My week in Germany is just about over, I fly back to Melbourne tomorrow.
I’m spending my last afternoon pottering around Munich, hopping on and off the U-bahn with my €5.60 all-day ticket, finding interesting new places.
I’m currently sat in the Hirschgarten, the largest beer garden in the world, apparently. Set in the middle of a beautiful park, only 5 minutes walk from the station, it’s a lovely place to spend a few hours.
Germany play Greece in the Euro 2012 Quarter Final in a couple of hours time, so the place is already filling up and the food kiosks are selling sausages and roast chickens by the thousand. The place is so large that empty glasses are collected from the benches by a small electric truck, although interestingly the Hirschgarten tradition is that guests must wash their own glasses before going to the bar for another drink.
I have staked my spot beneath a shady chestnut tree with a good view of the giant screen, enjoying some LeberkÃ¤se (which translates as “liver cheese” but is actually just meatloaf), a big bretze (pretzel) and one or three Maß Helles tapped straight from the huge wooden keg. Prost!
It was great catching up family and friends again. There’s always too much to do in not enough time, so I missed meeting up with quite a few people this time.
A fiery “Phaal” with Brendan and Colette on the famous Curry Mile in Rusholme.
The usual Saturday night out around Lees with Max, Diane, Rob, Lynda, Stu and Phil.
A day out on the trans-Pennine Ale Trail with Rob, catching the wrong trains twice and ending up in Manchester instead. We finished the evening by taking the newly launched tram service back to Oldham Mumps which, to be honest, just seems a lot slower and more expensive than the perfectly good local train service which it replaces. We must try the Ale Trail again next year as we didn’t manage even a quarter of the official route.
A Friday all-dayer with Adrian and Dunk. The weather was appalling but that didn’t stop us having a great time around Manchester.
A day out at the Science and Industry Museum with Sara’s dad, which was fascinating and educational (but fun and interactive). Charlotte loved it.
Best of all was seeing how well Charlotte gets on with all her family, especially Granny who she sticks to like glue. She’s happy to spend the day with any of them and encourages Sara and I to go out and leave her. (I suspect bed time is a lot later when we aren’t around, not to mention all the sweet treats).
I’m now working in Germany until next weekend, flying back to Melbourne on Saturday afternoon (arriving Sunday night).
So, to end the fun part of my trip, I’ve walked to the English Garden for a few Maß Helles beside the lake at the Seehaus. The weather is fantastic, Euro 2012 is being shown on a giant screen soon and I’m tempted by the smell of steckerlfische from a nearby stall. About 2000 people (and an Oompah band) are having a good time.
Now that all that Diamond Jubilee nonsense is out of the way, I can begin my annual trip back to the UK. <):)
I'll be heading off to the airport in about three hours time, catching the 22:55 flight to Munich (via Doha). This will be the first time I've travelled with Qatar Airways, so I'm looking forward to a bit of their advertised 5-star service, especially on the first 14-hour leg of the journey. Hopefully I'll manage to get some sleep along the way. |-)
Once I reach Munich tomorrow afternoon, I'll hop on a BMI service direct to Manchester and then pick up a rental car from the airport. I should hit sunny Oldham at around 18:30 tomorrow evening -- just 32 hours after leaving home. (:|
I'm looking forward to catching up with the usual suspects, indulging in some good food and drink and taking in Euro 2012 in the right time zone. I'm only in England for 8 nights before I have to return to Munich. If you haven't done so already, drop me an email if you want to organise something. :)]