Yesterday was the best day I’ve had since being in Munich and the happiest I’ve been for a long time. But it could all have turned out differently.
May 1st is a huge day of celebration all over Germany and basically involves drinking copious amounts of beer throughout the day. Waking up at 8 15 having only returned from a night out at 5am is never ideal. Nevertheless, this was the situation I found myself in yesterday morning. With a mouth as dry as the Sahara I quickly downed a couple of litres of water before returning to bed for a few hours of broken sleep. At around 1pm and feeling much better, my senses were aroused by the smell of meat being grilled outside. Donning the sunglasses as a weak attempt to hide my hangover, I headed outside to join the rest of the guys for some Würstchen and Burgers. Recovery is always better in the sun.
Once the food was done and dusted we began to play Werewolf, in which the French and English seemed to get killed off very quickly! This continued for the next few hours before I quickly showered, donned my Lederhosen and we headed out to the street party that was happening just in front of our house. If it wasn’t yet clear that we live in the gay quarter of Munich, yesterday confirmed it with a pout and a flourish. Around 300 men with perfectly plucked eyebrows and fake tan had gathered for the yearly May 1st celebrations in the Glockenbachviertel and were dancing around with gay abandon, drinking, drinking, drinking.
At around half 5 I headed to Theresienwiese to meet up with Phil and the gang for his leaving party. Just as I was walking into the ‘fest I bumped into Munich Irish Rovers second team manager, Paul. This was to be the start of my feeling like a celebrity for the day. Once we’d entered the Hippodrom we bumped into the Skiing gang who’d also managed to secure themselves 2 tables in the very busy tent of people waiting to watch Barcelona vs Bayern. It took only a few more minutes until I’d spotted some more people I knew – Adin and Caro from work and Marc, Greg and Timo from the Irish Rovers.
We still had 3 and a half hours until the football even started! It was a relatively sombre mood in the tent, which was an absolute God-send after the relatively hard drinking experienced over the past few weeks. After a delightful roast chicken the football finally began and even though the first half was dreadfully boring, the atmosphere was great. Just as the second half began, Bayern scored the first of their 3 goals and the room went wild, with chants of “Who the fuck are Barcelona?” ringing around from all corners. Never before have I cheered louder for a team I don’t really support! Well, until a little bit later at least.
After the match we found out there was a street party to celebrate the victory and so we headed north to Leopoldstraße. Lo and behold we joined the hundreds of people chanting and shouting and dancing. Thanks to Naoise for making this video that sums up the mood better than I ever could!
It was just a fantastic day and I was swept up in how much love was flowing around the city. I also booked my flight back to England this week which really made it feel like this is all coming to an end. It’s a horrible feeling, especially as I’m finally feeling perfectly settled in this amazing part of Bavaria.