We finally made it back to our favorite city this weekend! Eric had a trainee session this past week, and a group of his fellow trainees planned a trip together. Of course I had to come along! We had a blast, but here are a few things to note for future trips...
1. Never let a young, cheap German guy choose your hotel. We knew as soon as we drove up we were in trouble, since we were in the only bad part of the whole city. Hotel Daheim had the cheapest rooms in the city... 52 Euros gets you clean sheets, a 12 inch TV, and a view of the street full of cars, motorbikes, and yelling, even at 3 AM. The bathroom in our room smelled like a frat house, and I saw a mouse in the lobby.
2. Always have your camera at the ready. We had to make a stop at the famed, but totally lame Haufbrauhaus, much to our chagrin. There is one other American trainee, Matt, and his girlfriend Lisa had never been to Germany before, so this spot was number one on their list of things to do. The beer is bad and it's full of tourists, but you just have to go once. Lisa sat on the lap of an old angry German dude in lederhosen. He looked pissed. And I have no photo.
3. Learn to bob and weave, or carry a red umbrella. The crowds were big, even for a Saturday, thanks to the 60 degree weather. Eric decided to take the lead, and ran through the swarm like a bloodhound on crack. We had a group of 8, all trying not to lose him. It got messy. Several old women were shoved and two children were injured. But we got where we needed to go.
4. Savor nice surprises. We had dinner at Asago Steak, and were thrilled to discover that it was really nice. We had good service (shocker!), we didn't have to wait long, and the food was fantastic. We had our first steak since leaving the US. It was perfect. Thank God for big cities.
5. Don't go to strip clubs in the dirtiest part of the city. Eric and I opted out of this plan, because even with a few drinks, we are still logical. Everyone else ran in. Twenty minutes later they were back. It was "Black Sunday" at the club even though it was only Saturday. That meant no entry fee, but no one dances, unless you pay for a private room. The Eastern European girls just lounge at the bar, looking for a stupid American to marry for a Green Card. And the drinks cost more. What a bargain!
6. Take advantage of good weather. We spent Sunday afternoon in the Englisher Garten with Eric's friends Doreen, Andreas, and HP, who rock, as you may remember from the earlier Oktoberfest post. A few of the trainees tagged along before we all had to catch a train back to Friedrichshafen. The day was beautiful and still warm enough to sit outside at the bier garten, so why not drink a liter at noon? Everyone else is doing it. I was so tired from the sleepless night in the Turkish rat hotel that I got buzzed off one beer and later fell asleep on the train.
Overall, this was an excellent trip, our first without injury or accident. It's possible we have turned over a new leaf!
p.s. you can click on the above photo to get a better look at Assamkirche, by far the gaudiest, coolest church in Germany!