Munich is Becoming My Second Home

May 10, 2010

I've spent so much time in Munich lately that I'm practically a local by now. Okay, so maybe not quite, but it has been my most frequent layover so far. I was especially looking forward to this trip, as I was flying with another friend of mine, Ash. ...Note, this is male Ash, not Ashleigh, the girl... who was on my last Munich layover.
As with most of my recent flights, the majority of economy crew consisted of new employees. The great thing about that is that we are generally all eager to head out and explore the destinations. Some of the crew that have been here awhile have seen it all far too many times to take any interest. We arrived early in the afternoon and after a quick shower in our hotel rooms, we met up to head into the city. I felt like an old pro as I led the rest to the metro station. It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon, and the sun was shining despite the forecast having called for rain. After emerging from the train station we could hear the sound of chanting in the distance. As we walked towards the source of the noise we discovered thousands of people lining the streets, dressed in red jerseys in support of their football team, Bayern Munich. They cheered loudly, waved flags, and took photos as a man spoke in German from a high balcony of the cathedral. It was complete chaos, and took us a long time to push our way through the crowds in search of a restaurant. We finally agreed upon one "Bierhalle", where the majority of the crew ordered, you guessed it... beer. As they sipped from massive mugs full of German beer, I opted for a sparkling apple juice instead. Baskets full of pretzels sat on the tables, which we quickly consumed. We were served by a very plump man named Bruno. In the spirit of being in Germany, some of the crew ordered German sausage or pork platters. I contemplated doing the same, but I've been to Germany enough in the past month that I don't think it's necessary to indulge in pork every single time. I ordered the fish, and we all happily feasted on our meals. After we'd finished our meals, we dragged ourselves back outside, so full that we felt unable to walk. Despite this, Ash and I were still adamant that we must get ice cream, so we set off in search of dessert. Once I had my delicious cone in hand, I was satisfied to continue wandering. We walked down streets, away from the city center, stumbling upon the strangest of sights that I've come across in my travels. A massive shrine to Michael Jackson sat in a small area across from a hotel. We all got excited at the fact that perhaps it was the hotel where he had dangled his baby, but Google confirmed that it had actually been in Berlin. Candles were lit, flowers laid, photos and notes from loving fans taped to the wall. Germans love MJ. As we continued walking we came to a beautiful park where I confessed my love of nature and went camera happy, taking photos of trees as though I've never seen them before. Evening was fast approaching and some of the crew were ready to call it a night. We slowly made our way back to the station, stopping for a coffee on the way. After waiting a great deal of time, it dawned on us that perhaps our train wasn't going to arrive. We finally decided to ask for help, and we were informed that we had to transfer to another station first. Good thing we'd asked, as nothing in the station was written in English. Once we reached our stop, we stepped outside to find that it had starting drizzling rain. The wet concrete brought back memories of home and the "smell of rain." It was so refreshing and I didn't mind one bit. Of course, it was probably my confession that I loved the rain that made the skies suddenly open up as a heavy downpour began to fall. We started running towards our hotel, completely soaking wet by the time we finally reached the lobby. I just laughed it off and called it a night.
After an amazing sleep (the hotel in Munich has such amazing beds... like sleeping on a cloud!) I woke up early to meet Ash for breakfast. Lately I've been trying to make healthier eating choices, but I'd given up on this layover. It's not often that you get to fly with a friend, so I wanted to make the most of it. We sat with the Captain and an Australian girl, and spent a great deal of time stuffing ourselves with the amazing buffet. We learnt that the Munich airport had been closed only 2 hours after we had landed, once again due to the volcanic ash. Much to our disappointment, it had reopened in time for us to fly back to Dubai that afternoon. Ash was kind enough to order lattes for us, making the same mistake that I had in Milan. We laughed hysterically as the waiter delivered 3 large glasses of milk to the table. Neither myself or the other girl drink milk, so we proceeded to pour them into the coffee milk jugs on the table Feeling guilty, Ash felt compelled to finish his glass, and we urged him to drink ours as well. Note to tourists... always, always order CAFE latte in Europe, never just latte. I'd overdid it at the buffet, and needed to leave before I was no longer able to move. As is necessary during all Munich layovers... Off the grocery store we went! I went berry happy, buying more raspberries, blueberries, and strawberries than I knew what to do with. I'd even planned ahead and packed Tupperware containers in my suitcase to ensure a safer journey home for my beloved berries. Somehow it was already time to get ready for the flight back home. My suitcase was now much heavier, stuffed full of fruit and delicious iced coffee that had been on sale. It was a busy flight home, complete with some severe turbulence. Luckily, we all had taken our seats just in time, as we had only about 10 seconds warning before it got super bumpy. We watched a meal cart sway from side to side, nearly toppling over. Once we were finally clear to walk around again, it was back to the cabin where we'd only finished clearing half of the trays. Fortunately, nobody had suffered any burns from hot tea or coffee. We were kept extremely busy for the remainder of the flight and it was a great relief to land in Dubai and head home to bed.
Goodbye Germany, until next week!


Dianna said...

Your blogs make my day!! Even when I wake up crabby. Sometimes they make me cry, other times I laugh.You write such interesting stories. Thank You. Love you Gram

Anonymous said...

Best wishes!

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