I eventually awoke my band of slumbersome nomads there in our airport chalet at 3:30am to make our way through security before the rush of other travelers clogged the halls with their over-sized accouterments and screaming children. After smoothly making our way through the metal detectors and x-ray machines, we realized that our gate had not yet been posted for our flight. So we set up camp once more, this time in the middle of the large center room by which all gates were attached. We took shifts staring at the screens above, waiting patiently for them to grace us with the wonderful knowledge of our plane's location, only to be let down with ever groggy attempt. Finally, fifteen minutes before we were to begin boarding, our location was listed - on the other side of the airport of course.
So we made our way to the Easy Jet terminal where we experienced the most peculiar method of checking in thus far. A strange series of lines, seating, and over-all presentation assured as that this was going to be a strange flight. As it turned out, we were carrying three more bags than what would be allowed on this flight, but we snuck them in anyways.
When we arrived in Munich (AKA Munchen), we found ourselves an exorbitantly priced bus that took us from the airport to the center station for the thrifty price of 10 Euros a piece. When we arrived at the bus station, we decided ti was a good time for Trav to try his hand at speaking German with some of the locals to help us find our hostel. He spotted a kind looking woman, and began to dialogue (quite impressively) with her. As he was doing so, the woman's adorable young daughter began playing pee-ka-boo with the rest of us. Within a matter of two minutes, Zach, Sam, and I were running all over this station, popping out from behind pillars, and getting chased by this charming little child. He laughed about that for the rest of the day.
We maneuvered up and down the streets of Munich for a while, stopping to ask a group of senior citizens for additional directional aid, until we finally arrived at the lovely "Easy Palace Hotel." When we entered however, it was quite obvious that we had done so through the back door, and were now standing confusedly in the kitchen of our new temporary home. We startled one of the staff members who was present, who then irritatingly showed us where we needed to be. This was a great start to our time in Germany.
After a much needed nap, we made our way to the acclaimed Hofbräuhaus to catch some live traditional Bavarian music, clothing, food, and beer. As we entered the massive brewery, we heard the infectious tunes of the ompah band playing over the scores of men, women, and children talking and laughing on the large wooden benches and tables that took up the majority of the space here. This was quite the place to be.
Once we had finished our massive 1 liter Dubnkel and bratwurst, we decided to do a little bit of exploring in this enormous structure. As we wandered throughout the halls and staircases of this once royal establishment, we found another massive banquet hall, complete with chandeliers and a stage where traditional Bavarian dancing and singing was taking place. As we later found out, this stage was in fact the very stage that Adolf Hitler proclaimed the twenty-five theses of the National Socialism program on February 24th, 1920, which reconstituted the German Workers' Party as the National Socialist German Workers' Party, known as the Nazi Party.
While we sat and watched the incredible presentations, we met a group of travelers from Savanna, South Carolina. It was a group of college guys who were spending a few weeks in Europe, along with one of the student's mother named Kacki. We later found out that her presumed claim to fame was that she had in fact, slept with Mick Jagger some years ago. For some reason, none of us doubted her honesty.
After thirty minutes or so of strangely entertaining conversation, this group of new friends invited us to join them for a small gathering that was taking place a little bit outside of the city. Somehow they "knew someone, who knew someone", and we of course had difficulty passing up the opportunity for an adventure.
So we followed our new league of friends to the center station where we boarded what we thought to be a free train. We rode the line for forty-five minutes as stoic and alarming guards marched up and now the aisle, once stopping at our seats to tell us to put our feet down. I almost wet my pants right then and there. During our travel, we began asking questions about how exactly we were going to get to this destination, and we received a dodgy answer about meeting someone they had met once the night before at the train station, and walking the rest of the way. I get the sense that most other people in our situation would likely turn and run from such shady answers, but this only seemed to intrigue us more. They continued to assure us that they had cleared our coming with the owners of the apartment, and that they were excited to meet us.
When we got to our station, we exited the train, and sure enough there was someone there to meet us. We then walked for another thirty minutes through different neighborhoods of this strange city, zigging and zagging like a confused alligator down different streets on our way to this alleged destination. At this point, we decided that ti would at least be prudent of us to write down the names of the street we were turning down as a record in case any of this didn't go according to plans.
After a few more zigs and zags, we eventually made it to our destination - a dark apartment in the middle of nowhere. We made our way up three flights of stairs, and finally to the door where this elusive gathering was taking place. When the owner of the Scooby-Doo apartment answered the door, he took one quick look at the Simkins quartet, and immediately told us that there wasn't enough room for the likes of us. Expecting our SC friends who had been assuring for an hour and a half that everything had been cleared, we then looked to them for some help in the matter. But before we knew it, they were already inside the apartment, offering nothing more than a simple "Sorry bros" on their way in.
They did however make the mistake of leaving their shoes on the landing outside of the door to this apartment, so we decided to relocate them to the parking lot. Certainly not my proudest moment, but possibly one of the funniest.
With the help of our scribbled notes and our cunning sense of direction, we made it back to the train station where we did our best to avoid the screaming match that was going on between two very angry locals. We boarded our train, got yelled at for our feet again, and made our way back to our hostel once more. When we arrived at our hostel, we realized that there was an absurd looking dance club right across the way from our front door, so naturally we made our way over. Because we probably looked like lost puppies, a group of ladies came over to us in traditional Bavarian garb, explaining that anyone who donned the conventional clothing got in for half price. Since we weren't really in the mood to track down some lederhosen at this hour of the night, we decided that we weren't going to end this night with dancing of any sort. As we attempted to converse with our rather drunk "friends", the doorman repeatedly shooshed those conversing outside because "he didn't want to disturb the nearby neighbors." I found this both humorous and ironic given the fact that they had been blasting 120dB from their fine establishment since 7pm, and yet felt inclined to quiet the giggles outside.
After it was determined that the Kelly Garret of this inebriated Charlie's Angels trio was interested in more than just conversation with our dear brother Zach, we decided that it was time for us to call it a night. So we made our way back to our hostel room, did our best not to wake up the one another gentleman in the room, and were sleeping like babies in no time.