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Munich – mad dash for clean towels and underwear, and drinking beer to forget wet tents.

GERMANY | Monday, 12 October 2009 | Views [1192]

After leaving the mayhem and wet weather of Prague behind, we were excited to be hitting up Munich and the Beer Halls that night. However, not so exciting was the prospect of having to get back into the went tents, with wet sleeping bags and mats and wet clothing (great!).

Again, the tents were erected with the looming clouds above but unlike Prague this time the torrential rain held off long enough for us to get our tents up and waterproof.  But didn’t hold off that long that we got slightly wet when trying to get ready for our afternoon and evening in Munich.

After the luggage/tent/possessions and belongings disaster that was Prague, there were a few of us that needed to do mad dashes for clean clothes, towels and undies; myself included. So we were walked right into the centre of Munich, and dumped outside of the Marienplatz and the glockenspiel.  We only had an hour so it was a choice of wanting to do some sightseeing or needing to purchase some items. We synchronised watches and designated a place to meet back in half an hour, while a bunch of us went our separate ways me heading to trusty H&M to purchase some new underwear. I also needed a towel slightly bigger than tea-towel and that wasn’t so gross that it just pushed the water around, however clean underwear was a high priority. After a mad dash to the right section of the shop, trying to get around a rather large lady stocking the shelves with a rather large bottom, selecting what I needed then dodging and weaving through the throngs of people to find a queue out the door to the register. Bugger. So I had to concede that my ideas of clean undies wasn’t going to happen today and that i’d just have to do the real backpacker trick of washing in the shower with you. So i was down clean underwear and a clean towel!

 We raced back to meet the group and was greeted by our illustrious leaders kitted out in lederhosen – Nice work guys! What else was there left to do when in Munich but visit a beer hall and that’s exactly what we were about to do. Now, before I let you know the events of the evening, you must realise one thing. After the deluge in Prague that saturated not only us but all of our belongings and camping equipment, the general consensus tonight was that we needed to get rather intoxicated otherwise there was no way we were getting into wet tents with wet sleeping bags and wet mattresses. And that’s exactly what we did – it traditional German style with great food, lots of beer in steins, singing and dancing and lots of shouts of ‘prost!’ We were the first group there and got stuck right into the mood of things, so by the time the other groups arrived after us, there was no easing into the clashing of beer steins and singing, we were already up and merrily singing ‘Mein Prost’ every 2 minutes.

In typical Contiki fashion a sculling of a whole stein competition was called for and upon careful selection, the Campers decided to enter our very own Irish gal, Charlene. Despite here stature (she’s quite a petit little thing) she gave the bloke she was up against a run for her money, even if the stein was about the same size as her head. Charlene certainly did us proud, Good work! This then led on to another Party Bus event back to our campsite.

With all our favourite tunes cranky (I want to go to the Discotheque), Cam the super cook doing his strut down the aisle to ‘Hey Good Looking, what you got cooking?’ we added a new song to our repertoire: Dolly Parton’s ‘Jolene’ became ‘Charlene’ that night, and forever more it will be known. Camaraderie was high that night, with Aussie Daniel in a Venetian Gondolier’s hat and Kiwi Jamie in an Akubra arm in arm singing along to whatever song was getting us all going at the time.

Despite our fair efforts at the beer hall to forget about out wet tents, a few of us still needed a little help from the beer dispensing vending machine back at campsite (which I think is an invention that needs to made far more use of around the world, how convenient?). And to make it even better, these vending machines come complete with built in bottle opener – I tell you these Germans are thinkers when it comes to alcoholic beverages. Once sufficiently drunk to get back into the wet tent myself and Cristal ventured to the bathrooms before bed where we came across two of our drunken pals, trying to help each other get up from the grass patch they had found. Daniel and Katarina were doing their fair impression of the blind leading the blind at this point, so Cristal and I in our wisdom decided to put Kat to bed in her tent. Which we did. Twice. Eventually, I am told, she stayed in the tent and went to sleep. And Daniel made it back to the right tent too.

The best thing about German beer is its lack of preservatives  - meaning that hangovers were relatively minor the next day and also endearing Munich to all of us.

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