Bock around the clock

Friday started well, what with waking up in a fucking brewery 'n all. Though that was about as good as it got for a while - I woke up at 5am, went to the loo, then couldn't get back to sleep. I put on some episodes of Sword and Scale so I could drift off to soothing stories of real life murderers but only started to feel tired again come 7am, after which I had some unsatisfactory nodding off before Geoff knocked on my door to give me shower gel.

Bleurgh. Got dressed at 9am, our agreed breakfast rendezvous time, and piled up on meat and cheese again. The fruhstuck zimmer was much busier than before and there was no-one yet on the beer, oddly. But there were once we finished eating. Checkout time was 1000 and as soon as the hour hit, two members of staff knocked on my door. Efficient.

Downstairs we paid for our rooms, with a cheery "thank you mister" from the guy on the desk, then out into the really dismal weather for a walk to the station. Train was at 1036, Geoff bought a day pass for 4 adults for the whole of Bavaria for some daft price like €38. Then soft drinks were sought, and I spotted it was also an off licence so told Mike I'd go in to "make sure Geoff does the right thing".

There were boxes of bacon beer.

I hadn't actually decided what "the right thing" was at that moment, and eventually we just had softies, despite an extravagant selection of local beers on sale as well as comedy 1 litre cans of Haxe (or Faxe? I forget). There was also a map by the entrance to the platforms called a "passenger guidance system".

hard at work

I spent the whole journey to Nuremberg blogging, just fnishing off the text as we pulled into the last station. Apparently the museum we wanted to visit was north of the station, so the exits being labelled east and south weren't of much use. Immediately outside the station it was cold, wet and smoky, just how I like my beer.

The museum in question was the Deutsche Bahn museum, because trains. It was an horrible grey piss wet walk past nondescript buildings opposite the old town and castle and stuff, and also past a second hand shop specialising in laptops and swords. Eventually we reached the museum and it was open. I'd been hoping we'd find it closed, and a bus replacement museum in its stead.

We bought our discount tickets - because we had train tickets, see. And there was wifi, so in the first room with the intro video there were 4 seats, so we all perched for a bit and I did the photos and uploading of yesterday's blog entry. That took fucking ages. Geoff was doing summat, no idea what, while Mike and Jon had already disappeared to actually see the tourisms. None of us had bought the audio guide and all the displays were in German only, so largely the trip around the place was just staring at trains and rails and uniforms. Which is pretty cool, to be honest. There was fucking tons of it, and we spent a long time walking around the indoor train yard.


The rooms are in chronological order and the 1933-1945 era was kinda harsh and goosebumpy, with the whole not flinching from showing some of the horrors, and the big train yard into Auschwitz-Birkenau and stuff. Geoff tried to lighten the mood by surreptitiously attempting to get photos of me looking happy next to swastikas.

There is a poster of the most terrifying man I've ever seen.

"Hurrah for Nazis!"

This is taking train carriage decoraton a little far.

We caught up with Mike in the model railway room, a huge toy set operated by one guy with 5 big control panels and it was totally ace. At the far end there was even a model UFO. And after that comes a few rooms absolutely chock full of model trains in varying sizes and it's all great.

Phil lets me know how much of an inspiration I am

Downstairs we found Jon and then went into the cafe, but there didn't seem to be any beer so we headed back and across into the old town. The first building seemed to be a brewery, but also shut. Then we walked past an open pub and I was getting concerned. Some tourism happened in that we walked past the German national museum, and then we hit the proper city centre and, ooh, that looks like a fucking terrible Fauxrish pub called SHAM-ROCK. But it was shut, shame. A decent boozer appeared in front of us, next to another Fauxrish pub we also didn't visit. Double shame.

Insde Pillhofer we ordered beer and after some dissection of the food options, 48 sausages. Huzzah! It's a Nuremberg thing to have plates full of cabbage and 12 tiny sausages and mustard and yum yum. I had unsuccessfully tried to convince everyone that we should be ordering the "meat castle", though.

Asked for the same beers again (3 dark, 1 light) and got the inverse. Throughout our entire time we were pretty much the only punters, which seemed very odd as it was definitely lunchtime and the town itself had been pretty busy.

Because sausages.

Out and briefly into the touristy bit because we thought there was a brewery, we double backed and went to a definite brewery, having decided to get the 1636 train to Regensburg. So inside Barfusser we waited about 10 minutes to get our beers, and I was disappointed by the taste.

The place was cavernous and the gents loos about 2 miles away. The ceiling had loads of English pub signs hanging from it, and a table of men in traditonal Bavarian dress appeared across the way and one of them played his harmonica. Badly.

The second beer - a Tucher wheat beer - was much nicer than the first, but soon enough it was time to go get the train. The weather stayed relentlessly shit and we failed to find an off licence in the station other than Aldi, whose queues were way too big. I'm told there'll be a man selling beer on the train anyway. Let's hope so.

Pretty much as soon as we set off a man came to sell us beer, which was nice. A couple of minutes later, way before we'd finished what he'd sold us, he told us he was getting off at the next stop so if we wanted more we had to buy it now. Well OK then. Thankfully we had a spare seat on which to rest the bottles.

Honestly I'm not sure what we spoke about on the train, but it probably revolved around worshipping Jon's puns because he was totally on form, ever since talking about the meat castle using the terms "porkcullis" and "hamparts".

In Regensburg we'd discovered our hotel was bloody miles from the station, so crammed into a cab. It's a proper Mercure hotel out in the burbs and we had about 2 hours to kill before going to meet Jon's cousin at a place he'd booked for us at 8pm. I grabbed an hour's kip and it was the opposite of restorative, so when we reconvened in the bar at 1930 I felt like shit.

A local Regensburg brew was on tap and we drank while waiting for a cab to arrive. He told us the bar was open until midnight, so maybe there'd be time for a night cap later? The cab took us to the restaurant where we met Richard and ate schnitzel, which was marvellous. More traditional Bavarians arrived, with harmonicas, and the table behind us started playing games wth axes.

Richard said he couldn't really stay out late because he had a long drive in the morning, but he could at least take us to a brewery. And so here was Kneitinger and wow, bloody hell, what a gorgeous drink. We stood around a drinking table - there are more standing areas than seats in most places we've been to - and I'm told to use "can you smell what the bock is cooking" as my blog post title. I refuse.

There's a picture of a pope on the wall, because Ratzinger was from Regensburg. They call him "Papa Ratzi", which is excellent. A dunkle beer arrived which was also excellent, and the vending machine in the bogs sold "travel pussy". Er.

So apparently Richard's early night wasn't hugely early, and he took us to one more place, via a very very long walk through town and over the river with a brief stop to say hello to his metal and goth mates outside some bar we didn't go in because hang on why didn't we go in there?

I've written "pushed out of beer hell (20s?)" in my pad and don't have the faintest idea why. So I just asked Geoff, and he's reminded me that it's because we walked into the wrong part of the bar at Spital, it was some kind of 20s theme night, and someone in there shoved him out of the door. I have not a great recollection of this.

Inside the right bit of Spital we had some more dark beers because Bavaria just keeps doing this right. Odd glasses though. I can't really remember much of the conversation because by now I'm totally shitfaced. It's gone midnight and we're miles from anywhere. I do remember talking in German to Helen on Facebook, and Richard wrote the German for "son of a bitch" in my pad.

At closing time we leave and stand outside, Richard wants to talk back and Geoff and Jon go with him while me and Mike wait for a cab. We wait a long time, and talk to the landlord while doing so. The bar next door is playing metal, for fucks sake did we really miss out two metal bars? Bollocks.

A cab appears and someone else grabs it, but then we finally get in one and it's a 15-20 minute ride. We are still back before Jon and Geoff. The driver refuses to take the tip I want to give him on the grounds that it was too generous. It's just gone 2am and Mike wants to visit "Foxes", which might be a club. I dissuade him from that, and from cracking open the bottle of schnapps I've been carting around since Bamberg. I drink a €2,40 250ml bottle of water from the minibar because that's enough to stave off a hangover, right? And then I fall asleep, with BBC World on the TV.

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