Well.. we have now made it home and had a great sleep last night - Again because of the times we travelled no jetlag! Highly recommend to travel to land at 6pm-8pm so you get to the hotel or home, and go straight to sleep - MUCH MUCH better and was able to avoid jetlag..
Lots to write about from the last week and a bit of the trip.. It started with an awesome trip through the Swiss alps - First bit was from Milan to a small town in Italy called Tirano, then onto the Bernina Express (search youtube for vids of it) which went from there to Chur in switzerland. Probably the best 4 hours of mountainous scenery I have ever seen, including stunning views of snow capped glaciers/mountains even just coming out of summer! No words or even pictures I have posted give this place the justice it deserves - It is just simply amazing.. Onto Zurich we went for the night and where we were for a couple of days.
Zurich was quite nice, but expensive and we spent the day just looking around walking the streets which was pretty good, but most wanted more from the mountains so on the Sunday, decided to utilise the Eurail pass we got and took a few trains up to Engelburg, which was our first experience in a cog train. Someone joked that they saw a massive mountain coming and the train might go over it, just then the train stopped, locked in the cogs and we physically did go to the top of it via the tracks..!! From engelburg we went to the top of Mount Titlis, via a little 4-6 person cable car, followed by a couple of bigger ones). It was an ok day, little bit cloudy when we went up but got quite clear later int he arvo which made it a really good day being at 3020m above sea level :) For Ben and Sam it meant even a little bit more as there was ice and snow everywhere up there and neither had been to the snow. I think it was 0.5 degrees up there and quite thin in oxygen (I was ok walking on the flats but even the slightest hill or staircase and I was really out of breath fast. Took it east and really enjoyed it. The peak of the mountain was 3200m, where Jo and Sam decided to tackle the tricky climb up to the top. Really a nice day and was glad there was a little snow up the top - Something I didnt expect just coming out of summer so was well pleased :)
Monday Morning then came and for the part of the trip the whole dates we travelled was planned against - Munich or more importantly Oktoberfest..!!! Got into Munich about midday got organised and made our way to the event... and what an event it is. Imagine about the amount of rides at the Perth royal show for those who have been, then put 12 beer halls that all hold 5-10 THOUSAND people and its the biggest festival ive seen. I say festival instead of pissup, because apart from everyone drinking 1 litre sized beers, there is a LOT of eating going on at all. Had a few beers in a few tents on the first day and wandered a little to get a taste for it. Decided to have dinner in one and asked the guy to recommend us something to eat - He recommended 'Robert'. Ben and Sam agreed and then I was going - Wonder what that is. Well when it come out it looked like beef! I asked the guy - Do germans call beef 'Robert'? He then laughed and proceeded to tell me that was the cows NAME.. We were eating a cow who had a name ahah was pretty funny. We got home well pissed off 3 and a bit drinks but called it early so we could have a relativly full day of it tomorrow. By now a LOT of people where the oktoberfest gear, and I can tell you the females outfits are AWESOME :) I will leave it at that otherwise Ill getin trouble. Oh we also visited the Hofenbrou tent which in one section (the only section in the whole of the festival where you can order a beer standing up I think) and the section is called 'The pig pen' Apparently the rules in this section by the crowd is 'no underwear'. In the time we were there i saw 2 blokes having them pulled off and flung in the air haha. Not for the faint hearted in this section of the festival! Apart from this area however it was quite well behaved and great atmosphere with a big brass band or looked like a bras band in every tent. The next day we had a full day at the fest so more time to try some more tents beers and float around more. Ended up settling on one - I think I managed 6 beers was my best for the day before I had to retire again about 7 or so :) All in all an awesome time, could spend the full 2 weeks of the fest every day and still enjoy it. By now all of us agreed the chicken we ate here was the best chicken any of us had ever eaten - Time to google to see if we can find what flavour they use through the chicken!
3rd day we thought we better see a little bit of Munich so spent the first half recovering and walking around the townsite of Munich. Because of the festival was quite busy but could tell it would be really quiet and nice otherwise. The afternoon thought we would get some history in and went to experience the Dachau WW2 Concentration camp - And can tell you it was quite heavy going and although this wasnt a site of missive deaths as the other ones (still over 30000 i think in this camp however). The most horrifying bit though was called 'Barrack X' which was slightly hidden away just outside of the main camp. This was the location of the gassing and incinerators and walking through the building room by room almost made me sick (this camp was the template for almost all other concentration camps). This one apparently was only used twice for experiments on Russian POW's, not for the mass killings of the other ones. Really is a shocking lesson of some of the things that took place during this war.
On our final couple of days (or really 1 day and the next was getting back to Munich and flying out) was to go our again to the countryside and this time we decided on Garmisch-Partenkirchen. The accomodation was one of the best we stayed in for the whole trip and really wished once again we spent 3-4 nights here. Definately next trip if I come to europe again while doing it in the format we did was awesome for a first trip, my next one will be about a week in each place, with spenidng the majority of the time outside of the major capitals and more time in the places the size of like Nice, Garmisch sized placed. It was a really nice and clear day so we once again headed up a mountain this time the highest one in Germany - Zugspitze. Slightly smaller than the one we went up in switzerland and this one had a bit of ice around, but no snow. Fantastic views however since we picked a nice day. Both Switzerland and this part of Germany I would now like to redo during the winter :)
This then bought us back the next day back to Munich then eventually last night back into Perth. The flight is really a killer - 6-7 hours for the first followed by 3 hours stopover, then another 11 make it a LOOONG day, specially losing 6 hours in the time difference as well. Al in all from my point of view the trip was quite unforgettable, we have seen so much, maybe too much in the timeframe, but still the best holiday of my life thusfar. Budgetwise it worked out much cheaper than we budgeted for (in total with all spending we came in well under 20k (Budgeted 25-30k)). Thats staying in various accomadations (Hostels, Cheap Hotels, Apartments), eating various foods (from Bakeries through to cheap resturants), and really not skimping (We saw and did pretty much anything we wanted without much thought into cost), so all in all for our 35 day holiday I think it was all pretty perfect. And to think the internet is this useful (Ben and I did all booking apart from 1 phonecall on the internet for the ENTIRE trip)!! I think you can certainly save a s***load of accom cost mainly using the internet, amung other things. If anyone is thinking or planning a trip, happy to share anything I can to help you out or site we used, info of where we went, etc! Catch up with everyone during the next couple of weeks! Having a few days of relax for now until back at work Tuesday :) Oh and Jo and I picked out a nice ring in Dubai so apparently we are now 'Official' by her books hehe.