Tuesday, August 15, 2006

My Munich Story

So here's my story from today. I've got many, but this is the one I have decided to post because it's one of those "one thing after another" kind of stories.

I was in Baden-Baden yesterday, and wanted to go to Munich. Easy enough, I had to take a train to Karlsruhe, take one from Karlsruhe to Stuttgart and one from Stuttgart to Munich. When the time comes for me to catch my train I go to the station and there's a notice saying it would be delayed by half an hour, and on top of that it wasn't going to Karlsruhe anymore - we would have to get off at another station and take a local train to Karlsruhe.

So that tacked on extra time and I missed my connection. I wound up getting to know some American tourists (SOOO American! The guy was like: yeah, when we went to Rome I had this coffee that was like REALLY strong but in a tiny cup... *smacks head*) and we went for a beer. The bartender was slow, and I missed my next chance at making the connection to Stuttgart.

I grabbed the next possible train going to Stuttgart, and got there at like 11:00. Since it would be 1.5 hrs for the next train to Munich, I called the Stuttgart youth hostel and they told me that they were only taking guests until midnight. So that was no problem, it was just a 15-odd minute train ride away. I waited for the train and realised that I hadn't bought a ticket, so I ran up to buy one and when I got back down, the train had come and gone.

Now, by the time the next one came, I would be arriving past midnight at the hostel, which was really out of the way. So I thought "fuck it! I'll take the 12:30 train to Munich! I'll sleep for the 3 hour ride!"

I had plenty of time to kill, so I grabbed a Leberkäse sandwich (translates as liver cheese, but there's no liver or cheese - it's bacon and beef cooked in the shape of a salami and cut up like one, too. Delicious.) and a bottle of water, and the guy at the store where I got the water was closing up, so he gave me a cup of pineapple. The rest of the time was killed at an internet kiosk...

So anyways, I get on the train and manage to find a seat in one of the cabins. We go one stop, and then someone comes in with a seat reservation for where I was sitting. So I had to give up my spot and sit in the hall (I was only allowed on 2 cars with my pass, both of which were full). So there I am, sitting in the hallway - I can't sleep because (1) it'd be too easy for someone to steal my stuff, (2) people kept walking by and I would have to move every time (the hallway was only around 1m wide) and (3) it's extremely uncomfortable. So I spent 3 hrs in a cramped hallway, and to top it off, I missed my station.

I get off at the next one and have to wait another 20-odd minutes surrounded by loud, drunken 18-24 year olds, take the train for a few stops, and then I still had to get to a hostel.

I call them up, and they have no room. I call another hostel, and they only have single rooms, and they wanted 70€!!! So I went on a 30-minute long walk to a few hotels from my guide, only to find that they're all either (a) full, (b) over 50€ to get in, or (c) nonexistent (the one I really wanted to go to seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth).

So there I am, in the middle of Munich, with nowhere to stay, at around 4:30 AM. So I sit down at the train station, and kill time reading my travel guide and writing in my notebook. At around 6AM I get some coffee (no breakfast places were open yet cuz Germans are weird with business hours so I was hungry, too) and tour the old city on my own. By the end, my feet are killing me, I'm limping, and it's only 8:30 by the time I get back to the train station. The hostel I'm at now (where I wound up sleeping from noon to 6 pm) did not start check-in until 11:30. So then I still had a big chunk of time to kill, because even if I wanted to do something, my feet were hurting too much to do any walking.

Don't get me wrong, I'm loving it here, but today was just one of those days...