Trip Start Apr 25, 2006
Trip End Apr 25, 2007

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Flag of Germany  ,
Thursday, June 29, 2006

Bamberg almost killed us.

Being our final stop before returning Vinnie to the campervan rental place, you would perhaps be inclined to think that we would relax and take it easy for a few days. However, that relies on the assumption of us being intelligent in some way and not rampaging lunatics instead.

Our first mistake was to arrive in Bamberg after midnight, and thinking that we didn't need a road map because after all it was just a quaint little town. We pointed Vinnie towards "Zentrum" (Central) and quickly discovered the charms of the town are best not discovered in a massive campervan. After a couple of hours of navigating narrow streets, performing elaborate U-turns, experiencing various near-misses and getting a complimentary massage from the endless cobblestones, morale was at an all time low and it became evident somebody would be killed soon. Fortunately we got the hell out of there and found a suitable parking place before armageddon, helped in no small way by some random cute locals who just happened to be strolling around in the middle of the night. They conceded that their town was indeed the most confusing town on the face of the planet.

Given that we arrived a little too late to check into the campingplatz (lit. camping place), we did it first thing the next day and were rewarded with hot showers. These were "choose-your-own-adventure" showers, meaning that not only did they have hot & cold taps (a rarity), but they also were free and didn't have a stupid timing mechanism that requires you to press a friggin' button every 30 seconds to turn the water back on. Brilliant. Pretty overcast and raining a little, we deemed day 2 would be for daytime relaxing and nighttime partying.

For some reason buses weren't running, so we had to call a taxi to get into town later that night. We went to a cafe for a caffeine injection and quickly learned that they also did cocktails which was our starting point. We also learned from the waitress that of the two nightclubs in Bamberg she suggested trying Morph Club. We still had a few hours to kill, so found an Irish Pub with 1 euro shots and as you can imagine it was all over for us. We did eventually make it to Morph, and I managed to get us in for free (normal door charge 2 euros) on the basis that we were hilarious Aussies and not one of the Americans that seem to plague this town. Even more hilarious was that there seemed to be a "Bollywood Night" going on, with all sorts of crazy music and even crazier accompanying dancing.

Day 3 did not get off to a flying start. We were all feeling a little average, and didn't really surface until afternoon. However, there was World Cup to watch so we had to get to a pub. Fortunately Snags had chatted up a chick the previous night and had done the groundwork for organising her to pick us up and give us a lift into the city. He made the call, and after some fancy parking by her we were at a biergarten (beer garden). I was keen to have just a glass of tap water, but apparently this was a foreign concept at said bar, and they insisted I buy their crappy mineral water. I went to the bathroom and just filled my glass up from the tap there. Snags bought me a free beer after foolishly betting me to slide down the kiddy slide. I'm serious - best bet ever! Germany had a lucky escape via a penalty shootout, and later in the day we watched Italy dominate Ukraine 3-0 in some cafe on the main street. We "forgot" to pay the bill, instead preferring to leg it down the street.

Day 4 in Bamberg and it doesn't seem to be getting any better here. We scoured the town for a bloody internet cafe and came up empty handed. What sort of a backwards joint is this? I then had the worst meal (so far) for lunch. It will be a strong contender for "Worst Meal of Journey" later at the awards ceremonies. I thought I was getting a "Kick Football" meal, which LOOKED like a burger with fries and drink. In reality, it was some stale bread containing a circular piece of rubber with a sprinkling of brown lettuce... all of which was then lathered in sickly BBQ sauce AND mayonnaise. Mark then attempted to trounce this travesty by ordering sweet & sour pork noodles at an alleged Chinese restaurant and instead receiving spaghetti. I won't repeat the colourful terms he used, but let's just say it was along the lines of "I'm outraged" and "They should be f#$%ing ashamed!".

I must confess that from that point on my time spent in Bamberg gets a little sketchy. I know that at some stage that night we went to the other club and a whole range of pubs, one of which was the American servicemen stronghold of the town. We entertained ourselves for hours by taking the piss, while all these dumbass soldiers took turns in the ultimate test of manhood - lifting Snags off the ground. They were so laughably lame, but hardly worth the trouble once they began getting agitated by my abilities at the pool table. Apparently it was "their table" even if they lost. Then, while the smart folk went off to bed when the sun came up, I instead went off with some Irish girls to their apartment to continue drinking and being silly. At some stage I switched to autopilot in order to get home by around 10am, but I was then unconscious in the van for the rest of the day as we made our way back to Munich.
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