The first group, with cars the colour of the Christmas Tree and Santa’s coat, had set out in Chișinău, Moldova, and churned through wide straight motorways as well as narrow, windy roads, through rain and fog as the crew heightened the mood by listening to Christmas carols. They then drove through Romania, stopping in Bucharest, where the team members took on another bag of children’s letters to Santa, and on towards Bulgaria. They crossed the border on a bridge spanning the River Danube, and Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, welcomed them with a Christmas market that had brought out throngs of people. Everyone was enjoying the Christmas spirit, chatting, and drinking tea. One already could feel the approaching Advent in the air.