Eisbach insanity

2 days to go!! At the time of writing this I have 49 hours to go until I take off from Munich airport and fly home. I’ve already found myself thinking that I can’t wait to be back here even though I haven’t left. Today was my favourite day so far; eating, drinking, sunbathing, swimming and an abundance of Lederhosen.

On Wednesday we went clubbing to Milchbar again which was just as ridiculously hot and stuffy as last time but we made it work. I met a really lovely German guy but as soon as he found out I was English he asked about Brexit and if English people ‘hate’ the Germans now. I assured him we didn’t and let him buy me a beer to confirm I was down with the German way of life.

We had Thursday off but I was drunkenly convinced by 2 girls on my course to go on a day trip so I had about 3 hours sleep then hopped on a train to Bamberg; a classic Bavarian town 2 hours from Munich. Apparently the train took an hour longer than it should have but I was dead to the world and had quite a pleasant sleep through the whole journey. Bamberg was so pretty and felt like a mix of a Bavarian and an Italian town. There was a summer festival on so there were food carts, markets and, most importantly, Lederhosen galore!

We agreed after a week of going out everyday and night that today was a day for chilling. We had class in the morning but in my class we just watched a film (Daniel Brühl holla at me). A few of us then went to an Italian restaurant for late lunch before the English Garden. We all got pizzas which were ridiculously big but delicious and amazing value for money (thinking like a student). With our food babies ready, we headed to the English Garden.

The English Garden is actually the biggest inner-city park in the world so you can be a 10 minute walk from it from just about anywhere in Munich. It obviously has a few big beer gardens but for people sunbathing there are (admittedly dodgy-looking) people walking round the park selling beers and taking empty beer bottles away.They’re not official people and are mostly homeless-looking but they make a good living off it. You can trade empty beer bottles for about 25 cents of credit that you can use to buy more beer, so the people collect hundreds of bottles then buy beer and sell it to people in the park with a markup. They won’t make much money but it’s a very handy system and it means you’re never far from a cold beer even in the middle of the park!

The park itself is always filled with groups of people of all aged sunbathing, swimming, playing volleyball and all sorts. There is a nudist section of the park just over a stream so even when you are on the other side of the stream you can see EVERYTHING. Most of the nudist people are old men parading around and occasionally standing in the stream (obviously to pee #gross). I was really grossed out when I first saw them because they are in such plain sight and they parade around not caring but now I’m more used to it and I kind of understand that its part of their culture so they don’t see a problem with it.

Down to the best bit of the garden… the Eisbach. The Eisbach is a river that runs through the whole park which comes from the river Isar and before that, the mountains, hence why its called the “ice brook”. And it is COLD! You have to just jump in to get it over with and then once you’re in you have to paddle about to get warm again.What makes the Eisbach so cool is the fact that it has a strong current so you can jump in then get carried downstream for about 5 minutes. Once you’ve got used to the cold, its so lovely to just drift down the river and admire the views. You can drift for about 5 minutes then you have to get out before you hit another natural wave which is always filled with surfers. The getting out is not a glamorous affair and you basically have to grab a tree root or further down there’s a rope and drag yourself out. Apart from that, the fast current and the temperature is such a thrill and when you get out all you want is to run back up to the top and jump back in!

Anyway, in more boring news I’ve take the plunge (Eisbach pun, lol) and changed my phones language to German. I understand everything fine but some notifications are so funny to me. The best one is “… hat Deinen Retweet retweetet” which is “… has retweeted your retweet. I’m signing off now as I need to get to prinks in Studentenstadt for my last night out in Munich (for now). I’ve already got a bingo night planned with my mum and her friend Vicky (shoutout for her bday!!) for next tuesday and I need to get some lunch dates planned soon with my lads n gals before my dough ball withdrawals get too much.I’m gonna be a mess when I see everyone again and especially now I’m coming back here for 4 months straight in just 2 weeks! Damn this has been a long blog, see ya in 2 days my English faves!

Neuschwanstein and chill

I am sat writing this blog while waiting for my laundry to finish in the uni laundry room so I’m feeling pretty grown-up and studenty right now! This is the second wash I’ve done this month… now I think about it that’s quite gross but I did bring literally 90% of my clothes with me. So down to the point of this post. I went to schloss Neuschwanstein on Saturday, planned to blog about it then wrote about 500 words just on clubbing so I’m doing a purely culture blog now.

We had to coach to Neuschwanstein for about 2 hours which was quite a nice drive through Bavarian villages with quaint chalets along the route. When we got closer to the castle it was much warmer than expected so I was quite glad I had bathed my ginger skin in layers of suncream that morning. We then discovered that we would have to trek up a 1.5k hill to get to the actual castle. The walk wasn’t too bad in the end and overtaking struggling tourists was a great motivation. At least I know now that I’m fitter than a group of 40-year-old Chinese tourists.

The castle was built by Ludwig 2nd, a king of Bavaria around the 1800s. He was widely known for being mental and obsessed with fairy tales and the opera which you can see in the design of the castle. It looks like a Disney castle and inside it is filled with painting and decorations straight from a children’s storybook. One room is designed to look like a grotto/cave which was amazing to look at but not really a normal en suite. Only a third of the castle is finished as King Ludwig went mental and died before it could be completed. Obviously the only option was to add in 3 gift shops and open it to the public, a fairy-tale ending for Ludwig’s dream.

The views from the castle span all over Bavaria and there is a particularly amazing view of the castle and the landscape behind it from a bridge nearby. The bridge was crammed with tourists and I was glad I’m not scared of heights because that thing was rickety af!

Ludwig built 3 castles in total, one apparently is inspired by Versailles so I think I’ll be visiting them sometime this year when I’m au pairing. Speaking of au pairing, I visited my September family today and I’m now all ready to start on the 13th September! Kind of a scary thought that I’ll be in Germany for a solid 4 months but the family are lovely and they’ve said I can have whoever I want over to stay so open invite for all you blog followers (wink emoji). I’ve also decided to invest in a Dirndl (traditional Bavarian dress) as I’m going to be here for Oktoberfest. There are certain rules for where you tie the bow around our waist to indicate your relationship status. So if the bow is on your left you’re single, on the right you’re in a relationship, on your back is married and in the middle front is just not available. Traditional dress is usually for special occasions like Oktoberfest but I saw people in the cub with Dirndls and Lederhosen so it could become by new going out attire!

Anyway this is my last week here and its gone so so fast. I feel like I’ve packed a lot into this month and its quite lucky that the uni arranged so many trips and parties. I’ve got another BBQ to go and we’ve got a mad night out planned this Wednesday because we have Thursday off for some reason. I’ve got to be out of my apartment at 10am on Sunday so Saturday night will have to be slightly less mad. My laundry just finished so I’ll finish here!

Königin der Tanzfläche

Results night was about 10000 times better than results day fo sho. We had prinks at my place which is literally a room downstairs, a room upstairs and a balcony but we somehow managed to fit 30 people in! All 30 of us trailing around Munich and getting the train was quite a sight and I think one of the English guys taught some of us football chants so we were rowdy. So we got to Kultfabrik which was disused warehouses and factories turned into clubs.. The bar we chose was a tad quiet when we got in but there was so many of us that we filled it up fine.

We got a few drinks and everyone was buying for me as it was my night out so I was set! I introduced some people who hadn’t been out with me the last time to my dancing style and by the end of the night everyone was dropping and it felt like I was back in liquid! However I did miss my dancing buddy, Ely and I’m yet to find anyone who I can dance with like I can with him! I had a browse through some snapchat stories and liquid looked pumping and I heard today that I missed some pretty interesting events as well (insert smirking emoji here).

Of course I got acquainted with some of the locals who go crazy for an English accent speaking German apparently. I told one guy I was from near Manchester and he was very excited and just shouted ‘MANCHESTER UNITED’ in my face. Always charming the Germans. The music in the club was a mix of normal club chart stuff mixed with German chart stuff, some of which I knew. I impressed a German guy I was with when I started singing along to a German rapper so if its that easy to impress I think I’ll be fine in the future! We left the club as it closed at 4:30 and hobbled to the u bahn.

We ended up missing a train so we had to wait another 30 minutes for another u bahn and got home at 6am! We were so late/early back that we accidentally got on the same train as all of the BMW workers going in for their shift. So me and my friends were hobbling through the station in going out gear surrounded by about 100 workmen in overalls and work gear. The morning after I managed to make it to class 20 minutes late at 9:20 which is my crowning achievement of this whole trip, even if i was still slightly tipsy!

Just realised I’ve written a full blog post just about going out when I planned to also write about my visit to a gorgeous old castle today. Hey ho I’m going out again literally right now so I’ll write about the castle and some touristy things in my next post.

Shoutout this time goes to my Mother who booked my flights home and put money in my account today to fuel my cultural exploration (and my thirst)! Also shoutout (again) to Ed for being my second mum and asking if I’d ‘made friends’. Yes I’ve made friends and yes I’m eating okay thanks mum!

I need a night out!!

So this week has been emotional to say the least. A trip to Dachau concentration camp and then a visit to my au pair family on Wednesday then results day today. It’s been a week of growing and thinking about the future more as well. I’ve confirmed 2 au pair jobs so my next year is planned but with my results I’m going to have to think carefully about where to go next.

Firstly a bit about Dachau. Because I’m in a higher level group on my language course I had to do the Dachau tour in German which was a bit of a challenge but I understood most of it and got on fine. We started by watching a film about the camp and how it was run and later liberated. It was quite difficult to watch and the figures of how many people came into the camp and how many died there were horrific. Then we walked round the camp with a tour guide. It was a working camp so no official executions happened there but still around 30,000 people died there. The worst part was the crematorium and the gas chamber which apparently was never used. The scale of the place was breathtaking, acres of barracks and buildings where thousands of people were kept for years on end. Even so it was a good experience and I think its so important that every visits a camp sometime in their lives because it was such a big part of history and it only happened like 80 years ago. I was so emotionally exhausted and on the journey home everyone was quite quiet.

However as soon as we arrived back at the uni I had to run off to the Hauptbahnhof to catch a train to see my au pair family. I am due to start working for them in January but this is the first time I’ve ever met them. They live near to Starnberg lake which I visited on Sunday which is quite a rich area and just the right distance from the city. So as soon as I stepped off the train I spotted Stef (the mum) and Mimi (the kid) who were both v German looking with blonde hair and a generally German look about them. They both hugged me which I found slightly odd since I’ve only ever spoken to Stef over email. Their house was quite big and so gorgeous inside. Apparently the cleaning lady was on holiday so it was a bit messy but I’ll look forward to having a cleaning lady! We visited Mimi’s grandparents who are a classic old German couple living in the most 70s house ever. Wood cladding everywhere! The rule is that I speak English to Mimi but I must speak German to the grandparents so I can practise. I’ll defo be round a lot because they have a massive swimming pool in their garden and they remind me so much of my grandparents! Then we joined Matthias (the dad) in a nearby beer garden. Stef said she’d pay for my food and drink so I made the most of it and got a big stein of Radler (basically shandy) and a massive plate of bratwurst and chips.

I’m fully living the student life now, spending 70% of my money on beer and the other 30% on food (literally always pork here). I was talking to an English guy on my course and I told him that the supermarket near us in the Olympic village sells Heinz baked beans. It was like he’d won the lottery. He got so excited and said he was gonna go as soon as he got back and have beans on toast for tea. I don’t blame him tbh, I’m missing English food so much! My mum sent a pic of her full English yesterday and the cravings were unreal. Thank god doner kebab shops are really popular here so I can get that whenever I feel homesick.

Finally… results. I started calling school from 7am English time this morning and after 12 attempts they still weren’t answering. Apparently; unlike the students; the receptionists of Crossley Heath aren’t the cream of Calderdale. In the end I had to call Natalie (my saviour and queen of Physics) and she passed me onto Shorrocks who read my results out. Needless to say I kept Natalie on the phone for a while listening to my blubbering as my results weren’t what I expected. Anyway after a pep talk from Nat and then another from my mum I was feeling less disappointed  and a bit more optimistic. Even so that was the first time on this trip I’ve wanted to come home straight away. I felt so alone in a completely different country away from everyone I know and love. I just needed someone I knew there just to be there. Phone calls and Skype help but it’s still hard. When my friends came out of class I got a few hugs and Miguel immediately insisted we go on a mad night out tonight and ‘dance it off’. Got the squad coming over for prinks tonight then we’re going to a group of clubs called Kultfabrik which sounds cray.

Hope everyone did well with results and got into their dream uni. But if not you are always welcome here in Munich, as long as you like beer, meat and gorg men!

Shoutout this time goes to Ed because whenever I put a blog post up he always says its ‘horrific but amazing’ so now I have to proofread each blog to make sure its not too ‘horrific’ for Ed!

Sonnig in Salzburg

Literally just had to read my last bog post to figure out what I’d talked about and just saying I’m a top blogger. I’m like a ginger, German Zoella with looser morals. Anyway enough with my self-love, back to the blog.

Saturday was a packed day to say the least. We met at the university courtyard at 8:30 to board the coaches to Salzburg and it should have taken 2 hours to get there but with traffic and the coach driver apparently wanting to show us every inch of Munich’s country roads it took just over 3 hours. We were released into the city and told to catch a train home anytime. Me and 4 other girls, from Olympiadorf, split off from the group to explore the city together. We got a pass that got us into every single tourist attraction and free public transport around the city so we were set for the day.

We first walked round the Residenz which is where the rulers of Salzburg lived until like 1900. It was the usual palace game with grand rooms for entertaining guests and many a haughty portrait hanging on the walls. It was very impressive especially the massive ceiling Frescos which usually depicted Alexander the Great (Austrian rulers were apparently obsessed with him) surrounded by subjects and gods and the like. Annexed on the Residenz was a few galleries and museums for the cathedral which we kind of rushed round as none of us are really into fancy art. I’m always confused as to why everyone is painted or sculpted with everything hanging out. Like no statue is ever very impressive, put your grower away Greek statue.

By this time it was scorching in the city so we headed up to the fortress and spent a few hours admiring the breath-taking panorama and touring the castle. I tried to make a joke about 50 shades while in the torture room but my Ukrainian friend didn’t really get it and it ended in me hurriedly explaining the plot of 50 shades in a 6000 year old fortress next to a load of Chinese tourists… not the cultural enlightenment I had hoped for.

Back in the city we stopped for lunch and to watch some people dressed in traditional Austrian clothes (lederhosen and dirndls) dance in the square. It was all very European. Next we moved on to Mozart’s houses. First visiting his birthplace then his other house because you can never have enough museums about a mental musician who overshadowed his sister and was only like 5 foot tall. I think I may have had a Mozart overload…

By this time it was around 7:30 so we headed to a beer garden and found one which advertised that they had 2 pokestops with lures on all day! Ate a schnitzel about the size of my face and literally rolled back to the train station. We all slept most of the way home but the group chat was on fire with everyone back in Munich arranging to go out that night. It was already 11 when we got back to the Olympic village so  I forced myself to go home and to bed. The cravings for the sesh continue but after realising today that I had 20 Euros left in my German account I decided against it and messaged my lord and saviour Mother to top it up.

Don’t think I got any mention requests this time but shoutout to witch and rachel for having their bday party at just the right time so I can come. It’s gonna be amazing to see everyone again even if I’m only back for like 2 weeks and hudds weds is gonna be on fireeee!

Erste Bierhalle Erfahrung

Keeping up with the tradition of a German title for these blogs but I feel like this one is pretty self explanatory. So I went to a beer garden and hall for the first time last night and it was amazing.

We started off in the beer garden which is a massive outdoor area with long tables and I think it seats up to 5000 people. This was a Thursday night but it was packed. To pick up empty beer glasses and plates they have a guy going round on a quad bike towing a trailer that carries the empty stuff but the driver didn’t seem to realise people were trying to walk around the garden and nearly mowed everyone and anyone over. Luckily I escaped him and made it to the outdoor bar. I say bar but really it was a few guys in a shed filling massive glasses from a barrel. So very authentic! I picked up my stein and immediately decided that I can never work as a waitress in Oktoberfest. I could barely hold one glass with one hand and I had to drink it with both hands even when it was nearly empty.

IMG_7445
Beer Stein (which I totally didn’t steal)

I soon found that its very easy to drink a litre of beer quickly when everyone insists on toasting and saying cheers every few minutes and in multiple languages. So a few hours later and one litre of beer down I had made some new friends on my table… and reached the stage where I get very deep and chatty. Someone made the fatal mistake of asking me what clubbing is like where I live which launched me into many stories which I am sure some of my friends are still reeling from.

Eventually it got a bit colder so we moved inside and took over a whole row inside the beer hall. The hall itself was gorgeous with long wooden tables and the ceiling painted with murals. I got sat next to 2 English guys, one of which was a Derby fan so I swindled a free beer out of him by telling him my dad was also a fan and throwing in a ‘Up the Rams!’ to seal the deal. This is the point in the night when my activities became slightly criminal. So far on my trip I haven’t really bought any souvenirs so what an opportunity I had. When the stern, very German looking waitress left our table I grabbed my (not so empty) stein and shoved it in my bag along with a few beer mats. I was very proud of this heist until we went to leave and I realised I had to carry a massive heavy stein home on my back!

This morning was not so fun. When I went to get my stuff together I found my bag slightly damp, stinking of beer, with a glass sticking out of it. I met a few girls from my course on the u bahn and we exchanged the same dead eye stares and plodded to the cafe near the uni. Ferdinand turned up with a doner kebab (which I nearly ripped from his hands in hungover desperation) and told us he had to specially ask the kebab guy to open up for him which is slightly sad but also honourable.

I made it through class, a trip to the shopping centre to buy a new non beer soaked bag and tidied up my apartment so a successful hangover day, all in all.

Special shoutout to Ted, Trin and Mother who are sunning it up in Majorca but still managing to read my blog and lowkey demand a mention! After living without them for nearly 2 weeks I now appreciate how privileged I was to have 2 small versions of myself to make me food and fetch my stuff! Also shoutout to Apollo (who I’m sure is an avid reader of this blog) because I’m missing him like crazy -I had to stop 3 times today in the shopping centre just to pet a dog.

Heimweh und Träume

So day 10 in Munich and I’m feeling homesick. Mostly I’m craving a fax Thursday and £1 drinks after paying 6 Euros for a vodka coke last night. Of course I’m missing being at home as well, especially having food and drinks provided at any time. I was feeling so sad about the sorry state of my stock here that I facetimed Trin just to look at the Morrisons order in the fridge. Sad I know! Fortunately my family don’t miss me much at all as Trin is slowly becoming me. She has claimed all the clothes I left at home and she’s set up her hair and makeup station in my room so I guess I’ll have to ask her if I could loan my life back when I return home.

Anyway, I talk about being homesick and I am excited to be home and to see everyone but on the other hand I’ve never been so happy. A particularly emotional drunken snapchat convo with Ely got me thinking that I am so lucky to be living my dream every single day. I remember first researching Munich and kinda stumbling upon the different uni options around year 11, so nearly 3 years ago.  And now here I am, living here, talking to wild (native) Germans everyday. To think that after just a week I am crazy happy here makes spending my life here seem so easy. I can feel myself getting lost in this world and fitting in with people here. I had a full conversation with a woman on the train today without even thinking about it so after a month I reckon I’ll have a Dirndl on and a beer in my hand constantly! Okay… emotional talk over!

Last night (tuesday) I went to a birthday party of a guy on the course who has become the unofficial leader of the group. He’s already spent a month here so he knows the best bars and clubs so we all kinda follow him around. It was his 26th birthday so when I told him I was only just 18 he looked slightly scared and probably had flashbacks of dancing with me the previous Saturday and buying me many shots! Everyone I meet on the course are so surprised when I tell them how old I am and weirdly they think I’m around 20 even though I’m pretty sure I could pass for 12 if I tried hard enough. They all say that it’s good that I’m doing this now so I can decide what I want to do before I commit to a uni or whatever. Most of them are in their second or third year and having a year out. I guess my whole time at uni will feel like a year out if I go here.

We started the party at 8 so we didn’t stay too late and so we could survive class the next day. So on my way there I bought a beer (500ml for 90 cents?!?!!?) and drank it on the train which is still completely novel to me and I did get some funny looks. Probably people thinking why is that child drinking on a train on a Tuesday night dressed to go clubbing?! Socialising at the party started off with most people speaking English but for most people English is their second or third language so by the end of the night conversations were in a mix of German and English which is quite amusing after a few beers, glasses of wine and 2 tequila shots.

Side note: Trin requested a mention in my blog and even though she’s already had 2 this is her official shoutout. You can have any of my clothes but stay away from that glitter jumpsuit!!