Monday, 24 October 2011

WT - Munich

Ronnie's tum was playing up again and with the bad weather in Rome we had only made it to the airport with 1 hour before departure and believe me that is not much when you have to go through Italian Customs. Nothing against the Italians but the customs official had to go through my carry on bag because he couldn't read an x-ray scanner properly and then tried to have a go at me because being in security I should know better than to carry a bunch of chargers, cables, adapters and video camera's in my hand luggage (Moron - him not me). (If I were to have put it in my checked in baggage I was pretty sure some idiot at some point would want to blow up my luggage because it looked like a bomb).

We made it onto our flight2 minutes before scheduled departure and then sat on the runway for an hour before we took off, why I don't know as the pilot was not very forthcoming in English (it was one of those situations where she would use 200 words in Italian and translate that into 10 English words?)

On our arrival in Zurich we once again found that there was no airport shuttle and we were advised against public transport due to the number of changes that would need to be made so there was no choice but to take a taxi or walk. The taxi driver was a very decent fellow and agreed to a flat rate of 65.00 Euro's. We did find that we only needed to make 2 changes on public transport which was also very reasonably priced. Only one change when going into town from the hotel was required, from bus to metro (underground tube). Seriously the way to travel in any of these cities is the underground and bus. A day pass zone 1 all forms of public transport about 6.00 Euro each, can't beat that.

Our hotel was great, just a bit unfortunate that I had selected a light industrial/commercial area as far as transport was concerned. The area was quiet and hotel better than quite a few 5 star hotels I have stayed in and very warm considering the temperatures ranged from -5 to 7 degrees Celsius.

Our first evening I left Ronnie at the hotel and went exploring, finding what changes needed to be made and where, from bus to underground etc. I had a ball, I love exploring a new place getting lost and then discovering that I wasn't actually lost but right around the corner from my destination. I was only dressed in a tee shirt and wind breaker so when the temperature dropped to 0 my adventurous spirit went west and I started to head for the hotel.

Our second day Ronnie was feeling a little better and I knew where the wc's were if required and so we explored the city centre and admired the architecture, did a little shopping and visited an information centre to get the gist of any coach tours. We bought tickets for the Neuschwanstein (referred to as the Cinderella castle) & Linderhof castles for the next day.

We arose early, had breakfast and headed off to our tour. What a wonderful full day we had exploring these castles and some of the small villages along the way. A couple of Italian ladies decided to take our seats one time and refused to move which brought out "Angry Ronnie's" less than loving side, needless to say the Ladies retreated back downstairs to their original seating and everyone on the top deck joked the rest of the trip about being sure to sit in the correct seats, lest they incur Ronnie's wrath:) The tour took 11 hours and we climbed over 500 stairs and walked about 10 km (mostly downhill) so we were pretty buggered by the time we got back to Munich and had dinner then made our way back to the hotel where we enjoyed a hot relaxing bath (I actually fell asleep in the bath).

Today we slept in and decided it would be a rest day. We took the opportunity to book our overnight accommodation in Jo'berg and our flight to Durban (couldn't get a flight to Margate for some reason). Also called and spoke to cousin Lucas about the possibility of a visit.

My brother Guy just called to confirm all the arrangements, which made our day today. The anticipation of seeing Guy, Dan & Dad is killing me, I'm enjoying Europe so much I wish we could stay longer but I also want to leave tonight so that I can see everyone sooner.

Bavaria is just too beautiful for words. Today we sat and watched the autumn leaves fall, cascading from the trees and there was not the slightest breeze at all and the frost coated leaves floated and tumbled gently to the ground, so peaceful, so quiet, so magical.


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