THEN it was off to Munich! We decided to take the train, Deutsche Bahn. Trains are, after all, more climate conscience and scenic than flying. We bought the ticket a few months ago and we had a seat reservation from Essen to Munich.
When you think of Germany, what do you think? Efficient, great engineering, cars, beer. You certainly expect the train system to work, right? Let’s just say, DB did not have a good day on Monday! Our train arrived in Essen, missing half the scheduled cars (about 8 cars total missing), including the one we had a seat reservation on. The DB conductor said, “Sit anywhere”.
“But there are no seats” …
Oh, well”, he shrugged!
We found seats for about 2 hours before two people showed up with reservations in those seats. We gathered up our backpacks and joined the gaggle of people standing in the aisles. About this time, the train arrived at Frankfurt Airport station; announcements told passengers (in German, of course) to use a different train to Munich and what tracks alternative trains could be found on.
Mark and I decided to get off the train and see what we could find. I went to visit the ticket office and managed to find 2 seat reservations on the 2:38 PM train in about an hour. Nope! The ticket agent discovered that train was cancelled! Like I said, DB was having a bad train day!
We grabbed the next train to Munich with no reservations and managed to find 2 unassigned seats to Munich and chatted with two businessmen – a German and a Belgian. The German said DB doesn’t do very well in the opinion of Germans. It’s late, equipment problems, rude employees. If Germany is serious about climate change like they profess, DB needs to get their act together in increase train use and reduce flying and cars!
We arrived in Munich only about 1 hour late so all was well.
One note … we stayed in a Sheraton Westpark in Munich using points. Great hotel in a convenient location. For the first time ever in 29 years of visiting Germany, the breakfast breadbasket did not have any German brotchen! These are yummy crispy rolls and we have NEVER not seen them on the breakfast table. They’ve been on small B&B tables, brand name hotels, campground bakeries. What was I supposed to eat my cheese and ham on for breakfast??
Jutta showed up on Thursday after work in Munich. We spent Friday afternoon at Marstall tent enjoying the food and beer. A table of French guys near us provided the entertainment as we watched them break 2 glasses (one handle and on big chip out of the top of another one); got told to stop after they danced on the table top – not allowed! They also spilled a glass of beer on the shoes of a Lufthansa flight attendant and she was NOT happy! She flies to Denver all the time and had just flown back from DC that morning before coming to Oktoberfest.