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Published: July 10th 2006
June 10 to June 16
Singapore is burning. My first night in Munich at the massive Tent and my only chance at a place to sleep, crazy enviornment complete with large campfires nightly. We gathered around a semi drunk Singapore man on the guitar, a great time chatting football and listing to his very karaoke voice with matching guitar scratch. He would dive into a Bob Dylan song, say, 'the Hurricane' and not but one minute he would lose his place, re-sing the chorus three times, then reach for his mystery bottle. I walked over to take a peak at the juice and found it was a German hot sauce bottle, contents unknown. It was a laugh, sitting around a bonfire in modern Munich with 30 people, then all of a sudden he fell to his knees, wavered and fell face first into the pit. My head was quick on what happened but my legs weren't, I lunged, lost a shoe, landed on the rock rim, scrambled through the ashes to help pull him out after a few long seconds. His face jet black, the ambulance was called and the night ruined. I only tell the story because the lucky
long haired hippie managed to escape with a cut on the forehead and singed eyebrows no burns. So I ask, what was in that bottle, most people in any state, can avoid a big pile of wood and flames.
For the World Cup every major German city set up an area with lots of public space, huge TV screens, large balloons with WC written on them so you know where to pee. Pork products to last a life time and lots of beer. Munich hosted the opening game with Germany and Costa Rica, my Irish pals, Dave, Eoin, Steve and Ronan headed there as well only to discover the mother of all ques, flash backs to Chinese train stations. 15000 people and only two ways in and out, Shit. Luck was on our side, for 10 minutes people hopped two levels of fence, on the way over the second I punctured my hand, causing a bloody mess and damaging my liter holding abilities. Eoin ran his back against a sign above the fence, war wounds, but the best was saved for last. German of coarse won, I didnt see more than two minutes of the game, hundreds of
flags blocked any views of the screen. The exciting and mad crowds more than made up for the action on the pitch. All day in a concrete sea and the beer and heat and riding the days before, my legs locked up on me again, I couldn't really walk, so the Irish lads took turns giving me a piggy back ride to the subway, Eoin and I headed home while the other three, Steve, Dave and Ronan headed straight for the strip club. With just one street to cross I heard Ronan got a bit excited and broke into a sprint, tripped in front front of the cable car which barely missed his head and dislocated and broke a finger. All that for innocent female viewing.
What was supposed to be three days in Munich turned into a week of hanging out with a great crew from Cork. The famous beer gardens are best visited in a group and we managed to hit the great ones, indeed my flight home is booked to go through Dublin and one more night out with the boys are in order.
Leaving Munich after my longest layover from the bike proved to
be a long day as I headed back towards Austria for a visit to Salzburg and more riding in the Alps. 250 years since the birth of Mozart and Salzburg does its best to let you know right away that this was his home town. Almost everything was related to him, from Easter egg paintings to whiskey to chocolate and of coarse - music. The city is quite charming too, lots of hiking and lounging by the river or in my case falling in it.
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