So, last night.
We got to the Hofbrauhaus to find it in its usual state, absolutely rammed. We share a table with a guy wearing what looks like traditional dress. He was still in there from lunchtime when we had gone in for a quick look around the place.
I must admit my first impressions were not good. Sure, it is a massive traditional bierhaus with oompah band and everything, but is just seems a bit like a Disney-style mock up. This is largely due to the masses of tourists (yes, like us) streaming in and taking pictures and/or videoing everything in sight.
I say to Louise ‘one beer and we go’. It is amazing how a litre of beer can change your perspective.
We get chatting to the now three German guys in traditional gear on our table; one in a garish outfit covered in animal skulls and bones. He is attracting a lot of attention and did appear to be extracting rather a lot of kisses from those wanting photos with him. He didn’t get one from me.
We also have a lot of fun watching a group of Chinese ladies trying to eat pork knuckle without knives and forks until someone spoiled the fun and gave them some.
So more beer is ordered and we continue to chat to our new German friends and the band ratchets up the sound. This is now fun.
So more beer is ordered, we dance to the music and chat to our new Spanish friends who have now replaced the Chinese group on our table.
So more beer is ordered……..
Somehow we manage to get up on time. We make our way to the bus station for our two-hour coach trip back to Regensburg.
As the Flixbus is going on to Berlin it is busy. We approach the queue in the manner we have learnt from our time in Germany; barge to the front.
Joking aside, we have found the general manner of the German public difficult to get used to. I don’t mean in direct conversation as, apart from the odd train conductor, we have found the German people very nice and helpful. We have noticed, however, that in crowds or busy streets, people will not move out of the way for you or they will cut in front of you or walk/barge between you if you are walking too slowly. In a lift, for example, no one will move out of the way to let you out; you just have to barge. It is the same with any kind of queueing; every man for himself.
At first we would react with indignation every time this happened but you soon have to get with the programme. I asked my brother about this when we were in Frankfurt and he confirmed that this is simply how it is; he had no explanation other than it is just a culture thing.
We have now been in Germany over a month and have acclimatised to all but the most extreme examples of this. I can’t wait to barge my way through King Street when we get home; it will probably make the JEP.
We get back to Regensburg and get a few chores done; Louise has her hair done whilst I tackle the washing. I think I drew the short straw.
We mooch into Regensburg for some food and discuss the next stages of the journey. Tomorrow’s target of Straubing is about 55k away, so we se if there is anywhere worth stopping on the way. There may be one or two options but it is difficult to decide, particularly regarding the availability of hotels. We settle on the usual tactic of setting out to see how we feel and taking a decision en route. This has worked well in the past, though we do run the risk of not finding anywhere to stay. It is now near high season and towns and villages are getting fuller, particularly as we are informed that many Germans have gone for a staycation this year.
On the back of a fag packet, I have worked out it will take something like 25 days to cycle all the way to Budapest. We have never intended to cycle all the way, but there are some places we definitely want to see. We agree that we will need set a date as to when we want to get to Budapest and then work to that. We don’t go as far as setting the date though.
We also briefly discuss what we do after Budapest, which we have given no serious consideration to at all. We discuss options we may have, including getting transported direct to Spain or even with brief stop at home in between. We put it in the ‘too difficult’ box for now, but we will need to formulate a plan at some point.
After lunch, we half-heartedly take a stroll around Regensburg, one of the best medieval cities in Germany. To be honest, we don’t do it any justice whatsoever; it is very hot and we are tired so we just aimlessly walk around. We opt for a rest in the hope we will have the energy later.
Tomorrow, rejuvenated, we ride again!