Sunday 1st

I boarded the coach here for Heathrow at 10.30am. Really early- my flight didn’t go till 16.00 but National Express advised large amounts of leeway in case of traffic. Net result- I end up sitting in departures for 3 hours reading the Iliad and being talked to by crazy Aussie guys who are heading to Norway to experience Husky Sledding!

The flight was good- clear skies all the way so a good view of the city. I hadn’t realised this part of the world was so flat- last summer I was in Italy and the flight out and back both crossed the Alps. The landscape, even from so high up, was very different.

I met up with MarkD in baggage reclaim and we headed off with our limited German into the early evening to find food and our respective beds. After sausage and chips, German street-food style (and very tasty!) we headed off our respective ways on the U-Bahn.

When I finally arrived at my hostel (a good way out of the city centre but really close to the conference centre), the office was shut and there were some instructions (in German) and some keys. A middle aged couple (who I later discovered were from Munich) helped me summon up the night-porter-type-person who got me a room for the night sorted out and in his limited English managed to tell me reception would fix at nine the next morning. The couple from Munich spoke no English but still managed to realise that I needed help, and summon it for me! I was so grateful and felt awful that I couldn’t thank them properly.

I went to bed…

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