managed between us to leave a trail of things behind us. I started it off, by leaving my soap on the boat between Luxor and Aswan. Then Dad left a hat (it wasn't even his- he;d found it on the beach) in the bus in Cairo, and I left a razor in Cairo too. Then Dad left a razor in Florence, and his Listerine in Nice. So if anyone would care to retrace our steps, we've left some stuff for you to find.

So, the answer to the question on everyone's lips: How was Christmas in Annecy? The answer, in just 37 seconds. No, wait. That's Shaun Micallef's line. The answer, is 'interesting, very pretty, just a little unusual, and just a little of a non-event'. Allow me to elaborate.

We spent most of the morning calling people on Skype to say merry Christmas and sort of catch up a bit. Then we opened our 'presents', which consisted of two envelopes each from my grandparents and one of my aunts which we were told were not to be opened until Christmas day. Fair enough, we thought. They're Christmas cards after all. Only, what do they turn out to contain but Australian dollars. That's right. We were absolutely not to open our Christmas presents until they were just a little bit useless. I guess it's some kind of scheme to force us to save the money. I suppose we could always get it changed somewhere if we run into some kind of emergency...

My laptop pretending to be our Christmas tree.

It being about midday by the time we'd finished with that, we thought we'd try and get lunch, which turned out to be a bit more difficult than we thought but not quite as difficult as the night before. We found a cafe that was open, and selling what were probably yesterday's pastries, because who has time for baking on Christmas day? Then, in what was probably the highlight of Christmas day, we walked down the Christmas (this post must be setting some kind of record for number of times the word Christmas is being used.) markets and bought some French onion soup from a man who was also selling hot wine.

This is the first time I've done one of those self-taking-photo things and it's actually worked out. Except for Dad's expression of course.

Then we did something I've never done before. We went into a church on Christmas day. Mostly because the church was right there, and we wanted to get out of the cold a bit, but also out of curiosity (at least on my part) as to what a church is like on Christmas. We didn't stay for very long, mind you, and we didn't pray or anything, or sing carols. We just sat there for a little while, and on the way out we lit a candle and put some money in a box. I'm not entirely certain on the significance of either of these acts (well, I'm pretty certain about the money one, actually.) so when I get back I'll have to ask someone religious about that. Or maybe just Wikipedia.

After that we felt cold and went home (and by home I mean the apartment), where I watched an entire miniseries ('The Prisoner', the new one, and basically my reaction was 'WTF?' right up until it was 'lame, what a cop-out' right around the ending there. Still, an entertaining way to kill a few hours). We just managed to drag ourselves out to have dinner (it was a bit cold by that point). We found somewhere open, then ordered a set menu each without knowing what the mains were, so we got one of each, and they turned out to be a steak with gravy and some kind of fish, and nothing exotic at all. The highlights were the onion soup for starters for me, and the cheese for dessert for dad. There was this one cheese, I think it was goat, which tasted like normal cheese when you started eating it but after you swallowed left this weird taste in the back of your mouth. Dad loved it and said it went well with wine, which I had to take his word for, since I didn't have a drink because the waitress talked really really fast and I didn't understand her when she asked me what I wanted to drink.

Today, not much has happened. We took a bus to Lyon, then picked up a rental car. Right now we're on the Autoroute, and trying to get off because it's expensive and the rest stops are hellish and since everyone's going away for boxing day, they're a little bit congested. Plus the rest stops are probably about as close to my personal definition of hell as you could possibly get- crowded, noisy, artificial and commercialised, and utterly devoid of character- you could be anywhere in the world. (Incidentally, why is it that there's always a queue for the ladies toilets but never for the mens? This rule is universal, apparently.)

"Shhh... I'm trying to sneak up on this bus."

We're going to spend tonight in a town called Saulieu, which is apparently renowned for its Burgindian cuisine, and then do a sort of loop around some of the towns and castles and historic sites of Burgundy, and probably also some wine places too, because I picked out all the historical places so I suppose it's only fair that dad picks out some wine places too, right? I make him out like all he's interested in is wine, but that's totally not true... much. ;)
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