Forever Remembered


Sunday 3rd February 2008

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I woke up early, wide awake, having had a decent night sleep. Julie was in the other bed fast asleep. We hadn't lasted long in out intimate snuggle.

After a few hours of tossing and turning and almost falling out of bed on each toss and on each turn Julie abandoned the romantic idea of sharing a bed and moved over to the other one.

As not to wake her this morning I picked up my journal and sat on the toilet recounting yesterday's tale.

About 8am I then began Julie's waking up process, opening the window to the day expecting loud traffic noise to be a natural alarm but to my surprise the lullaby of peeling church bells filled the room. So I put the telly on. Somewhere in Rwanda an earthquake struck. She stirred.

In an hour we were down for breakfast.

Steve was already there. He was having a Brit abroad moment bemoaning the absence of a good English, "a bit of bacon and egg wouldn't go amiss" but the twinkle in the jester's eye said he was just having a laugh.

The choice on offer was excellent, very fresh and very continental. In fact the seeded bread roll was the most delicious seeded bread roll I'd tasted in a while and stuffing it with as much brie as I care to fill was my breakfast heaven.

Julie and I had finished, Steve was well finished and on his third cup of coffee and Sonya and Garry still hadn't surfaced.

"Maybe they've forgotten to move their watches forward the hour" I suggested.

Arriving precisely when they meant to, they joined us for breakfast at 9:38am.

"Did you here that racket last night?" asked Steve "it sounded like someone re-arranging the furniture!"

A startled Sonya turned to look at Garry who gave one of his wonderful Gallic shrugs.

"Someone was probably trying to rip the beds off the wall to push them together" Julie offered as an answer. The topic of conversation quickly turned to the quality of the coffee and the weather.

Talking of the weather it was a glorious day when we eventually stepped outside the hotel. A perfect day with beautiful clear blue skies. A good day for photographs.

First on the itinerary was a visit to the Manchester United memorials.

They were located in a suburb called Kirchtrudering some 5 miles out and were best reached by the underground system.

The nearest U-Bahn station to our hotel was at Sendlinger Tor.

This red brick gateway would have been the south entrance to the old town or Altstadt as it's called. It was still the original arch having survived the bombs of the second world war, whereas Karlstor, the white arch we saw last night, had to be rebuilt after kopping a direct hit.

With a €12 partner ticket in our hands we caught the U2 line to Moosfeld, the nearest U-Bahn stop to the United memorials.

Eleven stops later we got off at a contemporary looking station with huge red letters spelling M-O-O-S-F-E-L-D along its length. There was no missing this stop!

We escalated ourselves up and out into a suburban setting, a very peaceful respectable place. Almost too peaceful. It was Sunday morning but even so, there was no one around. Not driving, not walking their dog, not playing in the garden, nothing. Very still, very strange. They couldn't all still be in bed?

Had there been a deadly methane leak in the night killing all the residents?

It took a while to get orientated. Fortunately I had with me a map I'd printed off the internet. It wasn't an easy route from the U-Bahn to the memorials, we had to criss cross through the suburbs. So the Google map was very useful.

Moosfeld U-Bahn station was on Salzmesserstrasse. We then turned up Ilmstrasse then right down Leonhardwigen.

There were some pretty houses here and they were all different. It was refreshing to see a housing development where they weren't just identical copies of each other.

At the end of this street, where the road met Kirchtruderingstrasse, we came across this magnificent Maypole in a square in front of a church.

At its base was the coat of arms of the village. The blue and white representing Bavaria and the black and yellow were Munich's colours.

I couldn't begin to guess the significance of the Christmas Tree with three white hats, nor the castle keep, nor the implement on the Munich colours.

They were bound to represent something closely associated with Trudering.

Up the maypole were another 22 plaques, each one representing a profession of the town's population. Roofer, Plumber, Banker, Doctor, Brewer, Musicians and many more.

It's difficult to imagine the village people all gathered here on the first day of May prancing around the pole in some pagan ceremony. (Do they actually do that or is just the English?)

To help us to imagine the scene Garry gave us a high quality demonstration in pagan prancing.

Also, despite Garry's smaller frame, it did give us a perspective against which we could judge the sheer scale of this massive maypole.

We eventually moved on along Kirchtruderingstrasse and before long, at the point where the street split into Rapenweg and Emplstrasse, we could see the new granite memorial.

The moment I saw it I felt a thud in my chest. It was an unexpected reaction.

In February 1958 Steve was only eleven months old and I wasn't due to be born for another nine and a half years so neither one of us had first hand memories but that didn't seem to lessen the sadness we felt.

Our thoughts immediately turned to the sigificance of where we were standing. The crash site of the Munich Air Disaster where 23 people perished including eleven who were associated with United.

Eight players : Roger Byrne (29), Geoff Bent (25), Eddie Colman (21), Mark Jones (24), David Pegg(22), Tommy Taylor (26), Billy Whelan (22) and Duncan Edwards (21). An average age of 23¾, Busby Babes each one of them, immortalised here.

Three club officals also lost their lives. Chief coach Bert Whalley, trainer Tom Curry and club secretary Walter Crickmer.

They were travelling back after succesfully progressing to the semi-finals of the European Cup following an exhilirating 3-3 draw against Red Star Belgrade. A game that saw them race ahead to a first half 3-0 lead and then found them hanging on as the Yugoslavs fought back in the second half.

The jubilant team flew out of Belgrade the next day on a chartered flight [flight 609] but such was air travel in the fifties that the BEA Airspeed Ambassador aircraft had to refuel on the way back to Manchester and it made a scheduled stop in Munich.

All passengers got off the plane whilst it filled up with fuel and an hour later they returned to their seats. At around 2:20pm they were cleared for take off but as they travelled down the runway the pilot, Captain James Thain, aborted the attempt due to concerns over the engine noise.

They immediately returned to the start and tried again but take-off was abandoned once more with the same concerns.

The passengers disembarked and returned to the departures lounge. They must have believed that they would be spending the night in Munich because Duncan Edwards sent a telegram to his landlady saying "All flights cancelled. Flying home tomorrow. Duncan."

Suddenly they were asked to get back on board.

At 3:04pm, on their third attempt, their concerns had gone, the enigne sounded fine but the plane dramatically lost speed as it ploughed its way through slush on the runway. It simply didn't reach sufficent speed for adequate lift and had passed the point of no return.

There was nothing the pilot could do to avert the inevitable. The perimiter fence was no barrier as the plane cut through it and crashed into a nearby house. It broke up with a wing and part of the tail torn off. The fuisalage then collided with a wooden hut, causing an explosion because it struck a lorry loaded with tyres and fuel.

It came to a halt. Twenty one people died at the scene.

Some miraculously survived with only minor injuries and were able to walk away from the wreckage.


One in particular, Harry Gregg [United's reserve goalkeeper], in an act of astonishing heroism walked back into the burning plane and pulled out several team mates and passenger Vera Lukic with her baby daughter Vesna.

By the time the emergency service arrived a few survivors were holding on to their lives by a thread. Duncan Edwards, Albert Scanlon, Matt Busby and co-pilot Ken Rayment were in a bad way and rushed to Rechts der Isar Hospital.

Steve and I stood here with nothing but old photos and newsreels for memories yet the emotions we felt were as real as if we had personally experienced the news in 1958.

Just as we were about to leave, this old fella rolled up on his bicycle. He walked towards us speaking German. "Maybe he's trying to tell us that he was here that day?" I guessed.

It was such a shame that we didn't share a common language. We could have asked him about his recollection of that fateful day. Maybe he could have told us about the young Welshman who was on board, Kenny Morgans, United's Welsh wizard, and how he survived only after he was found five hours after the offical search was called off! It was only when two journalists returned to the site and rummaged through the luggage for camera equipment did they stumble across the eighteen year old's prone body . Incredible!

Julie (call it female intuition or just common sense) said "I think he's just asking us if we would like him to take our photograph."

Of course he was.

So we thrusted a camera into his hands and he took a group photo. Somehow we also got him to pose for one with Steve and I.

He was a touch embarassed but he kindly obliged. I'm sure he was thinking "You krazy Englisch"

He got on his bike and continued his journey along the rim of what was once Munich's Riem airport. It shut in 1992 but the airfield is still a wide open space.

The runways are not there anymore. It's home now to a large horticultural site and trade centre.

The memorial we had just seen was the "new" one, unveiled in 2004 by Sir Bobby Charlton alongside the Bayern Munich manager of the time, Karl-Heinz Rummenigge.

A little further down Emplstrasse was the other memorial, one donated by the people of Kirchtrudering and erected soon after the crash.
The Christ on the cross overlooking the flowers was a very eloquent memorial and in many ways was far more expressive of our emotions than the modern concrete slab.
A small plaque on the front of the trough was weatherbeaten to the point of not being able to make out any of the words.

But apparently it reads :

"Im Gedenken an die Opfer des Flugzeugkatastrophe am 6.2.1958 unter denen sich auch ein Teil der Fußballmannschaft von Manchester United befand, sowie allen Verkehrstoten der Gemeinde Trudering."

Which translated means :

"In the memory of the victims of the air disaster of 6.2.1958 including members of the football team of Manchester United as well as all the victims from the municipality of Trudering".

I had brought with me a few words of my own. My mother gave me a copy of this poem, written in the Welsh language, about Duncan Edwards. Actually it was my grandmother who cut it out of a local newspaper and my mother sent it over to my father.

I placed the poem in the trough which wasn't easy as the soil was still frozen; then from somewhere I whispered "Gofiau am byth" to myself. [forever remembered] Perhaps the poem inspired me.

The first line begins with Bachgen Ifanc un ar hugain which means "young lad twenty one".

It continues to describe the battle for his life, one he ultimately lost fifteen days after the crash.

Albert Scanlon remained in a coma for three weeks before recovering and Matt Busby, having twice been given the last rites, miraculously pulled through. The last victim of the air crash was the co-pilot Ken Rayment who died after three weeks in intensive care.

Of the surviving players Johnny Berry never played again due to some horrific injuries and Jackie Blanchflower's career ended within a year. Kenny Morgans, Albert Scanlon, Dennis Viollet & Ray Wood returned to football but they never regained their scintilating pre-Munich performances and their United careers quickly declined.

On the other hand, Harry Gregg, the reluctant 'Hero of Munich' had a long and distinguished career for United, leaving the club in 1967; and of course Bobby Charlton and Bill Foulkes were still there in 1968 on an emotional Wembley night, when Matt Busby's team won the European Cup in honour of those who died. An evening my father remembers very well as he's fortunate to be able to say "I was there".

As we made our way back to Moosfeld the mood was subdued for a while until we let go of our thoughts and moved them on to the next event on our itinerary. Keeping with the football theme we were on our way to the Allianz Arena to watch a Bavarian local derby.

Sadly it didn't feature the mighty Bayern Munich but the city's second team, 1860 Munich.

So we returned on the U2 line to where we began. The medieval Sendlinger Tor.

Whilst Steve and Garry returned to the hotel briefly the rest of us sat down at a cafe called Bodo's Conditoreicafe, just around the corner from the Tor.

I'm not too sure why but there was a football on the cafe's red sign. It didn't appear to be a sports bar but possibly inside it had a Big Screen showing matches. We didn't go inside. The sun was still shinning down on us so we sat outside. Which was also better for people watching!

The staff were all in fancy dress on account of the festival so we had a decent cup of coffee served to us by Coco the Clown! She had the clown's tragic comedy down to a fine art because she certainly wasn't wearing her happy.

Before too long the Jones Boyos returned and we had another coffee.

It was getting busier and we were now able to extend our people watching to "what-are-they-eating" watching.

Four well-dressed elderly locals were sat next to us tucking into an obscenely large doughnut.

I couldn't help myself but ask "Excuse me but what do you call that ?"

"Auszogne" the lady replied.

"Auguschaunnn?" I said

Well she almost choked on her auszogne when she heard my bungled pronounciation.

All her companions were howling inside. The bloke sat furthest away was going purple trying to stifle his laughter. What the hell had I said that was sooooo funny?

She repeated "Auszogne" and Steve had a go, getting it straight away. I'm sure he's half Bavarian.

We caught Coco's attention and ordered a very big doughnut by pointing to the table opposite and saying "We'll have one of them" Despite being the size of a lifeboat we wished it was even bigger when we shared it. It was sweet and doughy and lovely.

We left Bodo's at 1pm to make our way over to the football ground. We had at least an hour before kick-off. We needed the U6 line to Frottmaning which luckily ran through Sendlinger Tor station.

Within quarter of an hour we were walking off the platform at Frottmanning with hundreds of other rival supporters.

Most were marked with the pale blue of 1860 with only a smattering of red from AugsburgFC. My red United scarf made me look like an opposition supporter so I bought a home team scarf to blend in. So did Steve.

Next to the scarves stall was a sausage bar. Garry and Steve were quickly hyptnotised by the smell as they had their noses in the air being lured towards the bratwurstmeister like those kids from the Bisto advert. "Ah, sausages"

Steve had the hot dog style frankfurter and Garry chose the rostbratwurst. It was interesting to note that the Bavarians don't do tiny wieners. These were the full 12 inches.

As we walked over the bridge we could see the stadium in the distance. It didn't look real.

It looked like Germany's contribution to the Space Race, a 21st century Zeppelin, a Bavarian Mothership, or something from galaxy far far away. Walking up towards it felt like we were in that scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind.

I suppose it could also be described as a big white Auszogne!

We hadn't pre-bought any tickets and were simply hoping to buy some on the day. The average crowd for an 1860 Munich game was only about 20,000 so there should be some of the 75,000 capacity spare.

And so it was. We bought the cheapest tickets available, priced at €10.50.

They turned out to be quite a bargain because they were great seats. I'd expected the cheap seats to be up on the roof somewhere but these were just as we walked in, behind the goal near the corner flag. We had a great view.

There was a cracking atmosphere before the game.

It probably helped that the stadium was nearly full and that half of the crowd (if not more) were from Augsburg FC!

As the teams came out, flags were waved and the 1860 supporters on the opposite side all held aloft coloured cards to create their club's emblem, a Black Lion against blue and white.
Once they put the cards down we noticed their banners drapped at the front. One in particular caught the attention as it shouted out "RED BASTARDS!" This may have applied to today's red opposition but I think it's a permanent fixture at 1860 games to let everyone know how they hate Bayern Munich more than any other team!

The game started quite lively with the home team attacking the goal nearest to us. They dominated the play and had a few half chances to score. Midway through the first half the game began to turn and as quite often is the case the referee was mostly responsible. A few poor decisions went against 1860 and you could sense their frustration.

Then on Augsburg's first real foray into the attacking third of the pitch and they only went and bloody scored!

Steve was lucky to be wearing a winter hat that covered his ears. Stood behind him was this werewolf of a man snarling obcenties towards the referee.

He was bellowing at deafening decibels, literally venting his spleen in anger and depositing most of it on the back of Steve's hat.

Football's a funny game but Mr. Wolf failed to see the humorous side and shouted so hard he yelped out a falsetto. (It's always hilarious when that happens!) Embarassed by his feminine outburst he stormed off to retrieve his testicles.

Half time blew with the score at 1-0.

Once the second half started Julie and I went in search of some food but first, before we could buy anything, we had to go in search of a booth to buy a plastic charge card and top it up with a minimum of €10.

We then used the card to pay for our food. Great idea if you're a regular. Crap idea if this is your first and probably only time visiting the Allianz Arena. We still had €3.40 on the card after sharing a slice of pizza which incidentally was the tastiest football grub I'd ever eaten. Sadly their coffee was attrocious.

The game went from bad to worse for 1860 Munich as the ref gave a shocking free kick desicion away. Augsburg scored their second and within five minutes they had scored a third.

Mr. Wolf was off to find himself three little pigs.

This was Sonya's very first football game. It's a shame that it was such a poor game despite the 3-0 scoreline.

The quality of the football was dire.

Five minutes before the end we headed for the exit. I hate those who do that at Old Trafford. Why come to a game and miss the last five minutes, unless you didn't give a shit? Of course we really didn't give a shit about the plight of 1860 Munich so we left with a clear consience.

I suppose it didn't come as much of a surprise either to see the stadium haemorrhaging sky blue. Back at the station we all squeezed onto a downcast train. Miserable 1860 faces stared down to the floor, humiliated by their Bavarian neighbours Augsburg.

I can certainly empathise with their dejection . I'm inconsolable when United lose. It takes me a good few hours,(sometimes days!) to shake off the disappointment.

Back in Marienplatz we surfaced from the U-Bahn just outside a popular Hacker-Pschorr inn called Donisl. We simply had to go inside for a drink. It would have been rude not to.

This was much better than the tea rooms we drank in last night.

No doilys, no lacey tablecloths, no 500 year old staff.

This was more like it!

Sitting down waiting for our order to be taken we looked around and noticed that most of the drinkers in here were in fancy dress. Behind me to the right three lumberjacks and a turnip were indulging in some schnapps and over in the corner Batman appeared to be selling his soul to a horny Devil. But there was something missing, something you'd expect from a room full of people dressed up for fun ... the sound of laughter.

Everyone seemed to share a common glumness. It was as if we were at some fantasy funeral straight from the books of Hans Christian Anderson.

Quite surreal.

It wasn't long before we filled the void and Donisl was soon rolling to the sound of good old fashion laughter from our table. Hoooray!

We stayed for two rounds of hellesbier then moved on. This is when Steve got accosted by an angry local! This radish walked up to him and said something good natured.

"Sorry mate" apologised Steve "but I don't speak German"

This guy took a real offense to this and grabbed Steve's 1860 scarf, threw it his face, muttered words of disgust and walked off in a huff. My God, what a sore loser.

We stepped outside and were surprised to see that the day was rapidly turning into night. We didn't realise that the time was about 5:30pm.

The Fasching festival was fading fast and Marienplatz was by now just littered with the aftermath of the revelry.

It seemed strangely early to call it a day on a big party though?

There were still some stragglers loitering so we decided to stay awhile and soak up what little atmosphere remained. Luckily we just got our drinks order in before the mobile bars packed up for the night.
We were just milling around when a couple called Allan & Lynn from Mansfield came up to us and introduced themsleves. He had noticed my United scarf and our uncharacteric laughter!

They were here for the same reason as we were, to visit the United memorials.

We chatted for quite some time . They were a charming couple.

After reclaiming our €2 per bottle deposit (yes, per bottle!!) back from the bar staff just before they sgidaddled, we ourselves left the nearly empty Marienplatz and headed for our Herzog-Wilhelm Hotel.

Spirits were high and whilst revisiting our childhood talking about a TV program called Pipkins, with such characters as moth eaten Hartley Hare and a knitted chimpanzee called Topoff, we made a tenuous link to Topol from Fiddler On The Roof. Naturally we then burst into a rendition of "If I were a rich man ... yaba yaba yaba yaba yaba doo" Our performance would have been greatly enhanced if we actually knew the words!

By the time we reached our hotel we only had twenty minutes to get ready before catching a taxi back out again.

A few weeks ago I had pre-booked a table at an Italian restaurant.

I had searched the internet for the "best Italian in Munich" and Buon Gusto Talmonti came highly recommended. With it being Fasching I naturally assumed I would need to pre-book because surely every restaurant in the city would have been full tonight.

So it came as a huge surprise that but for one other table Buon Gusto Talmonti was empty.

It had a good ambience but the food was pretty standard.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't bad but just not the inspirational culinary feast I was expecting from somewhere lauded as the "best Italian in Munich". It was mediocre but I am a harsh critic when it comes to Italian food.

After looking for the toilet and mistakenly walking into a cupboard to a chorus of "fantastico" from the head waiter , we all left in search of the world famous Hofbrauhaus.

Now this place is saturated with so much history. Founded as a Royal Brewery in the 16th century it was only officially opened to the public in 1828.

Just under a hundred years later, in 1920 the first meeting of the National Socialist Workers' Party was held and Hitler's rise to power was set in motion.

Fortunately the ghost of the Hofbrauhaus past does not dominate its present.

The moment you walked in its difficult to think of anything else other than the great party atmosphere.

The ground floor area was huge and able to hold a thousand drinkers at one time. Apparently on average 10,000 litres a day are consumed here.

It helps that the beer only comes in litre size jugs except for the Weissbier which they permit you to drink in 500ml portions.

Taking of large jugs, we all expected a traditional drindl dressed buxom wench to deliver our beer but when this proud specimen of male ayran purity turned up we were too embarrassed to correct him when he handed Julie the half size Weissbier and passed the larger lagers to the rest of us.

We discreetly shuffled the girly half pint, passing it over to the retired beermeister Steve, who was uncharacteristaclly feeling the pace.

In his defence he has been on quite a cocktail of tablets to regulate an illness for quite some time now. In fact he takes so much he's like a tube of Smarties on the inside.

Steve then told us that the tablets he laid out for this afternoon's medication had been stolen from his hotel room. That was shocking!!! "If they were looking for a vowel they're going to be very disappointed" he added.

It didn't take him long however to shake off the beer lethargy and was soon back on the barrell.

For the next round he joined us all in the full Hofbrauhaus experience and memories of the unforunate girly Weissbier incident was soon forgotten.

The strains of oompah-pah oompah-pah filled the hall and was the perfect partner to all the chattering and laughter creating a truly fantastic atmosphere.

The more we drank the more we swung to the music.

They call this a big tourist trap but I certainly wouldn't mind being locked-in behind its doors!

Maybe it was the tourist having a blast that made the difference to the bouncing ambience but it wasn't all outsiders, there were a few locals in here.

We could tell they were from around here because their Bavarian roots betrayed them.

With a plume in their hat and sporting leather shorts they were Bayerischer through and through. Or perhaps just outsiders with a lederhosen fetish.

One guy in particular looked as proud as a peacock and was more than happy to be photographed.

I wondered to myself who he was.

Was he by day a mild mannered bank manager from Dresden but by night he dons his lederhosen and goes out yodelling and slapping thighs? Could be!


Another round of large jugs later and my bladder had reached the point of imminent disaster.

Whilst making a dash to the toilet I caught a glimpse out of the corner of my eye my mate the bank manager and was just raising my hand to wave "Hello" when I suddenly had to divert to the top of my head and nonchalantly brush back my hair.

I realised, not a moment too soon, that he was actually just a face printed on a cigarette vending machine.

Whoever he was he must be famous around these parts. Perhaps he gets paid by the Hofbrauhaus to sit there and drink all night!

Another round of what alarmingly looked like what I filled the urinals with, (including the frothy head) and we were well on our way.


Where exactly we were heading we didn't know but before long I found myself chanting "Get 'em off, get 'em off, get 'em off" as one amongst us (who shall remain nameless if not shamless) loosend his belt for a trademark moonie!

When he returned for an encore I inexplicably found myself accompanying him on a backside duet.

It was my first time.

You could tell that it was my debut by the way I nervously bent over, pulled down my trousers and whipped them back up again in a flash. Too quick for the cameras but not too quick for the security staff!


Whilst the "other boyo" had flaunted his arse with the confidence of a pole dancer it was my arse on the line.

I'd sat back down by the time the Gestapo arrived. He stood towering above me wagging his finger with a really stern "you're in trouble" face, ranting off in German. All I heard was "Rhabarber, Rhabarber, Rhabarber, Rhabarber."

For a brief period during his tirade I thought it was all going to end in tears and I'd be dragged away into the back of the child-catcher's van but his lecture came to an end and I was able to stop my pathetic apologising.

We stayed for another hour but the beer was going down a bit slower now and we left around midnight. Steve was ready to call it a day and he headed back to the hotel alone.

The rest of us went in search of a Jazz club on Maximilliansplatz. I don't know who's mad idea it was but we set forth through darkest Munich unaided by map nor any sense.

We were miraculously heading in the right direction when we found ourselves walking past the entrance to Frauenkirche.

We then predictably got hopelessly lost. I had no idea where we were or how we got there.

In the cold day of light, retracing our steps simply by the photographs I took, I still can't work out how we had taken a few wrong turns and ended up in Max Joseph Platz, a few corners from where we had started at the Hofbrauhaus!

Ironically the statue in the middle of this square, (or platz) was Maximillian I, so technically it was Maximillian's platz. No Jazz club here though.

"Do you know where we are?" asked Julie.

"Yes, of course, follow me" I said. "Where the hell are we?" said the little voice in my head.

At least on my magical mystical walking tour we got to see the impressive neo-classical front of the National Theatre. Sadly the merits of the architectural wonders we saw on our journey were lost on us.

We bumped into fellow nocturnal wanderers who were also looking for some nightlife. They were German but from out of town. I told them that we looking for this Jazz club but probably the best place for nightlife would be up Schwabing way. Well what I actually said was "Yah, vee slooking fur eh Jizz klob".

Isn't the brain a curious thing. You don't appreciate how drunk you are until you attempt to string a sentence together. The voice inside your head is perfectly coherent but the word's have difficulty in reaching your mouth and when they do they find you're tongue's asleep.

We must then have walked up Residenzstrasse because the next photograph, after one of the pavement, was the statues and arches of Feldherrnhalle.

This was the original site of Schwabinger Tor, the northern gates out of the city. We were in danger of heading towards the Schwabing district in search of what we all had began to call a "Jizz club". I think we're fortunate we didn't find it!

We soon agreed that flagging down a taxi to take us home would be a clever idea. After stopping a taxi in its tracks I sadly I forgot the clever bit.

As the taxi drove off without us I said "He can't take us, he's only got room for four."

We resigned ourselves to countinuing on our march. Then Sonya said "Colin, isn't there only four of us?"


"You idiot!" Julie added "There ARE only four of us! Steve left us an hour ago!"

How stupid did I feel?! I was so gutted.

We were now hanging on by a thread, dragging our feet in random directions.

My intelligence had taken a severe knock but it was instantly lifted by a sign on the post I was leaning on. It said Maximiliansplatz. Well, I almost fell over with glee.

"Hey, we've found it !!" I felt clever once again.

Now that we had found what we were looking for, none of us were really in the mood for Jazz club nor Jizz klob nor any other type of bar. We just wanted to get back to our hotel.

Within a minute Julie had flung herself in front of a taxi and this time I asked with confidence if he could take "vier personnen" to "Herzog-Wilhelm strasse".

The driver nodded and in we got. His name was Jan, he was from Iran and he was a really nice man. It was with huge relief we saw the lights of our hotel draw nearer.

We thanked Jan from Iran for bringing us home safely and headed for bed. Which was the clever thing to do.

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