Sunday, 15 July 2012
As I said before, I'm sure the station will be very nice when it's finished. One bit that is ready is a big Spar supermarket. Now that's handy. And it's open on Sunday, which is what today is. Best stock up for the journey. The beer selection isn't great, Eggenberg Urbock excepted.. But there is a good choice of 20 cl bottles of impulse schnaps. I'm soon sorted. Shit. What about food?
Not to worry. I'm bound to find something in Munich.
The air conditioning isn't working in the first carriage I sit in. Yet there's a girl with a blanket over her legs. And she's sitting on the sunny side. Must be some sort of reptile.
Just over the German border the view is spectacular. The railway line hugs the edge of the Alps. Big, bulky rocky masses, like a row of crumbling office towers. This is fun. Especially as I've opened my schnaps. The spirity goodness is running through my veins and doing my spirit good. I'm not even sweating.
The countryside gets flatter and the mountains recede to the horizon as the train approaches Munich. I know exactly what I want to do once I hit town. Go to several pubs, drink lots of beer and eat loads of sausages. It's a simple plan. And one with a good chance of success. Pubs, beer and sausages aren't exactly rare in Munich.
Weisses Brauhaus, that seems the obvious place to start. It's busy, but not full. What beer do I want? I'm tempted to get an Eisbock. That's what I normally get. And an Aventinus schnaps to keep it company. Feeling adventurous, I choose a Hopfen Weisse instead. It's good. Shockingly good, with a mix of citrussy hops and wheat beer spiciness that I would never have expected to work.
Remember the sausage part of my plan? Weisses Brauhaus is the perfect place to implement it. They a have a sausage plate that's, er, a plate full of sausages. Exactly what I need.
I love Weisses Brauhaus. The feel, the look, the smell, the dirndls. I'll always pick a place with didndled waitresses above one where they wear normal clothes. Usually in Weisses Brauhaus you get waitresses the wrong side of fifty. Motherly women, who may frown when you order that fifth schnaps in half an hour. This time it's a young black woman who brings my food and beer. Very different.
There's an oompah band playing in the corner. Never seen that here before. All the musicians are drinking beer like sensible people. Being on the next table, they're difficult to ignore.
Der Pschorr. It's a massive, modern, slightly trendy boozer in the Viktualienmarkt. It looks like it used to be a covered market. Yes, it's that big. Modern, trendy - doesn't sound like my sort of place, does it? There's one feature I haven't mentioned yet that makes it very definitely my sort of place: Bayerischer Anstich. There, sitting on the bar is a pot-bellied barrel from which Hacker-Pschorr Helles flows.
It's the afternoon lull between eating shifts. I take up a place inside close to the lovely barrel. All the other customers are ouside. Here it's just me and the staff. It being quiet, they're in a relaxed mood and having fun. As they evening shift arrives, they banter with the staff already on duty.
"We've 300 reservations for tonight, haven't we?"
"No. Only 284."
A third waiter says "All upstairs." He must be the downstairs waiter.
While I'm hoovering up my beer the barrel finishses and a new one is rolled in. The theatre is another great thing about Bayerischer Anstich. The cermonial bringing in and lifting of the barrel. Then the ring of the tap as it's hammered home. It brings a tear to my eye and a lump to my wallet. Throat. That's what I mean. I'm always confusing wallet and throat. Or is it trousers?
I keep singing "Kinder an der Macht" to myself. They played it in Kachelofen in Pottenstein the other night. It literally brought tears to my eye. "Die Welt gehört in Kinderhände." Can't argue with that. Just let me dry my eyes a bit. Must have got some dust in them.
Ayingers Speis und Trank is the perfect spot for that.
I order, just for a change, a Dunkles. It smells very milky. Like baby sick, but without the acidity. It doesn't taste like they sell very much. It's OK, apart from a slight acidity.
A large family of Spanish speakers are sitting opposite. I'd take a photo, but the father looks like a Columbian drugs baron. He might not take too kindly to being snapped. I quite like my lungs where they are inside my ribcage. Cute teenage daughter, too. Which is why I'm looking anywhere but her direction. I'd like to keep my dangly bits attached to my body.
Time now for a quick lie down to recharge my batteries for the evening session. And to think about exactly which pubs I feel like hitting.
Tel. 089 - 299 875
Fax: 089 - 290 13815
Tel. +49 (0)89 / 5 18 18 500
Fax: +49 (0)89 / 5 18 18 545
Ayingers Speis und Trank
Am Platzl 1A,
Tel. 089 - 23 703 666
Fax: 089 - 23 703 800
80331 München (Munich).
Tel. 089 - 220385
Fax: 089 - 2904736