March 11, 2006

der tannenbad!

My train ride to Munich was beautiful, but dismal. There were no seats available in non-smoking, so I took a smoking section one. Ugh. After four hours I asked a conductor if he had empty seats in non-smoking that I could move to and he said it was fine. I probably could have done that hours ago. Sometimes I'm too timid for my own good.

I cannot believe the amount of smoking in Europe. It seems that almost everyone smokes. Everywhere. Also very common is that people roll their own cigarettes. And many people don't just smoke one here and there, but its almost continuous. There just seems something odd to look at good-looking young people and then see them light up and know that they probably won't have a full life.

Okay, enough of my soapbox. The scenery was beautiful, see for yourself. (But I smell like an ashtray!)

Oops - more to bitch about. I got to Munich, got to my hotel and checked in. Not the cleanest, but who cares. Naturally, I have posts to post. Keep in mind that I have made an effort to always book hotels that have internet access. I try to log on - no can do. I call the receptionist who says 'well the only way is to try to use the phone line.' That's their internet service that they advertise online?? I try for a couple hours and give up. The phone won't hold the connection. In the meantime, I realize that it isn't just being silly about not being able to post and look info up online, but I actually (shameful as it may be) am tied to the internet for this trip. Because I wasn't able to research in advance, I research and book each location from the one before it, not to mention advice, maps, and whatever else I can find. And Venice isn't a stop that I want to have to just rely on a guidebook for.

So off I go wandering in hopes of finding one of the other hotel choices that I didn't book. Without a lot of luck, I find an internet lounge and grab a coffee and sandwich and online time there. Turns out I'm about a block from the hotel I was looking for. I book it and wander over. Nothing fancy, but clean, nice, very friendly and free internet. And a U-bahn/S-bahn stop in front of the door. Which also happens to be the train station I arrived at. Oh well.

I subway back to my first hotel and check out, hoping the guy will be nice and say "you've only been here a few hours, I can't charge you." Instead I get "I still have to charge you the full weekend that you reserved. The room is lost to us." I only booked it a few hours ago before I left Berlin! I remind him that I would have stayed if the room was as advertised... I walk out paying for half the stay. And vow to tell everyone in the world never to stay at Der Tannenbaum. Got it? Der Tannenbaum - BAD! By the time I get back to Hotelissimo (good!), its past midnight.

I guess every vacation needs a day where everything just sucks. That was mine. Luckily, Munich has been awesome since then. So much to post..but that will have to wait!

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