Auf wiedersehen yet?

Up at 6am on a Sunday and feeling totally chipper. What devilry is this? OK so it's not strictly accurate. I did wake up at 6am, but largely felt tired. Managed to upload the Friday post and then listened to a bunch more podcasts while playing Threes. I'd woken up with a strong but fuzzy memory that I finally managed to score a 3072 square when playing before bed on Saturday, and that I took a screenshot of it. But neither phone nor iPad have any evidence that this was a real thing, so I presume I just had a really really mundane dream. Nice one, subconscious.

The TV in my room turned itself on twice despite me not even knowing where the remote was, let alone using it. But no Ringu-style activities followed, and come just past 9am and having been awake for 3 hours I was, obviously, late to breakfast. Not quite as low a standard as the Regensburg station vend of fail, but it was still a decidedly ropey meal. Bad cheese, bad bread, bad orange juice. Bleh.


Checkout was 11am. Went back to room to write more blog, shower, and pack. Didn't finish the first until 1045 so was somewhat hurried and flustered as we pissed off, out into the snow. Munich had experienced a proper blizzard while we ate but thankfully it had stopped falling. At the station we had issues buying the ticket because we'd almost entirely ran out of cash, I'd failed to contribute to the whip last night, and my debit card wasn't accepted. Meanwhile some beggars tried to convince us to give them money seemingly on the basis that their legs hurt.

We had to get the S-bahn all the way to the airport, and en route we had to drink the 5 beers Holger had bought us - since none of us were flying on a ticket which allows checked luggage, and obviously beer is over 100ml a bottle. So we tag teamed all 5 bottles, trying a quarter each. Obviously, they all tasted lovely. We'd been assured drinking on the tube was fine but still had slight nerves, but they were completely assuaged when we had our ticket checked by a group of undercovers and no-one batted an eyelid.

Pulled into the Flughafen just as the last of the beer was drunk. Thing is, it was only about midday and our flight wasn't until 4pm. However, this was very deliberate because we had an appointment with a brewery. Yes, Munich airport has a brewery between its two terminals and it was an obvious end to our tour.

There was a queue to get in. Good sign. They seated us quickly and we bought vier helles. The menu mentioned seasonal beers but we couldn't find the thing on the table which said which one was on, until after about an hour it was spotted directly in the centre of the table, very obviously placed. Well done us. Anyway the beer in question was a dunkel so we got a round of those too. I had an argument with Helen about whether I look fucked or not in the group selfie we took.

Well maybe I did a little bit.

Time to go airside. Mike and Jon stopped off to get a couple of paper boarding passes and then we zoomed through passports and security. Mike's box of sub-100ml liquids included the Schlenkerla schnapps (which may not actually be a schnapps) and brought a jealous smile and "check this guy's liquids out!" reaction from the x-ray woman.

Geoff has a priority pass and I have a BA silver card, so we split up - I took Mike into the BA Galleries Club while t'other two went there way. We traded photos of the free beer we were all drinking, and I had a load of technology fail. Again. The wifi wasn't working and neither was my iPad keyboard. Gah!

We drank Paulaner and ate lots of cheesy fried goods and crackers and stuff. It's far from the poshest lounge in the network but it does the job of providing free booze out of the bustle of the main terminal, and was Mike's first time in a lounge. Not sure he'll be doing any tier point runs just yet though.

Some vague lounge rage occurs as a bloke is getting a talking at by one of the staff, and he seems quiet angry about having done the right thing but being wronged by BA. I can't quite get the gist of it but give up even trying when I hear him say he didn't even look at his boarding pass, but had assumed something. Who doesn't look at their boarding passes to see the time of their flight? The same guy strides up to the local BA supervisor at the gate, really not sure what his beef was. Could well be legit, but meh, who knows.

Having been asked to buy something by a friend, if I can, I have a quick scoot around the duty free shops near the gates. Close, but no cigars.

At boarding I don't bother taking the fast track security so everyone shouts at me to say I should. Even the woman in the slow track line says "go on, jump the queue!". Onboard I get into 8F and it takes ages before anyone sits in 8, and I'm very happy that no-one sits in 8E. I take bad photos of small things out of the window, and get briefly concerned by a plane seemingly coming into land just as we taxi onto the runway to take off. Come on driver!

The flight is totally nondescript. We're served a selection of salted goods in bags plus a drink, and I spend the whole flight listening to Sword and Scale and either taking photos or playing Threes. Still no 3072. The sky looks nice enough, as it always does, but then suddenly we're over London and oh my god! I always love the look of my city from above but it hadn't occurred to me that we were going to come in at the best time of day - sun not quite set, all the streetlights on. As always I take a load of blurry photos that look shit on a bigger screen than my phone, but hopefully emphasise what I'm on about.

Hyde Park winter wonderland looks particularly awful here.

We land at 4.40pm and, well, that's that. Mike had been trying to arrange a beer odyssey through Germany for about 15 bloody years and now it's over, none of us are particularly in the mood for a pint. I do suggest it, actually, but it's not even convenient let alone a good idea. I'm not too fussed that I missed out the first 5 days of it(!), because how the fuck Mike and Geoff aren't totally dead is beyond me.

The boys in row 7.

On the tube I ask Geoff what his final score is. He had at least 200ml of 75 different German beers in 9 days. Wow. Zum wohl!

PS, slate's web editor can fuck off. Stop stealing all my WWE Network bandwidth!

PPS. That's all my flying done for 2015: 40489 miles in 22 flights. Wonder what 2016 will bring?

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Darren Foreman

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