We're going to Munich today. Jerry has an old University friend
living in the suburbs of the city and they've kindly arranged rooms at
a local hotel they recommend. We're not quite going straight there but
Another breakfast in the room with the antlers
but this time with added glances across the river at Hitler's private entrance
to the railway station. Both are infused with the general creepiness of
this place. Chocolate box town on the outside, crawling with a maggoty
past if you look just that little bit harder. Fair makes you shudder.
We settle the bill and saddle up nice & early for the trip to
collect my new kit. I say "nice and early", actually we leave at a
shred after 8 o'clock and I don't think this entirely suits Jerry. He's
not that keen on starts that early. Not 'cos he can't do 'em - far from
it. He just doesn't think 6 o'clock is a reasonable time to get up when
you don't have to. I. on the other hand, think 7 o'clock is an
incredible lie in. Thankfully the Capo hasn't sunk into the gravel
over-night so I wobble off up the ramp and we set off for the BMW
dealership of much efficiency.
We arrive at 8:30 ish and they're already open. My suit has arrived and
the smiling Austrian chap leads me off to the person who is to prepare
my bill. Who leads me to the person who will present me with my bill.
Who introduces me to the Nice Lady that will allow me to pay my bill,
all the while giving off a faint air of disgust at this whole financial
business. Its a fab combination of 2005 and 1925 :)
The new kit of much German efficiency comes in a pair of boxes. Each
item has a suit protector. Crikey. My office suits didn't come this
well looked after. Mind you they were about half the price... The boxes
get packed away and we set off for Munich.
There aren't any good looking roads around here as far as we could tell
from the maps when doing our planning. Besides, we've a goodly number
of miles to do over the next few days and besides there being several
places we want to see, there's a fixed deadline at the Maginot Line at
the weekend - its open this Sunday and not again for a month. We jump
onto the A8 and despite it being somewhat dull (the road and the
weather - its drizzling again at first) we make a good pace.
The A8 takes up past the Chiemsee
lake, which is absolutely lovely. It just appears between the trees
to the right of the road as we go past, flickering in and out of view.
We approach Munich.
Its not lovely. In fact once we're inside the A99 (the Munich version
of the M25, I think) the city appears to mainly be under construction.
I am blithely bimbling along (can you bimble at 80?) thinking "hello
trees, hello flowers, hello crane, hello concrete dust" when Jerry
shoots past me and heads for the next off ramp. OK. I can do the
following thing again. We off, round and ride over the autobahn and
into... an large construction area. And the road we're on is not the
way in. It just sort of ends. Turns out Jerry's in need of fuel and the
GPS had shown one as being here. Drat those pesky Munichians!
We're virtually at the end of the autobahn anyhow so I promise to pull
into the first one I see. This turns out to be a tiny two-pump affair
on a side street being run by a chap of at least 130 years of age. By
now its rather hot and he dodders over to us looking as though he's
going to melt in the sun any second. Jerry asks if he takes credit
cards. -Blank- comes the reply. Jerry waves a card at the man. -Blank-.
This is actually quite important as we don't have almost any cash on
us. We bugger off toute sweet leaving the poor old sod looking well
In our meander across town to the Bavarian
Film Studios (for that is where we are going), we see a proper,
modern looking petrol station and pull in there. Hurrah! Just a mile or
so later and we're at the Studios. There's no really obvious entrance
for visitors and no shade on the car park at all. We put the bikes up
by a fence & toddle off towards what is probably the way in. Signs
would be helpful but are positively shouting out their absence. Perhaps
there are discreet German signs that we're missing, I dunno.
We go to what looks like the main entrance to the studios, which it is.
There's a museum with trips and sets and things but we can't see a
sign of it until we realise there's a box office. They sell us
tickets and direct us to go "immediately" to the next building for the
special show. Turns out to be a rather excellent demonstration of
special effects and stunt work, regrettably narrated 100% in German.
Nevertheless, it was still perfectly comprehensible and worth seeing. I
took several pictures. They came out really crap. Poo :(
Back to the main entrance for the guided tour and Hurrah! there's one
with an English speaking guide in a few moments. This turns out to be
the most sullen and uninterested young woman. She took us through a
dingy looking street set and then a
terrible sci-fi set where she proceeded to master her disinterest just
enough to get the kids in our small group to make a few moves and say a
few lines so that they could see how TV is made. After that a quick
walk through old Asterix sets and on to the whole reason we were there:
the sets of
Das Boot. Actually, there's very little of it there, considering
how much must have been built. Still, the torpedo (which is really long) is a good start. We
walk to the back of the long grey tunnel and enter through a small
door. It shuts behind us and suddenly we're in the forward torpedo room.
Very atmospheric. Very claustrophobic.
We let the irritating guide go away with the other members of the tour
& start to slowly walk forward. The head isn't overly
inviting. Betcha they didn't take a book in there. Jerry practices crash dives
but can't quite keep a straight face so instead he torpedoes a helpless
merchantman. Or something. I glance up at the way up and out through
the conning tower. Somehow it looks too small. Walking past the galley and
playing crash-dive by the bunks really only
reinforces how small the space they had to live and die in. I don't
envy these men at all.
are massive - how noisy was it in here when they were running at full
tilt? Mind you, at least there were oranges. For a while.
Walk past the engines and the set ends at torpedo tubes, dials and,
incongruously, a door. We go through the
door and there's no one there. The group has gone. I have me go at
Kapitain Kater and then we wander over towards the exit. Late lunch
ends up being a McDonalds (yuk) and then we set off to Jerry's mate's
house. He has a set of instructions written down that take us across
Munich to the suburb of Grafelfing
and book into a rather nice (if slightly odd) hotel they arranged a
room for us to stay in.
We walk down the stairs past the rather peculiar lobby ornament &
Jerry freaks: "Was that there when we came in?" It was indeed. Somehow
he'd managed to miss it.
Off down the road to see Wayne and his German wife Petra. They met when
at university (in the UK) which is also where they became friends with
Jerry. What a splendid couple. Wayne is Terribly Clever and doing
something in (I think) biochemistry. He explained and I looked terribly
interested (and I was) while I hoped he couldn't hear the whooshing
noise as it all went over my head due to my tiny brayne. His splendid
wife Petra made a delicious meal and was good humoured
enough to call out "achtung, Spitfire!" as she brought it in. Ice-breaker
So we talked some bollocks and drank some drinkies and then toddled off
home for a night of much sleepiness in the hotel with the bacon slicer
in the lobby.
Mapsource .gdb file of track