Post 254: 10 May 2018, Manchester to Munich and Tegernsee
My alarm went off at 4.45am and I rubbed my eyes thinking what on earth was I doing getting up at this unearthly hour. Then I remembered I had an early train to catch from York station at 5.55am and a plane to catch to Munich from Manchester, with the eventual aim of getting to a place called Tegernsee in Upper Bavaria. I had never heard of this place apart from a German walking friend Victoria (trail name) who was meeting me and providing accommodation and lived in the region. My Dorling Kingsley Guide book said it was within easy reach of the bustling capital of Munich and an upper-class recreation ground. Now I have never been to one of those so when Victoria confirmed that she had been to the supermarket to get some beer and gin and tonic, I thought maybe it will not be so much a walking holiday, but more a beer drinking holiday. I had heard the Bavarians like their beer. But first I had to get there and on driving to York station my first problem arose – geese! They were blocking the road until a caring drunk came along and moved them on. It is not only Bavarians that can drink beer. This chap must have been drinking until 5 o’clock in the morning.It was a good job I had allowed plenty of spare time to get to the station. At least my train arrived on time at 5.55am. I arrived at Manchester Airport at 7.40am but my flight was not until 10.45am. Nothing like being early. I was determined not to miss my plane or holiday. I checked in my luggage and went through security and the security guard asked me to empty all the contents of my rucksack and take off everything but my ‘underpants’ (well that’s what it felt like). After filling 4 trays with the contents of my rucksack, 2 cameras, compeed, a first aid kit, a book or two, items of clothing (e.g. waterproof and body warmer) for the cold and wet of 6am in the morning, passport, money, travel documents, guidebook, watch, fit bit, spare glasses, mat for picnics in the countryside, etc etc. I said to him I thought I was travelling light. He smiled with one of those grins that say – right I will get this one and was not impressed. I had forgotten the golden rule of going through airport security – never joke with them.
I felt like a criminal being stripped of all my identity. Of course with all my outdoor gear I have enough pockets (I once counted over 50) to cause suspicion. They called in reinforcements as I had not emptied all my pockets. How could I empty all my pockets – there were just too many. The lady quickly went through the contents of one of my plastic bags I had left in my rucksack – she didn’t know what a plastic compass was and probably thought is was a dangerous device. I am probably now on an airport high risk register.
I had bought a new rucksack for the trip as I didn’t want to let the country down by taking my old rucksack, which I have used for over 28 years and was showing signs of wear and tear. I couldn’t turn up in an upper-class recreation region looking like I had just come from off the Moors.
Somehow they let me though, but I had to re-pack everything carefully to fit it all in. I thought one tray had gone missing until they must have got so fed up of waiting for me they had moved it to a packing area. Of course they don’t tell you this.
I found somewhere to sit by the window, but there was no sign of Lufthansa who I was booked in with. Only Easy Jet with a 22kg bag allowance plastered on the side. Had I gone to the wrong terminal?Eventually what looked like my plane arrived. I had decided to go for extra leg room at extra cost. However, that meant I was the one that, in an emergency, had to open the emergency door and throw it out of the plane when asked! If they ask me in German I wouldn’t have clue as to what they are saying. Auf Wiedersehen Pet is my limit. ‘Goodbye Pet’ as my last words would however seem appropriate.
Given that I am not the most practical person and hadn’t bought a screwdriver with me to open the door I thought this was bad judgement on behalf of the airline. Perhaps I should have gone with Easy Jet. I was soon up in the clouds having my neatly provided wrapped cheese sandwich and cup of tea. I now felt on holiday and about to embark on an adventure. My German walking friend and guide had already told me we could go to the top of the highest mountain in Germany when I had noticed she lived near it and I had asked if there was a cable car. I am not up to climbing up to over 9,00O feet.
We crossed the North Sea at some point into foreign lands as shown in the photograph but, despite coming out of the EU, we didn’t have to show our passport at that border in the air.
The engines changed their tone and I guessed we were descending to land or about to crash. My first impression of Germany is that everything is in neat orderly lines, including the fields. This definitely wasn’t Yorkshire with stone walls, roads and paths that do anything but go straight.
It was not the best time to recall the Munich Air Disaster, which happened on 6 February 1958 when many of the talented Manchester Busby Babes were killed when their plane crashed at Munich Airport in snow. I had just started following Aston Villa at the age of 5, just after they won the FA Cup in 1957. The Munich Air Disaster was traumatic for a 5 year football fan and probably put me off flying for years.On landing it was very different from the footage of the disaster. Munich had changed!
I seemed to walk miles to find my luggage (was this a new long-distance walk?). The airport cleaning bill must be massive as everywhere was spotless. I then arrived at what appeared to be a train station. Crikey I must have gone wrong somewhere? I asked a member of staff where the luggage claim place was and he said get on the train thinking another idiot has just landed!
Next thing is which station do I get off at? Berlin, Hamburg or whatever? Fortunately there was only one station I think. When in doubt follow the crowd.
I was finally reunited with my case and breathed a sigh of relief. Now all I had to do was find my German walking friend, driver and guide. Following exit signs for another 20 miles, I emerged to a throng of people – no sign of her. Then this attractive young lady headed towards me dressed as though she going to a wedding. Was it Victoria? It looked like her but she was not dressed as when I met her in September 2016 at Pwll Deri Youth Hostel in Wales with walking boots on. Or when I gave her a 10 day guided walking tour of Yorkshire in September 2017. Yes it was her and after exchanging greetings and loading the car she drove me on the autobahn past the Bayern Munich football ground. I knew I was in Germany now. This was confirmed when numerous cars passed us at over 100mph.
After leaving the autobahn the scenery changed and then mountains started to appear in the distance. Victoria already had a little walk by ‘her Lake Tegernsee‘ planned as a warm up as to what was to come. Tegernsee was on the signs and maps. Not far now. The sun was out and the views magnificent and so it was time for some ‘holiday’ posing. I have to say that the Bavarian welcome at the airport in traditional Bavarian dress, beats me welcoming people in York in jeans or Rohan Outdoor Clothing! Perhaps I should purchase Lederhosen Breeches? [
Victoria also explained that she has her own mountain ‘Mount Fuji’ seen above and below, actually called Wallberg. She thought we could climb it during my 10 day stay. At 5650 feet (1722 metres) I smiled at her thinking ‘in your dreams’. The highest I have ever climbed is England’s highest mountain Scafell Pike at 3208 feet on the 21st October 1990. That had been tiring and I was now 28 years older. Of course I didn’t let her know of my doubts. British stiff upper lip and all that. There was just time to take a few more photographs as home-made strawberry cake was promised at ‘base’ in what appeared to be Arcadia. I had landed not just in Germany but on my feet in wonderland.
Victoria had not finished showing me around yet and took me to see a church and the council offices in Tegernsee. When the council offices look like that you know you have arrived somewhere special.
Arriving at my accommodation, the home-made strawberry cake matched the scenery and in addition tasted delicious. I had already been given strict instructions that dieting is not allowed in Bavaria. Who was I to argue? The day came to an end with a spectacular double rainbow in front of ‘Mount Fuji”. I have only seen this phenomenon a handful of times in my life. I was in a different world and over the next days I was to find it got better and better…………………………..
Especially when the double gin and tonic and schnapps appeared.
And what does Victoria get for all this? A Yorkshire Passport and a Tour de Yorkshire hat and hand clappers.
Also the honorary title of Yorkshire Lass.
Miles Walked 2 – mostly around Munich Airport!