Thursday, September 19, 2013

Oktoberfest Trip Report Day 1

We arrived early to the airport and had time to relax before our 6:10 pm departure for Munich. We kept an eye on the departure screens and our flight stayed scheduled on time with boarding starting at 5:20pm.  Boarding began promptly and we were seated on the plane by 5:30. We had good economy-plus seats with lots of extra legroom right behind the bulkhead separating business class. Everything was looking good until the lightning started. We were delayed for takeoff, then delayed again, and then again. The whole time we were sitting on the plane at the gate. We didn't push back from the gate until about 8:30, and it was 8:50 before we were in the air. The delay was an annoyance, but didn't really impact our trip. At least we were not one of the many who missed connections in Munich Thursday morning.

We arrived in Munich about noon on Thursday where clearing passport control and customs (what customs?) was a breeze. Stopped at Starbucks for some coffee, tea, and an inferior croissant, then picked up the rental car.  After finding our car we struggled with the in-dash information system trying to figure out how to get it switched to English and program the GPS.  After a while of struggling on my own I found a Sixt agent in the garage and asked for help. She got the language switched for me, then told me the car did not have a navigation system, even though I had reserved and paid for one that did. She asked if I wanted a portable GPS and I accepted that.

When you get your car keys from the Sixt counter at Munich airport, they give you an exit ticket to get out of the parking garage. When I tried to leave I discovered we had delayed so long with the GPS issues that my exit ticket had expired and the gate would not open. I pressed the call button and was told I had to go back to my rental agent and get a new ticket. They couldn't (or wouldn't) just open the gate. Fortunately I was able to obtain one from the same helpful agent in the garage that assisted me with the GPS and didn't have to go all the way back to the rental counter.

We enjoyed the scenic drive from Munich to Innsbruck. At first we had some doubts that the GPS was working properly as its directions didn't seem to coincide with the road signs I was following to get to Innsbruck, but ultimately it seemed to sync up and work. However, it seems to go into some kind of sleep mode where the screen blanks out. I don't think it's supposed to do that.

After checking in here in Innsbruck we went for a walk through a nice nearby park and then over to the city center where we saw the famed Golden Roof. We window shopped along Herzog-Friedrich Strasse and had some wine and a bite to eat at an outdoor cafe on Maria-Theresien Strasse, where we were entertained by a singer/piano player. It was very pleasant although it got quite cool cold after sunset.

We went back to the hotel restaurant for dinner and more wine. Janet had some spinach dumplings that she said were very good and I had roast beef & vegetables.

Tomorrow we have a several hours drive to Grindelwald Switzerland.

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