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Published: March 30th 2009
The break with Mark and his family had been just what we needed. Covering so much distance in such a short space of time was beginning to take its toll. Literally. To get to Munich we had to take a shortcut through Austria. We had a wee mix up at a service station that ended up costing us 2.50 euros, we had to buy a vignette which is basically a pass to use Austria's motorways, that cost 7 Euros, and then finally an 8 Euro road toll. It had virtually cost us a Euro a minute for the short time we had been in Austria!
As we passed the Austria/Germany border the snow began to fall. It was hard to believe that just two days ago Ben had been wearing his shorts. The closer we came to Munich, the closer the thermostat in our car dropped towards 0 degrees. What a difference 1200 kms can make.
As we headed through the tunnels towards the centre of town, it began to go a bit wrong. Bens navigational skills had started to falter and for 30 minutes we were trapped in a labyrinth of traffic lights and
As we approached....
some how we just knew Munich was gonna be all-white.
one way systems. After dumping the car, we eventually managed to get our bearings and locate our hostel.
The snow was falling pretty heavily and it dawned on us, that we had perhaps come a little bit unprepared for these sorts of climates. My relatively open knit cardigan, Ben's flip flops and Rich's receding hairline were no match for Munich's two degree snow storm.
With my knee still troubling me, we headed off to the nearest cafe to warm up and formulate a plan for the following morning. Step one was to buy some warmer clothes!
We woke the next morning to a pleasant surprise, the breakfast in the hostel was buffet style....well that's as good as advertising it as 'all you can eat'...well that's exactly what we did, Ben set a new hostel record with a total of 5 rolls and a bowl of cereal! Oh wait a minute, sorry the pleasant surprise I spoke of was that the temperature had risen somewhat, and was now a milder 9 degrees, still not great , but at least there was no more snow to contend with!
Later that morning we visited Dachau, the site of the
Sadly Munchen is not a place where they eat alot!!
Apparantly it's what the Germans call Munich, stupid German road sign getting, me all excited over nothing!!
first Jewish concentration camp. It certainly put the grumbling about the snow and my knee into perspective. I won't go into detail about what we saw as I'm sure we are all aware of the horrendous nature of these places.
We headed back into town and bearing in mind it was at least a couple of hours since we last ate, we decided to sample the local Wurst (German Sausage) whilst wandering around the town trying to find somewhere to have dinner that evening. (It might sound like all our plans revolve around eating...well most of you know at least one of us three so there's no point lying...it does!)
So later that night we frequented a typical Bavarian beer hall. Whilst we are on the subject of beer, I would like to make it perfectly clear that so far we have only indulged in the one beer and that was a token prize for finishing the gruelling first marathon. (Oh except for Ben that is! Whilst I was off writing a previous blog for you good people to read, he was being led to the dark side in the hostel bar by Rich!...ok so it was only
one small beer but that's not the point, the giving up drinking was his idea!) We tucked into hearty pork and dumpling dishes (funnily enough the veggie options are a bit thin on the ground in these places) and soaked up the atmosphere. I also indulged in only my second (Ben's third!) beer in 2009, before watching Rich polish off a fruit brandy. A tad stronger than he was expecting me thinks, especially as he was singing into his empty litre glass that was once full of beer!
Bratislava, the destination for the next marathon lies 510kms to the east of Munich. We could have headed straight there but, we noticed that Vienna in Austria, was en-route and so we decided it would be a shame not to stop there. Even if only just for one night. 440kms later and we were checking into a hostel on the outskirts of the city. We jumped on the U-Bahn (underground) and headed into the city centre for a look around.
We were only in Vienna (you might say we gave it a whirl!) for a short while, so I will sum up my thoughts about the place in very few
Myself and the Tour Manager....
doing a spot of clock watching.
words. It's very old, very clean, lots of nice architecture and interesting buildings and a Starbucks that charges 4 Euros for a coffee. 4 Euros!! I'd what some time on the couch with Sigmund Freund as well for that price!
Will Rich be able to cope much longer with Ben an I eating our way round Europe?
Will Ben ever realise that he has no chance with the ginger one from Girls Aloud?
Will I ever stop asking you good people to donate money to the British Lung Foundation?
The answer to the following questions can only be found in the next exciting travel blog! That and the main one....
How will the boys be fare in their second marathon in 7 days! Can they beat their previous
time of 4 hrs 14 minutes they set in Rome?! The total now stands at over 2247 great british pounds! Thank you all so much!! Lets see if we can hit the 2300 mark.....just sacrifice that one extra pint this week!!
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