I've just got back from the most perfect getaway adventure: a week in a small town just outside Munich with one of my best friends, Fiona Potter (or barefootfiona to the virtual world) We had an amazing time eating lots of great food, swimming in lakes, speaking 'tons of Deutsch, planning our lives, listening to inspiring music and soaking up the bavarian sun. I've returned to Bracknell, rather unwillingly, but generally happier and healthier in body and in mind. Here are a few extracts from my holiday journal with photos :-) Enjoy!
Day 1 - So today we learnt a lesson which I'll affectionately recall as 'Die Katastrophe du fromage'. We went a bit crazy in the Supermarkt and bought Bergkase - are really strong, mountain smelling cheese. Now it tasted INCREDIBLE, but we being silly naive teenage girls placed the leftovers in my bag, then decided to go swimming leaving the STRONG smelling mountain cheese to swelter and expand in my belovedblack leather shopper. Basically, all my possessions reek of Bergkase (disclaimer: my preciousNew Yorker bore the brunt of the cheese eruption but my camera and my i-pod were not entirely exempt from this cheese reeking epidemic either.) It's disgusting.
Just woke-up, it's about 3am. The scorching, stinging pain of my sunburn has forced me out of the attic bedroom and into a hammock - I'm in absolute agony! I can't shove the pain killers down my throat fast enough!

Day 2 - Today we visited the town of Grafing (aka Fiona's childhood). It was a bit like a Bavarian version of Lintorf (the town I lived in 2000-2002) so both of us were submerged in nostalgia. Potter got us hideously lost as we trecked around the town in the midday heat (this did wonders for my sunburn!) We eventually found the Freibad (outdoor swimming pool) and after failing to swim more than 10 lengths, decided to hanging off the metal bridge and siding down the children's slide.

The highlight of the day was definitely Kaffee und Kuchen with Muhme, Fiona's 90-year old grandmother. She's the most inspiring old lady I have ever met. She has that air, that presence of someone who has an impact on everybody she meets. I mean, a photographer once stopped her in the street and told her she had the most beautiful face and that she had to let him take some professional photos of her. How awesome is that!?

I also met Fiona's brother Niel who is basically a male version of me. Awesome. The amount of multilingual word vomit escaping our mouths about Italy, film and theatre was, in a word, revolting. He also showed incessant (bordering on annoying!) pity concerning my allergies. Every time my eyes watered or cake was put on the table he turned to me and said 'ELLIE your life must be SO HARD. NO WHEAT!? How will you EVER survive in Italy!?'

Day 3 - Too hot to be tourists in Munich. I hate being a tourist in Germany, it seems so unnatural. Anyway, we were chased screaming out of the Stadtmuseum by a creepy mechanical clown in the Oktoberfest exhibition (much to the amusement of the staff!) then stumbled into the Englishe Garten like overheated zombies and decided to do as the Germans do and go swimming in the river - we made sure our underwear stayed dry! I then whipped out my new H&M dress and attempted to speed-dry my leggings by spinning round and round like Pippi-Longstocking in the weird american remake. So fun.

Another mission was to find my Birkenstocks, a mission which, unfortunately, didn't result in any success despite searching frantically through about twenty shoe shops. Guess I'll have to settle for the bright-green ones that are waiting for me back home (gotta love mothers, right?!)

Day 4 - We went into the mountains, decided not to hike because it was 35 degrees, so sat in the shade trying to avoid the naked men running in to the water, ate ice-cream, sweltered and then jumped into a freezing cold lake. Awesome.

Day 5 - Back to Grafing to make the most of the previous day's Bayern-Train-Ticket. We used the freibad (I swam MORE than 10 lengths and jumped off the top diving board *proud face*) then Niel treated us to yogurt ice-cream (YUM!) and earned the name 'Mucke-Junge' (Mosquito Boy) because he was so good at scaring away all the nasty insects trying to eat us alive as we walked through the 'biggest forest in Europe' (according to Niel!) It was absolutely tiny. Doofus. We then met up with Muhme and had MORE ice-cream at the Gasthaus am Schloss (basically a pub by a castle). She showed us an Eidelweiss flower she had pressed and told us that they used to only grow in mountain caves and so were seen as a symbol of love because the lover would have to go so far to fetch it. Yes I did want to burst into song when she said the world 'Eidelweiss'. On return to Seefeld we grabbed bikes and cycled to the lake to watch the sunset on the pier. GORGEOUS.

Day 6 - Woke up ridiculously late. Caught up on some reading. Had Kaffee und Kuchen with our hostfamily and a discussion, in german, about the impact of linguistics on society and history (yeaaah mate!) Potter and I then caught a late train into Munich, had dinner at one of the oldest restaurants in the city, were served by an Italian who spoke german with a bavarian accent and then successfully pinched two coasters (aren't we outrageous!?) We then stumbled upon this gem of a cafe with little balcony seats for two over looking a gorgeous fountain. I ordered an Espresso, Fio-Fio ordered an non-alcoholic cocktail and we sat there watching the sunset and enjoyed our new found sophistication. The perfect end to the holiday.

Our Playlist:
Regina Spektor - On The Radio/Fidelity
Dixie Chicks - Cowboy take me away
Joni Mitchell -
Eros Ramazzotti - La Sombra Del Gigante
Simple Plan - Take My Hand
John Mayer - In Your Atmosphere
Taylor Swift - Our Song
Terra Naomi - Say it's possible

Authentic Brecht poster
2 Newspapers
Der Spiegel (left-wing magazine)
Spring Awakening - Frank Wiederkind (in German)
The Manifesto of the Communist Party - Karl Marx/Friedrich Engels (in German)
2 copies of german Glamour
A stolen coaster
A cloth bag with old german print

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