Paris to Munich

Friday, May 26th 2000

When I went to sleep I was the only person in my carriage, but when I woke up I was surrounded by commuters, who looked as if they felt far too respectable to be sharing a carriage with a shabby backpacker. After a 10 hour journey, we arrived exactly on time at M√ľnchen Hauptbahnhof.

I headed for the Englischer Garten, a huge park stretching along the east side of the city. There was a sudden heavy rainshower when I arrived and I hung around under cover in the Hofgarten. Eventually, the rain stopped and the sun came out, and a Ukrainian violinist appeared. He began tuning up. After a few minutes of scratchy unpleasant noise, he stopped, paused, and began again. I realised he was actually playing a tune, and left quickly.

I sat in the park in the evening sunshine. There was a group of percussionists playing nearby, and I could hear a brass band playing somewhere further away. I wandered off towards the sound of the music. It turned out to be a traditional Bavarian band playing, all in lederhosen and silly hats.

I stayed in the park until it was almost dark, and then wandered back into the city via grand streets lined with grand buildings.

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