I left my hotel in Oberursel on Thursday morning at 8 AM. It was a cold and dreary morning with sprinklings of wet stuff falling from the gray sky (not at all like the picture from their brochure).
Luckily, my faithful colleague, Thorsten, arrived at 7:55 AM to pick me up and take me to the train station in Bad Homburg. It’s about a 45 minute walk. I’ll get to that later.
My train was scheduled to depart at 9:14 and arrive in Frankfurt at 9:40 where I’d have to run upstairs to the “long distance” trains and hitch a ride to Munich which was schedule to leave at 9:55. This timing was already making me nervous.
I arrived at the Bad Homburg train station at 8:05 (a little over an hour early for those of you not paying attention). The little trains from Bad Homburg (a suburb of Frankfurt) into Frankfurt are called S trains. They aren’t the only kind, but that’s what my ticket said. They seem to run about every hour.
The trains were being cancelled because the Frankfurt main station was having problems and only one of the tracks was getting through. I found the first hot looking German frau I could find and followed her onto the 8:15 S train. What should have been a 20 minute ride, turned into an hour ride. Fun was had by all, but mostly me. I think everyone else was trying to get to work. I was just making googoo eyes at the girl across the way.
Frankfurt was uneventful. The toilets cost 70 cents at the train station, so I waited to P on the train. That sounded better in my head.
Got on the train and was in Munich at 1:30 PM. I don’t remember much about the train ride except playing Robo-Defense on my phone.
I decided to walk from the train station in Munich to my hotel. I have challenged myself not to take taxis. I also have not rented a car. I was kind of hoping it would encourage me to try harder to use the local mass transit systems. Instead, it has encouraged me to walk.
Train station to my hotel was about 2.9 kilometers according to Google Maps. I had to walk past the Pizza place where I had my first date with my ex-wife. That was kind of depressing.
Hotel was nice. Cute little blonde receptionist in a short white skirt greeted me, smiled lovingly and told me my room wasn’t ready. She offered me a drink at the bar while I waited though. But then she left me there alone. I never saw her again. I have that affect on people.
Once I got settled, I realized I left my insulin in my backpack which I decided to leave behind because it wasn’t big enough to hold souvenirs. I had enough insulin left for about 12 hours. So, I did what every good diabetic with a limited supply of insulin would do in a foreign country. I panicked.
I went back down to the receptionist, who was no longer that same pretty one, but I hid my disappointment. I asked where the nearest pharmacy was. She gave me that questioning, “What the hell are you talking about” look that I am so fond of. So, I said, “Wo is die Apotheke”. I have no idea how close I was to right, but she said, “Oh, Apotheke” and proceeded to give me directions on a map. It was just around the corner.
I went there and the pharmacist lady spoke pretty good English. She was worried that I didn’t know what I was talking about when I explained that Novalog is the exact same as Humalog and Humalog was all they had. She said she had to order it and I’d have to come back and pick it up at 5:30. This was at 3. I was planning on being at Oktoberfest by 4 so this was already not going well.
I decided to walk down the road to Marienplatz. It was about 2 kilometers. I walked around a bit and finally decided to grab something to eat at this little Turkish fast food restaurant called Que. After that I went back to the Pharmacy and picked up my insulin.
Then I walked to Oktoberfest. Getting to Oktoberfest at 6:30 PM is not really a good idea. I was imagining the Texas Gestapo at such a place and how full the Texas jail systems would be with all the blatant displays of public intoxication. And I was sober. I finally stopped at a Franziskaner Hut to have a beer before walking the 2.6 kilometers back to the hotel. Let me just point out that Google says 2.6, but I never managed to walk it once without getting lost.
My trip from the hotel to Oktoberfest takes me down a street called Nußbaumstraße. And the funny thing about Nußbaumstraße is that there is a big Psychiatric hospital on Nußbaumstraße. In case your German is rusty Nußbaumstraße translates quite literally to Nut Tree Street. Anyway, it made me laugh every time I went past it.
Here’s the map I used to get around. The blue goes from my hotel to Oktoberfest. Marienplatz is at the U just above my hotel (well a little to the left) and just above Oktoberfest is the train station.
If you want to see all my pictures of the Oktoberfest, you can go to my Facebook page. I know it’s a cop out, but there are lots of pictures and a 200 word story for each one and I have not the patience. If there is an outcry from the masses then I may try again. Funny thing is I don’t know if that link will work unless you are my friend :).
I already blogged about Friday at Oktoberfest. It was cool and ugly all at the same time. A big Texas Prost to my friends from the Czech Republic!
Saturday morning I went back and was there at 9 AM, but it was so unbelievably crowded, I didn’t stick around for very long. My Saturday pictures are also on Facebook.
Here’s a picture of the line of people walking down Nußbaumstraße on the way to Oktoberfest Saturday morning.
Here’s a good shot of the crowd looking down one random street in the park (probably about 10 AM)…
When I left Oktoberfest on Saturday I went to Marienplatz to hang out. That’s another story all on its own and I’ll have to get permission from certain people to tell the parts I remember.