Joaquim Rocha
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Interrail (Part 6) – Germany (again)

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    Joaquim Rocha
  • Principal Software Engineering Manager at Microsoft

This article is part of the InterRail series and follows Interrail (Part 6) – Czech Republic.

It must have been around 4PM when we arrived at München Hauptbahnhof and dropped our backpacks at the A&O Hotel. The Hotel was nothing fancy but it was really nice and cheap and with the particularity that the rooms were not in the same building as the reception but rather in the street to the side of it, resembling some motels I’ve seen in movies.

We were starving so we headed to the first kebab restaurant which, as we saw in Berlin, had very similar or lower prices than the city we live in, A Coruña. Nothing exciting here except the fact that Helena still has some Portuguese habits when paying the bill at cafes or shops. Let me explain, in Portugal virtually no-one has change for you so if the bill is like 12.25 € and you give them 15 €, the waiter always says something like: would you have 2.25 €? No? … 0.25 €? No?… Hmmm… They never have change! So, Helena usually gathers every little coin and happily gives them to the waiters and they love it in Portugal… So she did the same to the, probably from Turkish origin, waiter in Munich but with even a better touch: she gathered the whole price in coins and told me with a smile, this way not only we’ll travel lighter but they will have change here in the restaurant. The waiter came, checked the bill again, received the coins in his hand unaware and put an expression like if we had spit in his hand: “What is this!? What do I do with this? I am not a bank! I don’t need this!” and this was enough for us to give him a 10 € bill instead 😀

(gotta love a statue of a wild boar)

We then had to go back to the train station to ask for the trains the next day. At this point we were already tired and didn’t want to risk staying more time this far from Spain and eventually let the InterRail tickets expire. Thus, our idea was to leave to Paris the next day after lunch but it seemed that many people were traveling that weekend “due to some Catholic holiday, you must know that” the assistant in the train station told us. This assistant spoke perfect English and was super nice to us; after we bought the tickets and mentioned that we were planning on leaving Paris also the next day, he checked the trains to Spain and told us that once we arrived in Paris we’d have to rush in and cross the whole city because we’d arrive at different train stations and had little time to change trains. We realized the best solution was to go in an earlier train the next morning and this meant that the assistant had to call his superior to revoke the tickets and start the whole sales process again and he did it without even a single look of annoyance in his face. Really nice guy!

(a relaxing walk by the river)

Realizing we had so little time to visit the city and the weather was rainy, we headed to the city center and then to the river. In this walk we could get a notion of how wealthy the city is. Everything seemed so neat and there were so many good cars (Mercedes-Benz, Audi, Porsche) that we did a little game: look for the worse, as in less classy, car we could find. The winner was: a shiny new Peugeot station wagon. I wonder if when you go to live in Munich and register at the city hall they give you a Mercedez-Benz for free or something.

(we like street performers)

When it was getting dark we headed back to the center to have dinner. It was August 12, my birthday so we wanted something more classy than yet another kebab and went to the Augustiner Restaurant in Neuhauser Straße. This Bavarian restaurant had long wooden tables, waiters dressed in traditional Bavarian clothes, everything looked cool. It must have been expensive right? I had ordered a dish from the “specials” list and it was the most expensive of the two we ordered, the price: ~12 €! I love Germany!

With our bellies filled of Bavarian food and beer and having to get up early the next morning we said good-bye to the streets of München (gotta go back some day) and headed back to the hotel…

to be continued…

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