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Munich & Bremen

sunny 7 °C

This was diarised on my old-style un-smart mobile phone as I went along..

Tram train flight train hostel. Easy. It was right opposite the train station. Lashing it down though. Met Hannah and Japanese guy (JG) who didn't speak English. I got bunk above him. Went out to find an Irish bar only because it was St Patrick's day. Found a massive umbrella lined queue. German bar with the football then. Then back to Kilian's when queue died down, which was mixed with Ned Kelly's. Different wavelength though. Dodging the rain not very well and with a super cold and wet head, headed back. The top bunk has to be the squeakiest and noisiest ever. Even when I just turn over. Paranoid. Poor JG

These hostel pissers are ace. Zero splashback due to simple wire mesh. All pissers should have them. Not too keen on the shit shelf bog though. Urgh! Gag! That's just wrong. That's worse than any crapper I've used in Asia.
Went on a walking tour with Sonja from Sandemans. Fascinating. Munich looks old but only because they rebuilt it after the war to look like that. They didn't bomb the church towers or the gold leaf statue so they could use them for flight navigation. Hitler was a coward and dodged a bullet literally and figuratively many times before he came into power. So very cold though. Everyone was shivering. Met Gina who came down for an interview and said the boys in the dorm across from her were pissed as fuck last night and were from Manchester :o) Fingers crossed she gets the job. On tour end, Sonja told everyone her favourite quote. Funny, that was what was on my tee.

I got back to hostel and the bed above Hannah was now spare. I moved to the less squeaky one. JG looked forlorn.

Seeing as it's Starkbierzeit I went along to Lowenbrau for the festival. As I'd queried in advance they reserved me a seat on a table in the vast hall near the front, alongside the chief of Schindler (lifts not list). Wow! Many people were dressed up, the herren in lederhosen und die damen in breast enhancing durndle. Couldn't understand a word what was going on but it was very entertaining. Bient, the overly aftershaved but friendly man next to me kept me included in the proceedings and introduced me to Kora and Katrina and Eva (die said damens mit eyepopping durndles mit their damenkartoffels). There was a strong man contest, which I should have entered as only three entered and there were prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd and although I would never have lifted that small car weighted stone, I'd have done better than the Jarvis Cocker looking guy who came third. There was a beauty comp too. Aye carumba. Better to have a table near the front. Throughout many eye catching Prost!s and a couple of offered snuffs, I think I only had four starkbier Mass, delightfully called Triumphator, but I think that is also the equivalent to eight Special Brews

--see bigger, better, brighter photos: here

Mein kopf! Das ist nicht gut. Was ist in das bier? The dorm is empty apart from me and JG who is forever on his laptop (why is he here? Why isn't he out exploring? If only we could talk). I seem to recall some new inmate squeaking on a top bunk. Jesus! Will you stop moving in the night? Some people are trying to sleep. Hannah has left so it's time for me to get a ground floor bed. JG looks at me like I'm eventually going to annex his mattress. In time JG, in time. Think I need to move mattresses though as I'm getting bitten. and I don't mean please. It's 11.30. That would explain the emptyness. I think a slow reflective day to find the United memorial is in order.

--see bigger, better, brighter photos: here

Found it in a nice quiet neighbourhood. Afterwards, nipped into a local hostelry. Got chatting (I doff my hat to english speaking germans) to a lovely old married couple who told me how this place was heaving in 2008 with Manchester folk for the the 50th anniversary since the diaster. Alas, after learning how to properly Prost! and after 2 more weisse biers than I had planned, on a football related note I needed to find a boozer back in the centre that had the match on. It was definitely on, I read it in Sport Bild. Ooh, get me. Saw Hannah at hostel. Apologised profusely for taking her bed but she had already checked out in the morning. Found match, predictably in the Irish bar, but forgot it was the Ireland v England match, therefore 9 out of 10 screens showing egg chasers. Left to catch pub crawl but got train going opposite direction so missed the meet up. Thought I could predict the route and possibly catch them.
I couldn't.
And didn't.

A gorgeous day to find a tower in the city to climb and see the Alps. Methinks the marketing men have doctored those posters. I couldn't even see a hill. Old St Peter's is the best tower and also amazing inside too. No wanking (wanken verboten?) or farting inside though (as if anyone would) if the signs are to be believed. Maybe they're intended for priests. After some liver dumplings and sauerkraut und die obligatory weisse bier mit umpah band I went for a wander around the English Garden. Fascinated at the surfing they have there. Could have watched it for hours. But didn't. After another obligatory bier in a bier garten I mosied on back to catch the pub crawl. Although they were at pains to say it wasn't a pub crawl, as they were not doing it to get people drunk, so they called it a beer challenge. Not quite sure that works better. Don't really think it was worth the money but met a few nice Australians, Americans a lovely Irish couple and an annoying American.

--see bigger, better, brighter photos: here

Train to Füssen to see Ludwig II of Bavaria's Schloß Neuschwanstein. Whilst masticating a fish and fish sauce baguette, I saw on the map it is close to town called Wank. Quality! Alas, I didn't have the time to make it there for the hilarious and childish photos and souvenirs I could have got. Arse!

--see bigger, better, brighter photos: here

This train journey is beautiful; an hour into it and I can see the snow capped Bavarian Alps beyond the golf course like meadows dotted with the odd wooden hut. Don't see any grazing animals though. How is the grass so well manicured? The castle is absolutely picturesque, looks amazing and set amongst an incredibly scenic alpine backdrop. Best place to see it was from Marien Brücke (Mary's Bridge). Full of tourists though. One chinese lady gave me the internationally recognised symbol for "can you take my photo with castle in the background?" ie. she thrust her camera to me. So I did. I did the same with another chinese lady and the photo she took was of me blocking the castle. What the fuck?? You're a rubbish photo taker woman.

--see bigger, better, brighter photos: here

The actual tour of the inside was also rubbish as too many people were on it but inside the castle is just as awesome. I got a bus back to Füssen and had two hours to kill. What a pretty little city this is, old style, mountainous on one side and an emerald green river running by it. I finished off my mini walking tour in a bakery in the old quarter with a scrumptiously tasty chili con carne served mit fine blades of chili und freshly baked bröt that hit the target smack in the middle. Now to get the bahn back zur München to get the nacht bahn zur Bremen. Inbetween trains I get another curried bratwurst and a beer. Need to stop eating these sausages.
The night train was tiny. It felt very intimate with three girls in a 6 bed compartment. Good job there wasn't 6 of us. Perhaps that last curried meal wasn't the best idea. After a couple of tinnys I drifted off to sleep on the clothes line width bed. The guard woke us up when we were approaching Bremen by tickling our faces with a feather on the end of a stick but then we found out there had been a leak and all our clothes were muddy. Then I woke up again due to bumpy train and was not muddy. Dreams within dreams about the immediate vicinity. Some kind of inception thing going on.

Arrived in Bremen very early and was greeted by a sign in the station clearly stating no guns, bats or knives after 8pm. That's promising. And before then it's ok? Got here 2 hours before the hostel reception opened. Fortunately it was a lovely day and although being exhausted I found the walk around with few people about quite peaceful. So far it's a lovely city but I fear I may have seen most of it already. Tiredness soon crept up on me and I found the hostel and they let up in early as there was space. It's nowhere near as good as the Munich one; the beds are uncomfy, kitchen is dark and dingey and the shower's crap too, you have hold it with one hand. And I left my handy hand-luggage sized shower bottle back at t'other one. Scheiss! Cant fault the hostel on that score. To be fair though the staff are lovely and friendly.

Little nap then bit more exploring. I did want to do a tour of the Becks Brewery but it's not open on the days I'm here. Bremen has a great old central market place with lots of interesting buildings and the Schnoor area of the city reminds me of Chester or some old Cornish village but I think my fear has come to reality and there's not much else to see now. Just got to find a statue of a rooster on a cat on a dog on a donkey. As you do. Apparently it's very easy to find but elusive to me so far.

Trams whizz past me frequently. I can't help thinking that Manchester lost an opportunity to have lower trams and platformless boarding. They could stop them anywhere and change it without building stops.

Found the statue. Doh!
Now what to do?

--see bigger, better, brighter photos: here

Back to the hostel for PC and TV. I've missed keeping up with what's going on in the world like in NZ, Japan or Libya and I've been lost without knowing who has just decided to have a takeaway for tea or how much someone really likes their son or daughter. Or cat. Or dog. Or Michael McIntyre.

I noticed later when out for food and obligatory beer that when I do try and speak in German I tend to affect a Bavarianesque accent, almost Arnie style... "I liiiiied". I'm sure I do this with French and Spanish too but almost inevitably ending up sounding Welsh or Indian. Wendian? Not sure whether it's trying to overcompensate for my lack of flowing foreign dialogue. I thought I was ok with German. At least I can ask for most things. It's when they come back with something I'm screwed. For example I could ask for a train ticket to Bremen, a wheat beer, where is the toilet and could I order a curried sausage and some cheese please. If they then replied "Would you like fries with that?", I'd be knacked.

Found a, and to be honest I have been looking for the neglected bars, neglected bar. I think they are more original and local. With broken English and German, the thirsty Bremens and Iris behind the bar managed to provide me with things to do tomorrow. 

Fucking bed bugs. I'm swapping beds. Literally. I'm not moving, I'm swapping mattresses. Bus to Worpswede which is a quaint little artists village an hour from and had a gorgeous afternoon strolling in the sun and through the forest listening to woodpeckers rap the bark and wagtails and chaffinches flutter amiably by.

--see bigger, better, brighter photos: here

My last night. Went back to the old pub (amongst several others) and realised it doesn't have the smoking ban. Well it does, or should, but it's out of the way so nobody notices but now my clothes stink of stale smoke. Apparently this is a Werder Bremen prematch pub. Found another olde worlde pub around Böttcherstr. I'll have to put my coat in for a double wash now.

The plan was to go on a boat trip up the river before my early arvo flight but it's cold and misty so won't see anything. Had a bit of a mooch to see the town in a different light. A much more diffused light. Then as I was walking back to collect my bag from the hostel, the clouds rose and left and with them went the chill. Now I had to decide should I do the boat trip. Thing is, it returns at 1pm and the gate closes at 1.40pm and I also wanted to walk to the airport, just because you can as it's that close. Hmmm. I sat on a bench next to the pier, soaking up the sun and umming and ahhing waiting for the trip to start.

After reading another funny chapter of How Not to Grow Up, I reasoned that the time to get through airport security is an unknown quantity. The boat departed. I got up, flung my holdall over my shoulder and walked into the sun like Dr Bruce Banner used to do, albeit with a less purposeful gait.

--see bigger, better, brighter photos: here

Posted by suggs69 04:32 Archived in Germany

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