I've finally reached Regensburg and will be based out of here for the next 2 months. Haven't yet managed to check into my room yet as a friend of mine is going to show up with the keys in a few hours at the train station so I'm at the train station just killing time. Today is the last day I'll lug around my heavy backpack, some books and papers and my laptop as I'll either junk the laptop and papers once I'm done with my lectures or mail it to London.
The last 4 days went by in a bit of a blur. I spent 2 days in Salzburg, which is a beautiful small town in a very pretty location but also very touristy and boring. It's the home of Mozart and Red Bull and since it's Mozart's 250th anniversary the town is full of Mozart memorabillia, posters, etc. I spent a day walking all over the town and exploring the beautiful castle which overlooks the city. Apart from sightseeing there isn't too much else to do and by the evening it's a ghost town. The liveliest and cheapest place in town was actually the hostel I was staying in. Took lots of pictures and soon I'll update my blog with links to the pictures I've taken for the last few months.
Also went hiking in Unterzberg, about an hour outside Salzburg. It was a nice break from the crowds in Salzburg and the views were amazing. Had to change a couple of buses to get there but spent most of the day hiking without seeing a soul. Till I got to the top where a bunch of people had taken a cable car. The top of the mountain is a great place. On one side one see into the Austrian Alps (though it was covered by clouds mostly) and on the other side, one can look over the whole Salzburg valley.
On Friday, I reached Munich and crashed at J's place. His brother had just flown in from Melbourne and M showed up on his way to Spain. It was the last weekend of Oktoberfest and the 4 of us went in with slightly low expectations. But we were pleasantly surprised and it was a great time. The place is huge and it resembles a huge carnival with a very festive atmosphere. A lot of people dress up in traditional Bavarian costumes and it's a mad, crazy place with at least half a million people walking around and sitting inside the beer tents. The funniest part is how everyone is there to get drunk and the minimum one can order is a litre of beer. There are live bands, ferris wheels and all kinds of crazy people walking around. To get inside a beer tent one has to get there at 9 in the morning! We managed to sneak in much later and the atmosphere inside is of a huge, huge party with people dancing on tables, walking around drunk and singing loud Bavarian songs and clinking their mugs every few minutes. We stayed till 11, when it closed and headed out to a few more bars afterwards. Got home around 2 and woke up the next morning very hungover. J's flat didn't have hot water that weekend so 4 of us went to someone else's flat across town to shower. Felt weird walking around Munich with a towel and a hangover. Spent most of Saturday exploring Munich with the two brothers.