Contiki - 7 day camping tour, Munich, Germany

  London to Munich - overnight by bus


10 September 2006

Had a hell of a time dragging all my Luggage to the Generator. After initially having some trouble finding the place and having a mini spastic in the street, I checked in and dumped my stuff. The hot check in guy was nice enough to give me an extra free drinks card. I think he noticed I was in need of a drink.

Rhianna and I had planned to go to Brick Lane for the Curry Festival but upon meeting up we realised we were both too tired so we went to the Goose pub up the road instead. Crashed that night in the damn hot hostel room. London was absurdly hot.


11 September 2006

Bummed around the hostel that morning. Met Emma and Lisa briefly. Then went and found some net. Had a hilarious incident with Sean in which we were both online and obviously in the same area, possibly the same net cafe. Turned out he was around the corner, but at the time it was funny...ok so you had to be there.

That arvo I met Clarissa and Leigh for the first time, after talking to them online for 2 years it all seemed very natural upon meeting. Along with Rhianna we headed to Brick Lane for some curry! Should not have worn my heels. But the food was good! Went to a place called Capital Curry. Korma was surprisingly sweet, but all in all it was very nice.


12 September 2006

Went to the British Museum that morning. My main objective was to see the Rosetta Stone which I'd always had a fascination with since I was a kid. Saw it, took photos, and then had a look around the Egyptian exibits. Some of the statues were pretty cool. At the souvenir shop I spotted a cool Geisha bracelet. I bought it and then went in search of the Japanese area, unfortunately it was under renovation for a new exhibit. I was still happy with my purchase though.

That arvo I knew that another net friend who I'd been talking to online nearly every day for the past 18 months, would be arriving in London. I hadnt planned on doing anything that arvo so that I could catch up with him when he got to the hostel,where he was supposed to stay. So I waited around at the Generator for a few hours. Hadnt heard anything, so I SMS'd. He was around the corner at the London Pub having drinks with tourmates he had just spent the past month with. Felt a bit put off. He asked me to come down for drinks. I had also been in contact with one of his tour mates as he was also going on the Oktoberfest Tour, so having to deal with two net meetings, plus the fact that all his friends would be there, scared the crap out of me. Initially I decided not to go down, but realising I had nothing else to do and would need to meet him at some point I headed down there. I went straight to the bar, ordered a pint, and skolled it.

To cut a long story short. Things didnt exactly go to plan. I knew they wouldnt, but still. Spent the arvo feeling quite uncomfortable, although made friends with some of his other friends, but all up, every other net meeting I've had, has gone way better. To give him credit though, he didnt act badly towards me (well except when he didnt initially recognise me, thats a bit insulting) but the whole time I just felt uncomfortable. It would have been nice to meet one on one. Its always better that way because you can figure out how well it goes much more easily.

Got quite drunk after skolling pint and pint. Went and threw up in the toilets, not because I was sick, but because I knew I was getting too drunk,

Left late and went to bed feeling like crap... not due to alcohol.


13 September

Went to the Royal National Hotel at 7.30am for a day tour Talal and I had booked. Two of his friends came along as well.

Headed to Victoria Station where we waited for the coach. My friend Stooie (who is a friend of Tals that I stole hehe) rang me from Australia. So we talked to him for a bit.

The Coach came and we headed off. First stop was Stonehenge. The tour guide had told us not to get our expectations up as he found a lot of people were disappointed that it wasnt what they expected. But when we got there, apart from the fact that it has a major highway running right next to it. I thought it looked cool. We walked around the big loop that goes around it.

Had a pit stop nearby for lunch, then it was off to Salisbury to visit the Salisbury Cathedral. I was pretty impressive and BIG! Took more photos.

After that we went to Bath. I hadn't realised that this place was soooo pretty! It was gorgeous. We walked around and had a look at the Roman Baths. Would love to go back there as it was just a really pretty city. Looked liked something out of Italy and not England.

It was then time to head back to London. Was about a 3 hour bus ride back.

We all went back to the Generator Hostel and I went to my room for a shower while the others went to the bar and met up with some of the others. I went down and met up with Rhianna, Em and Lisa. I took down a little present I had got Talal in Kuala Lumpur. He liked it. I like giving hehe.

Got stuck into the drinking and was having a great time. At one point a girl came up to me and asked "Are you Shelly?" I said "Yes". She told me she was Chelsea from the Contiki board. Then she left. Odd.

Shortly after I went to go grab something from my room. Upon walking out of the bar, I saw a guy who looked a little familiar. We both did a double take, we smiled and I knew it was Mark, a guy I had become friends with via the Contiki board. He later said he recognised me immediately, which was a nice change after Talal hadn't.

When I meet people from the net it usually takes me about 5 minutes to decide if a) I still like them, b) if I feel comfortable with them and c) if they approve me. None of which I was able to answer with Talal even some 48 hours later..... or 7 days as it turned out.

I knew within 1 minute that all three questions had the good answers with Mark,

We went back to the bar and I introduced him to everyone. Most of us that had planned to be there that night were there. Damien and Lance had come down and later Sean came up to me and had somehow recognised me, so we 'met'. But there were still a few that I was not sure were there or not.

I spotted one slightly red head guy with two blonde girls and came to the conclusion that they had to be Matt, Courtney and Rizzo from the Contiki messageboard. I noted this observation to Mark but we were unsure how to approach. Matt eventually went to the bar and seeing he was quite drunk I just yelled out his name. He turned around. I was right! They came over and we introduced ourselves. Mark and I felt quite famous as they seemed quite excited to meet us in person after reading all our messages on the board.

So the night turned into one big drinking session. Lots of photos were taken and lots of drunken antics were to be had. Talal had since left but Mark stayed all night, we had immediately fallen in sync with each other which was good. It was a good night.


14 September 2006

The coach for the Contiki Oktoberfest Tour left at 3pmish. Mark had been kind enough to help me drag my bags with me to the Contiki basement where I left one of my bags in their storage and the rest in the day storage. He then came with me to go to my friends work at Canary Wharf so give her my laptop so she could look after it while I was travelling. I think he hurt his shoulder which I felt bad for, but there was no way I could have handled the bags by myself.

Back at the Royal National later, I found that all three of us were on different buses. I was on a bus with Matt, Courtney, Nicole (Riz), Bree and Ross who I had met the previous night, but I would have liked to have had either Talal or Mark on the same bus considering it was an 18 hour bus ride.

After a few endless hours I tried knocking myself out with sleeping tablets. I only had one and the effect didnt last very long.


15 September 2006

Arrived at Thalkirchen Camping Group at 9am the next day. Breakfast was ready and waiting and it happened to be my favourite. Kransky!! We then settled into our tents. I was put with a girl whose name I still dont know as we hardly saw each other. Went and hung out with Mark and a group of guys he had made friends with. Gave me a chance to check out the talent.

A Zoo mag was brought out and we had a look through it, commenting on the 'articles'. The boys thought I was a lesbian hahaha. I can just appreciate a good looking chick ok?! haha.

I went and got my hot pink footy out. Football = instant friends. For the rest of the arvo we kicked the footy around and all the guys joined in. It was lots of fun and they were all impressed with my football skills....well for a chick.

That night the campsite turned into Schoolies Week. Seriously, the place was swarming with young Aussies all drinking and wandering around in boardshorts. It was awesome!

Mark and I decided to go grab some dinner. We planned on going to the beer hall up the road but unfortunatley with no euros on us and them not accepting Visa, we had to go elsewhere. We went up the road and found an ATM and then stumbled on a cool looking asian beerhall type thing. It was quite odd, but turned out to be a great meal. I got a chicken curry that was excellent.

Had a great time with Mark. He was very comfortable to be around and I was glad to have such a good friend there.

Later, walking back down the stunningly beautiful tree lined street to the campsite, I overhead a conversation from a group walking in front of us. I heard they were from Perth and piped up that I too was from Perth. The convo went like this.

"No Way! Where?!" said the two girls
"Bicton" I said
"OMG We're in Melville! Did you go to Melville High?"
"Whats your name?"
"OMG! Are you Ross' sister!?"

On the other side of the world I had stumbled into my brothers friends. Both who I knew!! One of them I had been sort of friends with when she was dating my brothers friend. It's a god damned small world!

It really was a small world. All that day I had met soooo many Perth people and each one I had a connection with. Some lived in the next suburb, some knew friends of mine, some were regulars and the same club I was a regular at. It was amazing at how many Perth people were there.

Amy, one of the girls who brother I went to school with, took a liking to Mark and started grabbing his ass. She also even bit him which later left a HUGE bruise on his arm. She ended up giving him her gingerbread heart and we went our separate ways.

Mark and I grabbed a beer from the vending machine at the front of the camping site and stood around for awhile watching the crowd. Rory, one of our tour guys came over. This guy was a dead ringer for Justin Longmuir (AFL player) and I had earlier asked if he was related (he wasnt but said he got that a lot haha).He was pretty drunk and he hung around a bit while I tried to teach him some German phrases. He eventually headed back to our tent area. Mark went to bed but at the insistence of Matt and Courtney he was dragged back out. He was given an Aussie flag and made an honorary Australian. People slowly headed off to bed until it was J.Lo and I left. Felt good being the last up hehe.


16 September 2006

Day 2 of the tour started out crap but ended up to be one of the best nights on tour. I went for a shower early but had to wait 40 minutes to get one. By the time I got out, everyone had got on the buses and gone to the Fest grounds. I jumped on the last bus to leave. Sean and his mate Brendan were on the bus and when we got to the grounds I hung around with them for awhile. We walked from tent to tent but couldn't decide on which one to sit at. I eventually felt defeated and went back to camp. Thankfully Wayne, another tour guy, was there and he made me go back with him. He knew where the others were so we headed to the Lowenbrau tent and sat with everyone in the beer garden. This was the start to the good side of the day. The guns/canons went off to mark the start of the festival and the beer started flowing. JT asked us all for 10 Euros which we all thought was for a ber and a 2 Euro tip for the Frau. We waited for our steins and watched as the Fraus's hauled the large steins through the crowds, some handling 10 at a time! JT then told us that the 10 Euro was just the tip alone and that we had to put in another 10 for the beer. Finally sorted out our order and the beer thus come! It tasted soooo much better than the bottled Lowenbrau. Thank you German Purity Law!! (which dictates how German beer should be made... without preservatives)

The rest of the day was excellent. Made lots of new random friends including a girl called Gabi who took me on a very drunken ATM run. We weaved/stumbled through the crowd talking non stop and smoking her cigar. We had a lot of drunken fun.

Later I met another girl in the toilet line and she was having trouble talking to this old guy on the other side of the fence. I started translating for her, but for awhile we didnt know if he were German, Italian or French, so I mixed what I knew from all three languages and we eventually understood each other. Turns out he was Italian who could speak French and a bit of German hehe.

On the way back to my table I bought a bottle of snuff. I had been snorting it all morning from a guy who had earlier bought a bottle. We had been doing lines off the tables but probably looked pretty dodgy/stupid, but it was all in good fun. Snuff is essentially this menthol powder which you snort to keep you awake, though it does look a lot like cocaine.

The rest of the evening was a drunken blur. At one stage Gabi and I had bought some dinner. She got the chicken and I got a pork knuckle. They tasted great!! I went with her and her friends to the showground rides where they went on a ride which basically went up and down very fast. I opted to stay at the bottom and film it all.

Back at the beer garden, a whole load of various things were happening. The Kiwi boys were doing the Hakka, Mark had got it on with a girl called Vic, who he later found too clingy. And everyone drank lots and started singing Robbie Williams songs. One of my fondest memories of Fest is watching a bunch of blokey aussie guys singing along to Robbie Williams - Angels hahaha. Stay tuned for the video!

Overall it was a great day/night. I had so much fun and cant wait to do it again!


17 September

Today we went to Dachau Concentration Camp. Although I had already visited the place before. I wanted to go again just to get a better feel of the place. (I find that it always the case, if you go somewhere twice, it feels like you've been there, whereas if you only go somewhere once it sometimes feels you were never there at all...ok maybe its just me)

Later that arvo a group of us went to the Hofbrauhaus in central Munich. Vic and her friends came and we all caught the train to Marienplatz. Got a bite to eat at McDonalds and I marveled at how, only 3 1/2 years earlier I was sitting at the exact same table with a group of friends while on my first Contiki tour.

Went to the Hofbrau and got our steins. I was a bit tired so it took awhile to get through mine. I started off sitting with Michelle who I got along with really well. But later slid under the table to sit with Mark.

We left just before midnight but while the others took a taxi back to camp, Mark and I were having too much fun and decided to go find some other nightlife. We walked around a bit and he mentioned how he had kinda fancied me a bit, even before we met. I thought that was cute and it made me feel a bit more confident in making a move on him. I had decided, pretty much that day that I did like him a bit more than just friends and for the first time EVER...would make a move on a guy.

We started looking for a strip club, but that soon turned into trying to find any form of nightlife. It was pretty dead.

We eventually found a bar that I had heard of. One side was called Ned Kellys and was an aussie bar, but it was quite quiet so we went to the other side which was an Irish bar, got a drink and sat down.

My mind played on how I would make this move. Took about 5 minutes until I decided to just lean in and kiss him. Went down well, as expected. He whispered in my ear "Why has it taken 5 days for this to happen?" .... cute :)

Didn't stay out long. Went back to camp.


18 September

Today went to Neuschwanstein Castle. I had aaaalways wanted to go here. I think its the best castle in the world. Matt, Courtney, Ross, Nicole and Bree came. Took 2 hours to drive there and we decided that instead of taking the shuttle bus from the bottom of the mountain to the castle, that we'd walk up it.

My god! What a hike! The road was set at a permanent 45 degree angle. It seemed to take forever but about 45 mins later we made it. Absolutely buggered.

Grabbed a Bockwurst in a bun and wolfed that down.

Attempted to head out to an area that has a bridge but it started raining pretty heavily and halfway there we turned around and came back.

Did a tour of the castle. It was ok. The tour guide sounded like a tape recording, but her take on some English words were hilarious, like Iron, she'd say Eye-ron hahahaha.

Got dropped off at the Fest grounds on the way back into Munich. We first went to the Hippodrome tent where we saw the guy from Las Vegas, the TV show. I got excited because at first I thought it was Johnny Knoxville. It kiiinda looked like him haha. Courtney got her photo taken with him so she was happy. We talked to his brother as well. I asked him if he wanted me to take lots of photos of him as his brother was getting all the attention, so he'd feel special too haha. He was nice.

Met up with Mark and left early heading back to camp.


19 September

Headed to Fest with Talal, Damien, Justin, Grant and Lance.

We went to the Hofbrauhaus tent and it was pretty dead. We even got a table straight away. Ordered a beer and a feed. I had actually ordered the sausage, but ended up with another pork knuckle.

Next few hours were a blur. The tent filled up and we started sitting on the railing behind the bench. Every now and then the security guys would come past and tell us not to sit there. At one point they even threatened to throw us out. If I had of had one more stein in me, I'm sure I would have tried to take them on hahaha.

Blurry night. Went to the bus at some point where I proceeded to pass out on the back seat. Wayne had to wake me up when we arrived back at camp. Went to my tent, packed all my stuff and tried to sleep. Couldnt sleep for ages as there was noise all night. I was thus awake through the hangover I usually sleep though. Probably got to sleep about 2am.


20 September

The bus left for London at 5.30am. I could not have been in a worse condition physically or emotionally. I zombied my way to the front of the campsite, grabbing the little breakfast pack along the way I dragged my bag to the bus.

Had three pit stops before reaching the ferry. Got a crappy dinner of fish and chips before hanging out with Mark on the top deck. It was nice.

Was then a two hour drive from Dover to London. We raced another bus there and won!

Back at the Royal National Mark and I got a room. I was hoping he'd presumptiously get a double, but he was a gentleman and got a twin. Had a shower before going back downstairs and meeting up with everyone for one last drink at the London Pub. I was pretty tired and after one beer I said my goodbyes and went to bed.


21 September

Mark had to leave early that morning to catch a train back to Manchester. He woke me up with a kiss and cuddle and then was gone. I slept in till about 9am before grabbing some breakfast downstairs. I was not in the mood for moving everything to the Generator Hostel as planned so I forked out the extra cash and booked two extra nights at the Royal National.

Talal messaged and later came up to my room to give me some money he owed me. We later organised to meet up at Piccadilly Circus with me. We spent the rest of the day running around London trying to find souvenirs for his family and friends and also ticking off some last minute tourist attractions.

A lot of things happened at Fest with him that I haven't mentioned. But I was glad that after everything, we had a nice day out and at least could part on a nice note.


22 September

Completely bummed around today. Did some laundry and went on net again.


23 September

Headed for Berlin.... to continue the story, click here