Sunday, September 18, 2011
Rise & Shine! We left the Queen Elizabeth at about 6:30am, all packed and ready to go. We already had our EuroStar tickets to Brussels ready and we were excited to head towards Munich! The train station has security checks and all that – but the ride was so nice. We got to see the French countryside, the little farm villages full of sheep and cattle. We watched Old School and relaxed and just had a good time.
When we got to Brussels, we hit a little bit of a bump. First, we’re starting to leave English speaking countries and English is the last on the list for translations. Second, buying a Eurail pass and then immediately attempting to use it to get to Munich on such short notice is apparently not that great of an idea. Instead of taking direct trains, we had to get there by local trains. That’s right… from Brussels to Munich via local trains. We said OK, and got our itinerary. We had 4 connections to make, some with only 10 or so minutes to make it to our next train. When we get off our first train, nothing is in English. I mean that… not one thing. We managed to find our next train by the broken English that some of the people thankfully had.
The next stop, we had literally no idea where we were. We walked around looking at different signs, attempted to ask different people, thought we saw our train about 5 times, and in the end decided just to sit and wait.
Here’s a little video that Chris decided to make, to commemorate the moment. Haha.
Thankfully, we saw none other than a couple of sister missionaries! The first thing they said was, “What are you doing in Belgium without knowing how to speak French” and we said “Oh, that’s where we are!”. They translated for us and we found out how to get on the train to Koln, Germany.
The next train stop wasn’t so bad; people still do not speak English whatsoever but we’re closer to Munich and we thought, the next train is a night train so it should be faster and more comfortable. It definitely was faster and supposedly more comfortable, but it was also the last night train to Munich (arriving at 12:30am) and everyone else also wanted to be on it. Because we had not previoulsy reserved our seats, we had to sit on our luggage in the entryway for 3 of the 4 hour train ride. When we finally pulled in to Munich, we were so happy to be there that we celebrated with PIZZA! Everything was still open because of Oktoberfest and we even saw people in their lederhosen.
We took a cab to The Tent, since it was pouring down rain. Our cabby didn’t speak English but our new home away from home wasn’t too far, so we were happy about that. We pulled up and went to the reception area. We knew pitching a tent was out of the question; it was pouring down rain and cold and we could already could see tent after tent getting flooded. We booked one night in the main tent, grabbed our 4 wool blankets each and headed to bed...
It. Was. Awful.
And I don’t mean the kind of awful that’s not so bad. I mean the sad kind of awful. Every hostel and hotel in Munich was booked solid because of Oktoberfest, so we were left with this place. The Tent. The huge circus tent has, probably more than a hundred bunkbeds sprawled out everywhere. There is mud all over the place because it’s pouring down rain and there are drunk people everywhere. I went to open one of the lockers, and a young man came up and introduced himself, then said “I’m so wasted” and smashed his head into the locker beside mine twice and then walked away. No joke. We built a fort around the bunkbed with our blankets and layed down for the night. After about 10 minutes of silence between the two of us, I hear Chris say, “We don’t deserve this.”
I honestly can't describe well enough how rough that day was all in all . It will always be one of those days we can talk and laugh about for years to come.
The next morning we made this video: