Arriving in Munich, we wander around the Hauptbahnhof before our 17:54 Salzburg departure, stumbling into an assortment of ghetto eateries (for the booze). What is it about train stations and their surrounding streets that attracts the oddballs and the riff-raff? I’ve never felt entirely safe sparking up a ciggy near a railway. One is invariably sniffed by the local hyenas wishing to devour their carcass of tobacco. We escape a verbose gentleman in green dungarees and find our seats on the train. When I finally conduct my Trans-Siberian Express jaunt, I wish it to be just like this, but with several suitcases filled to the brim with liquor.
The delights of Salzburg. They have some cracking pubs – notably Alchimiste Belge – and a fag machine. And a SPAR selling Bacardi Breezers. What more could one want in a city? Oh, and a born-again Christian outside a nightclub gave me a book about God and things. I endowed it to the hotel for a lucky person to devour.
The wee Sunday market left the most memorable impression. Tiptoeing from stall to stall with a beer in each pocket, I got the sense that I was somehow intruding upon this idyllic community gathering. They all appeared so happy and thoughtful, like this was the day to take stock of the week’s events and indulge in a little R&R. There’s an ersatz ‘German Market’ back home in Edinburgh – it mostly consists of teenagers in tracksuits being very loud. No comparison, really.
A spot of Apocalypse: The Second World War (2009) and a Jägermeister chaser performed their noble role as Room 304’s pre-eminent hangover cure. The hotel were showing The Sound of Music (1965) on a loop, but it’s just not graphic enough for my sensibilities. Julie Andrews doesn’t do it for me; I need proper carnage.
Driving to Hitler’s notorious crib above Berchtesgaden and peering up awestruck at its twin delights of the Berghof and the Eagle’s Nest and all the tumultuous, tragic history that was made here, left me with a sense of being quite insignificant. The overwhelming splendour of the milieu merely magnified the feeling that I was an ant ripe for a trampling.
By the time we reach Munich and go our separate ways after a few more drinky-poos, I’m content to conk out on my bed as Richard Wagner emanates from a tacky Bluetooth speaker. I wake up in darkness and feel my way around the room, realising I’m in Munich and not a lucid dream three minutes into this escapade. I crawl to the shower, then luxuriate in another cheeky nap, and depart at the first sound of a cleaning lady (I presume) patrolling the corridor. In the railway station I get visions of an anthropomorphic dog in a leg-cast playing Daft Punk’s “Da Funk” from a boombox. I don’t know why.