We hooked up with some friends (Tim, Bettina and Jay) to spend Christmas 2008 with Bettina’s family in Germany where we trotted out some trifle for dessert… which was promptly renamed “Kangaroo pudding” by the grandparents to overcome the language barrier.

Christmas day was spent indoors, with goose being the main meal of the day. The food was fantastic, beers nicely chilled just be leaving them outside, and the christmas pudding and trifle went down a treat.

On the 27th Dec we drove to Solden, Austria, where we would spend the week snowboarding, apres skiing and seeing in the New Year.

Snowboarding was great. Sasha and I took a lesson the first day, and Sasha again the second to get into the swing of things. Over the week Sasha covered quite a few blue runs, and I managed to get in some red runs and a black run as well.

The big highlight on the snow for me was the last day where we heading over the back of the main mountain and up one of the big mountains in the area. From the final gondola station we left out snowboards and walk up a winding track to the summit. While the terrain was steep but pretty easy going, we were now about 10,000ft with a howling -17 degree wind and found it necessary to stop every 20m to catch your breathe. You will see from the pics that the scenery was amazing. There was even a little table and chair at the top where someone had left half a bottle of champagne. Not surprisingly it was frozen.

Apart from snowboarding we had a cook-it-yourself dinner in a cabin up on one of the hills and after a good feed and a few drinks we heading back down the icy roads on sledges. On a more scientific note, I was able to confirm that once a sledge spins 120 degrees from the direction of travel, it flips. I proved it twice for good measure. It was a cold but great ride down the mountain.

For NYE we were out on the town. Tim, along we almost everyone else we later concluded, was armed with a good supply for fireworks for midnight. We had a great pizza for dinner (check out the photo) and then headed to a small wooden hut bar for a few drinks. About 10pm we headed to a more central bar on the main street. A few Jagermeisters later everyone was out on the street for midnight with fireworks coming off the mountain, and the unleashing of hell on the main street with all the fireworks people had brought. Everyone was very well behaved and it was a great way to see in the new year.

Hope you enjoy the pics and all the best for 2009.

Andrew & Sasha