Our shuttle was organised for 5:30am. At 3:48, Tom, Dick or Harry (idiots don’t deserve real names) messaged to let us know that he would be there at 5:30- Seriously? Well so much for that extra ninety-two minutes of precious sleep. We were in for a long day.
Check-in was uneventful as was our flight to Hong Kong. Our layover was five hours and although we had a shower and were able to stretch out and chill in the airport lounge, the early start was really beginning to tell.
Apparently, Munich has a 5am curfew. You would think, Lufthansa, the national carrier, might know about this. So, get 544 people on a plane at 11 at night and then keep them couped up for thirty minutes before take-off. Our flight to Munich would be 11 hours and 10 minutes.
Of course, there is the feeding ritual that accompanies an international flight. This takes place about an hour and a half into the flight. Given we are now leaving at 11:30 and will be fed at 1 am and given that there is a two hour difference between Hong Kong and Brisbane, that makes it 3am my time and given that some dickhead rang at 3:48am and considering I do lack of sleep very badly – you could safely say this was not my greatest travel moment.
There is not much that can be done about this. Even in premium economy it is poor form to recline the seat until the plates are cleared. One day we’ll throw caution to the wind and upgrade but until then – well I have to swallow the Valium and my pride and try to get as much sleep as possible in the next seven and a half hours as of course we all need to be fed two hours before we arrive in Munich at 5 am!!
Seriously, I’m thinking of alternatives – maybe sailing to Europe!
Arrival at Munich airport goes without a hitch. We get the train to the baggage collection (yes the train) and to our surprise, there is yet another glitch in that well-oiled German machine. It wasn’t serious. The information screen announced that our bags would arrive at carousel 13 but in fact the horrified and embarrassed announcer declared it would be number 20. It was OK, no one was hurt!
From the airport we got on the wrong train but fortunately it was going in the right direction, so it was a simple change of platforms and we were bound for the city.
Next, Jenbach. Our final destination was Pertisau but we had been informed that Jenbach was a larger town and most probably the best place to buy a phone sim.
I had been online and knew exactly where to go. It would be a 600m walk into town and I had the map in my head. Unfortunately, my head map was level. There was no consideration for topography. Oh dear! We’re in the Austrian Alps. There could be hills.
We ventured up and down some serious hills accompanied by our protesting luggage until eventually found the T- mobile shop. What I didn’t allow for was the fact that we were a bit off grid and so the salespeople are about as fluent in English as I am in German. No luck with the sim.
Next, the bus ticket. John bought it, lost it, begged for a reissue – to no avail – and found it all within five minutes. We were tired. Everything becomes a potential disaster. Next issue – we needed to know where to get off. John showed the driver the booking form which I had so cleverly (read- accidently) printed in German. He mumbled something and John turned to me and said, ‘A place starting with M’. I looked at my partner with consternation and a complete look of distain. Right…a place starting with M.
He recognised it. Of course…Marxenhof…OK I’m not visual. We disembarked. Now what. Oh right. Turn around. Hotel Central. Of course…simple…we have arrived.