Travel Tips Part 11: Munich, Germany

After changing trains and buses about 4 times, you eventually find yourself in the trendy city of Munich. There is no need to get lost finding your hostel, as you have previously arranged to sleep on the couch of the lovely Anna – your new Couch Surfing host. Anna greets you at the platform with giggles and smiles, and you set off on the tube to her flat. As you get talking to notice a distinguishable Irish accent on her – turns out English is her second language, and adopting an Irish accent just felt natural for her!

You’re feeling mildly refreshed after 10 hours sleep on the train, so when you get to Anna’s flat you’re happy to sit around drinking delicious coffee, smoking and having a damn good chat. After a brilliant shower, you feel revitalised enough to head into Tolwood – the alternative Christmas markets held just 15 minutes away on the tube. The markets are enormous, and are bursting with fair-trade coffee, vegan options and trinkety art pieces – better than the usual market crap you’ve been seeing so much of lately. You meet up with some of Anna’s friends and have a warm mug of Gluhwein. Note at this point that you are rather sleep deprived, so warm, mulled wine isn’t perhaps the best option. You make this lethargic feeling only a little worse by having a gigantic bowl of cheesy pasta – deliciously satisfying, yet still too much. After the second mug of Gluhwein it’s become pretty clear that you’re almost falling asleep while standing up, and your body needs proper rest.

You head back to Anna’s flat at the sad time of 8.30, get changed into baggy clothes and sit around the kitchen table smoking a bit of weed and drinking more wine. You are completely unable at this point to listen to your body; so despite the fact that you’re running on empty and are in dire need of rest, you gladly share maybe half a joint with Anna. After what feels like 10 minutes (i)

(i)                  In reality – 2 minutes.

you begin to feel hot and tingly. The room starts spinning only a little and you’re tuning in and out of the conversation. As your face starts to flush red, Anna’s flatmate Melanie asks if you’re okay – apparently you’d been rocking back and forth for a bit. You confidently respond with, “Yeah! Great!” before you walk back into your Perth home and sit down on your sofa. Greg comes over and asks about your trip; you talk for a bit before going to have a lie-down in your bed. You fall asleep and dream of flying dragons in a fantastical land which you comfortably fly through. You wake up in your bed at home and think to yourself: “Fuck me – that was a weird dream!”

The next minute you open your eyes to see a strange blonde woman staring down at you asking if you’re okay. For a frightening second you have absolutely no idea where you are or how you got there, and you gasp in fear as you sit yourself up. And then it clicks; Anna calms you down as Melanie gets you some miracle sugar cubes to wake yourself up. You sit up and munch on the heavenly sugar cubes as Anna giggles as she tells you what happened. Apparently, after your confirmation that you were feeling fine, you conked out on the kitchen table. Anna and Melanie (your heroes) picked you up and put you on the kitchen floor and raised your legs to get your blood circulation back up to speed, before you woke up on the floor. The entire ordeal lasted less than a minute. Feeling more than stupid, you apologise and thank them over and over for being so understanding, but they assure you that given how sleep deprived you are, it’s completely normal. Still feeling uneasy you stay on the floor while Melanie brings you a hot mug of peppermint tea. You start to feel normal enough to change your seating position, but don’t want to risk standing up again lest you have yourself another girlish faint. You get back on your chair and sit uselessly while Anna and Mel make up your bed for the night. You feel utterly embarrassed, but grateful that you’re around such understanding people. You crawl into bed sleep like a log.

The next morning you wake up and meet Anna in town for a Priceless Walking Tour of Munich. Still feeling somewhat ashamed after last night’s faint, you’re happy that Anna is still all smiles and giggles as you walk around the small city. Your tour guide for the day is a history graduate from Chicago, who takes you around Munich on a cold and blistering winter’s day. He manages to hold your attention for a full two hours, while he tells you in passionate detail stories from Munich’s past. After the tour you head back to Anna’s flat to have mugs of coffee and yet more cigarettes. You spent the evening chilled out watching YouTube and catching up on the day. The next morning you manage to wake up at 11, and join the girls in the kitchen for a beautiful German breakfast. Of all the places you’ve visited so far, Germany definitely has the best ever bread. After breakfast you walk into town and  visit the famous English gardens, where all year round there is a permanent wave on the river holding dozens of die-hard surfers, defiant to surf even in the coldest temperatures. Craving some modern art, you say goodbye to Anna and walk to a street holding gigantic art galleries. Running out of time before they all close, you rush your way through two enormous galleries before heading back on the rainy journey home. Along the way you buy a bottle of wine for Anna and Melanie, to thank them for their selfless hospitality.

The next morning you wake up relatively early, make a mug of tea and sit down at the table to do some writing and smoke. You look outside and see your first glimpse of snow – the rooves are covered in a fine, white blanket, and you’re delighted to see such natural beauty. As the tiny flakes trickle down the window, you have breakfast with the girls before getting prepared to set off on your next journey to Austria.

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