In early February I decided to take a last minute trip to Germany to visit some good friends who I have not seen in a number of years.
Booking a major trip five days before leaving is completely opposite to my usual modus operandi, but things fell into place really well and I saw myself flying from Sydney to Munich via Abu Dhabi on a Thursday afternoon in early February.
I was last in Germany a little under two years ago and I have such great friends there that I simply had to go back. It’s a long way from Sydney and there are no “easy” ways to get there. On my last trip I flew with Etihad and had a good trip up, but a bad trip back. While there were other airlines who offered trips with similar flight lengths and prices I ended up flying on Etihad again as they had the best arrival time into Munich (mid-afternoon).
The first flight, 14.5 hours from Sydney to Abu Dhabi went well. It is a very very very long flight, and despite having done a few of these ultra long-haul flights now one still gets restless over the final few hours. I had been dreading spending the layover in Abu Dhabi after a bad experience there two years ago, but this time we arrived at a different terminal which was super clean and the three hour layover went relatively quickly.
To get to the plane for the second leg to Munich we had to board a bus which gave a good tour around a number of terminals (you really don’t realise the size of 777 and A380 planes until you’re on a bus below them). Finally, we climbed up the stairs onto our A340 to Munich.
The flight to Munich was brilliant, the conditions for flying were perfect with completely blue sky and completely smooth air. The plane flew over the top of the Zagros mountains between Iraq and Iran which were breathtaking and then landing into Munich we went over parts of the Alps where there are mountains as far as the eye can see.
Upon arriving in Munich I caught the S-Bahn into the city (I must have looked like a complete clown to the locals as I was so excited about snow on the ground that I was taking photos of paddocks covered in snow out the window along the way).
As it was still mid-afternoon when I arrived my friends whom I was to stay with were still working. So I placed my bag into storage at the central station, brought a Bratwurst like a local and headed to the Isar River which I didn’t see last time I was here.
Going from 30c in Sydney to -3c in Munich in 24 hours is a good shock to the system. Doing it without a beanie is just dumb. Therefore I am dumb. But alas I walked around and down a few kilometers of the Isar and then got lost in city.
I managed to find the Vikualienmarkt, the Glockenspiel and then a church (Bürgersaalkirche) where you walk into the area underneath it before going upstairs to see the main area.
Finally, I headed to my friend’s house where I had a light dinner and fell to sleep very early full of excitement and jetlag.