I got there at last.

If you have been following this blog from the outset then, firstly, I thank you (not to mention sympathise with you for my inane ramblings) and secondly I will give a very brief explanation for anyone who has stumbled upon this page in search of information about Memmingen or Kempten.  I had started off in very early April on what was meant to be a four day trip to visit a friend in the Netherlands and here I was nearly two months later in Bavaria and heading to meet a whole bunch of other dear friends.  That is the potted version, the rest is fully explained in earlier blog entries here (and later ones hopefully) if you care to wade through sixty plus of them. Yes, it had gone on that long!

I awoke in my lovely room in the Park Hotel (it was brilliant, I loved it there) and, much as I would have loved to stay there as both hotel and town were stunning, I knew that I needed to move the short distance to Kempten to see my friends.  Damn, I had humped myself from South central France to get here and I wasn’t going to blow it out of the water for a few more miles. On top of this I had told my dear friend Sarah (toonsarah on the Virtual Tourist and TravBuddy websites as she was, and a superb travel writer) that I was coming but I had asked her to keep it quiet.  Having told everyone I wasn’t coming, I fancied making a bit of a drama queen entrance and, yes, I am that much of a tart.

I think breakfast was included in my room but it is a meal I rarely take unless it is in a glass and I do not mean fruit juice! Thanking the staff most heartily and genuinely for the wonderful hospitality I had received there provoked large smiles all round which made me feel as good as they obviously did. Lest the reader, new to my idiotic ramblings, think that I am writing this as an advertisement for the hotel, I am not. I have nothing to do with them and am most certainly not getting paid for writing this. There are enough people on other websites who have “officially” vouched for me and will undoubtedly do so in a less formal way if required. I merely write as I find.

I knew from my wanders of the previous day exactly where the train station was, about 15 minutes of another Disney wonderland through cobbled streets (not so good for a wheel along bag but utterly gorgeous) and past buildings that belonged in a child’s fantasy book.

Well, it was almost inevitable. It was time for a Fergy breakfast i.e. a beer. I came upon a small place which I had somehow missed the day before to be met by some pretty loud rock music (suits me) and a fairly heavily tattooed barmaid who I asked in German if the premises were open. She looked a tad surprised although whether that was because of the hour or my appalling German I could not possibly say. Yet another language I do not speak but insist on trying out.  Suffice it to say that we ended up comparing tattoos (I have four and she had me beaten by a country mile without even taking her T-shirt off!) and chatting about rock music. Great time.

I know I am probably preaching to the choir a bit here as people who are reading this website are mostly known to me and are undoubtedly fairly independently minded and think for themselves.  Please, I beg you, do not judge people, especially young people, on their appearance. Talk to them and find out what they are about, it might just surprise you and here endeth the lesson!

Anyway, I knew I had loads of time but I didn’t want to leave anything to chance, reliable as DB (German railways) are so I headed to Memmingen station which was merely a few hundred yards away. No problem and in I went to check the train times. Unusually for me I had not used the facilities in the bar with the tattooed barmaid before I left.  They were immaculate from previous experience, and so I went to use those in the station. What an obscenity. I have been in public toilets on several continents and this was amongst the worst I have ever encountered. The stench was overpowering, there were used and bloody hypodermic needles on the floor and the place looked like it had not been cleaned since the day it was built. It looked like a field hospital in Scutari, it was abominable which surprised me as I know how highly Germans prize their efficiency. DB take note.

Still, I wasn’t there merely to use the “facilities”. I thought a quick beer may be in order so I went to the station cafe / bar and bought a well over-priced bottle which I brought to sit outside with on a now reasonably decent day.  I had to sit outside because of the Federal States of E (aka EU) fascism about smoking. Nightmare. It appears they make no attempt to stop the street dwellers and their apparently uncontrolled yappy little dogs just sitting there all day and drinking their shop bought alcohol. I was glad I seemed to be upwind.

OK, sod that and it actually hurts me to write that because I loved Memmingen so much on an admittedly brief trip but I always attempt to write honestly and this was just a step too far. Surely there must be a real bar nearby. I knew there were plenty of trains so I was not going to be stranded. Out the front of the station and the Fergy “nose” took over. For those that do not know (I apologise to those that do and are getting bored by it) it has been said that I can sniff out alcohol at about 600 yards through concrete. I don’t know how true that is but I always seem to manage to get a beer wherever I am. Standing waiting on the pedestrian phase of the traffic lights, I had a bit of a scan. There were two options both within 100 yards. I scanned them both and the one on the right just felt wrong whilst the one on the left was calling to me. I know this sounds utterly ridiculous written down in the cold light of day but I swear it is the truth. Ask anyone who has ever been on a pub crawl with me in a place I have never been before.

 

Anyway, the “nose” had it absolutely spot on as always and I lugged my bag into a most beautiful and utterly crazy bar. Yes, I was right back in my element, this is where I belong.  A beer was quickly ordered and swiftly supplied so I took a look around. Well that took about an hour, I have never seen a place like it and I have been in a lot of crazy bars. There were old radios, old records, old posters, cutlery sets, I could go on but it would take forever. Hopefully the images will give an idea.

A few people came in for lunch which was cooked to order (I could see into the kitchen from where I sat) and it looked delicious but still way too early for me to eat.  There was a slightly rotund gentleman who came in and consumed, in no time flat and accompanied by a couple of beers, what I would have described as two main courses. This may well explain his waistline and I would love to be his cardiologist, I’d make a fortune.

I asked for permission to take a few pictures which was granted instantly and most charmingly. I know that in a public place you can effectively fire off your camera wherever you want, especially in these days of ‘phones with cams but I still like to ask. Damn, I could have taken 300 or more pics in there, it was that quaint. I hope the attached images do it justice.

Time was moving on and it was a very regretful Fergy that left this little locals bar but Kempten awaited.

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I made the arduous trek of, oh, perhaps 100 yards across the main road to the station, found my platform and hopped onboard my absolutely punctual train, settled down in a comfy and spotlessly clean carriage and began what was not a particularly long journey.

 

I am quite content to just sit and look out the window on a train journey and so I did not even break out my book although in truth there was nothing spectacular, certainly not in comparison to the scenery we were to see in the region over the next few days. We pulled into Kempten im Allgau (hereinafter referred to as Kempten to save my poor fingers from more typing) bang on time. A decent station and I knew it was walking distance so off I took, thankfully downhill, towards where I needed to be. I only managed to get lost the once in what should have been a fifteen minute walk. Honestly, I do not know what has happened to me, I used to have an inbuilt compass that never failed and now I get lost two times out of three. Old age I suppose.

 

Anyway, eventually to the Art Hotel, which I had scored online and cheaply judging by my subsequent research)  and checked in quickly and efficiently to what turned out to be a charming room. All the usual amenities like a flat screen TV and a safe etc. and I was in a room with a double and a single for which I was being charged single occupancy. The “features” were a beautiful monochrome print of a boat on a placid lake and the etched stylised map of the region on the shower doors which I thought was a nice touch.

I didn’t actually need one as it was still only about 1330 but I had a shower just for the Hell of it and to freshen up and headed out.

I had worked out it was a fairly short distance to the meet point and a thankfully fairly straight shot so navigation should not be a problem later on as I know these things can get a bit messy dependent on which lunatics I meet.  I made it to the grandly named Brauereigaststätte Zum Stift and into the bar which was just about empty but a quick look in the beer garden (should I say Biergarten?) and I saw why. It was a more than decent day and everyone had very sensibly decided to sit outside albeit the indoor area was very comfortable.

 

Well, that was it and I knew I had done absolutely the right thing in coming. It was just like it had always been despite the catastrophe that had affected us communally. Those who have waded through the many long pages of this blog will know that Sarah  was the only person I had told of my change of heart about attending and she, true to her word, had kept it entirely secret. I am not ashamed to say that the reception I received was close to reducing me to tears. I was having my hand shaken left and right, being embraced, slapped on the back and so on.

I saw so many familiar faces there, either people I had met before or people who I recognised from profile images on VT. After so many years of speaking online I finally got to meet Victor from the Ukraine which was a particular thrill although I would not like to single him out particularly, and nor would he wish to be singled out thus as he is a very humble and lovely man. I would say that there were probably 15% of people I did not “know” there, spouses, partners, friends or whatever but they were charming to a man and woman and I suppose it makes sense as if you “hang about” with a traveller you must be inclined that way as well.

After all the almost tearful introductions were made, it was time to get down to business. I have mentioned before that the guy organising the whole thing was a German friend called Christian and he must have been in a world of worry when VT was murdered. He had already laid down deposits for restaurants, coaches, had hotel rooms set aside and whatever else and stood to lose out badly. I sincerely hope he didn’t lose a cent as that would be wrong but I believe that is not the case. Anyway, I went to see him and paid for all the activities I had booked up for (i.e. everything, what’s the point otherwise?) and I still worry about the amount of cash he walked to the bank with. I have a little training in such matters and offered to accompany him but he assured me he would be OK. Nice one, mate.

Afternoon rolled into evening and soon it was the time for the first official function, the welcoming dinner. I know there had been a pre-meet elsewhere as there always is and there would be one or more post-meets, again organised totally by members but this was the start of the weekend “proper”. We were eventually assembled in a delightful and very typical Bavarian dining room and I was reminded of a saying that used to have a bit of currency on VT that trying to organise VT members was like trying to herd cats which is undoubtedly true. A blessedly short speech from Christian which certainly touched a few raw nerves, as it would under the circumstances, and it was time to eat.

We had all pre-ordered from a menu to assist the kitchen as we were such a large party and I must confess I had chosen my main as much for the accompaniments as for the “main event” which was pork in my case. I know people say I am mad and, whilst I’ll munch my way through a good fillet steak quite happily, I am equally happy with a well-grilled double pork chop. I do like a bit of dead pig, sorry veggies and vegans. As an aside I should mention that Christian had arranged veggie options everywhere we ate which is not perhaps standard practice in this very carnivore part of the world.

The dish arrived with the pork cooked to a turn and obviously carved off a large joint with the accompaniments I mentioned which were red cabbage and dumpling. When I am in eating mode in that part of the world they are two of my absolute favourites. Service was a bit slow but we were a fairly huge party and the food, when it arrived was certainly warm enough and very, very tasty.

A few more beers, well more than a few but this is Fergy, and it was off to the very decent hotel for the night against a reasonably early rising the next day. Early for me anyway. I slept like a baby which was another blessing as, just to add insult to injury, I suffer from sleep disorder as well as eating disorder. On all levels, it was a very content man that drifted off to sleep the sleep of the righteous, even if I am not.

Stay tuned and spread the word.

I’m getting closer and find a little gem.

I finally alighted from the bus very early on the morning of the 24th and thankfully it left us in a fairly central location which is not always the case as their pick up and drop off points tend to be public carparks on the edge of town which I suppose saves time with traffic on day runs and no doubt keeps prices down by cutting costs for bays in “proper” bus stations. With my huge distrust of technology, which the reader is probably sick of hearing of by now but which fairly much defines my travelling and subsequent writing, I had taken the precaution of writing down directions to my hotel. I like old technology like a map or pen and paper and even have my own shorthand for directions. I’ll teach you it, if you like!

I had had to sit up for the last few hours of the journey and be annoyed beyond belief by a gang of teenagers making the most abominable racket and with even a few of my hard stares, which normally tend to work, failing to silence them and so it was a fairly bleary-eyed, stiff (my bad old back really was protesting) and exhausted Fergy that took off. No problem, and I found the street I was looking for quickly and in good order, there definitely is something to be said for travelling this light.

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How did I miss this?

This is where the problems began and I have to say they were entirely of my own making. If I can align the images correctly you will see an image of the Park Hotel, Memmingen which, as you can see, is hardly tucked down a back alley nor some tiny little unmarked door and yet I managed to walk straight past it somehow and kept walking. I had a mental image of it in my head but it just did not register in my exhausted brain or maybe I was looking at the far side of the street or whatever. As is my way I walked and walked and then walked some more until it became apparent I was at the edge of town and not where I wanted to be so I turned round and headed back.

The day was starting to warm up and I was a bit parched so I headed into a delightful little cafe / restaurant apparently attached to a local garage where a coffee and a bottle of mineral water was called for and promptly served by a charming young fraulein. Yes folks, you read that correctly, Fergy was on coffee and water in a place where beer was available! Damned welcome it was too if totally out of character. I asked the young lady where the Park Hotel was and she directed me back down the road I had just slogged up indicating it was on the right. I settled the bill, thanked her and took off again. By now I was pretty knackered but I knew it couldn’t be that far as I knew where the road began.

When I saw the place I could not belive how I had actually walked past it and not seen it. I knew that check-in was not until 1400 or 1500 or whatever industry standard is here but I thought I’d chance my luck and ask if I could drop my kit in the luggage room until the appointed hour. The utterly charming young lady on reception bade me wait a moment whilst she checked her computer and told me she would change a few things (i.e. reshuffle rooms) and I could check in there and then. This was almost spot on 0900 and I could not believe my luck. I would have kissed her there and then had I not thought that she, not to mention the local polizei, may have taken a dim view. I believe the Park Hotel is only ranked three star but that is what I call service, proper service and I thank them for it.

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Straight up to the room, bag on the shelf provided for the purpose, planxty stripped off (sorry, I know it is an appalling thought) and asleep just about as soon as his head hit the pillow. I didn’t even set my alarm but I was up before 1400, showered, dressed and off to savour the delights of Memmingen which were to prove to be many.

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I had vaguely noticed on my rather extended walk to the hotel that the town was attractively medieval but in the state I was in and in the early morning light it had barely permeated my exhausted brain. Albeit the day was overcast with me having gone North again from my Southerly search for the sun it was nothing short of a wonderland. I had taken six images in the hundred yards to the bottom of the street and could easily have taken more, I was on a complete shutterfest. In Memmingen you literally cannot turn a corner without seeing something else amazing and worthy of a few Mb. of your flashcard. It really is like something from a Disney theme park to the point that it is almost a caricature of itself. If someone had told me that the German government had built this place on a greenfield site as a tourist attraction in the 1960’s it would be believable but this is all for real.

I can only guess that either Memmingen was mostly spared the ravages of the Second World War or else it has been very sympathetically restored. If it is the former I am happy and if it is the latter they have done an utterly amazing job. On the principle that a picture paints a thousand words I have a rather large volume here which I shall let speak for itself.  This was only the first day and I have more for the next instalment.

I fully appreciate that I have had a very charmed life in all senses of the word and I have been lucky enough to have visited some extremely beaurtiful places and I have to say that Memmingen must be up with any of them.  Judge for yourself if my feeble attempts with a cheap compact camera do the town any kind of justice.

Naturally, all this walking was making Fergy a thirsty boy and so a few “pit stops” were called for along the way but nothing major as I was still a bit shattered from the previous night’s trek (see previous journal entry for details) but I did “mark” a few decent bars for future reference. Frankly, I didn’t find one that I would not have described as decent, the standard is consistently high, it is just a matter of what type of place you want to drink in.

What is perhaps more remarkable is that I actually got a bit hungry and ate at about 1900 in the evening. Those that know me will understand that that is not my normal M.O. On my meanderings around town I had noticed a restaurant, in a very central location called Ha Noi which indicated to me that it was Vietnamese run, and so it appeared to be although the menu is very much pan-Asian. I mention it’s location as it was ludicrously cheap by European standards despite being “prime real estate”. I had a wonderful hot and sour soup ( a favourite of mine and which, with the prawn crackers would have filled me by itself) and then an excellent main dish which I could not finish, needless to say.  I should mention that Ha Noi seems permanently busy, which is always a good sign but turnover is quick (I was not rushed, I hasten to add) and it is quite large so you should not struggle for a table unless you are a particularly large party. They even served very decent beer in there, well it is Germany I suppose.

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A quick night image for which I apologise as I did not have my tripod and my little compact isn’t too good without it and then I was back in my pit before midnight which is another rarity but I knew I had to travel on the morrow. Having come this far I was determined to stay the course and get to Kempten to meet my friends although I would definitely want to return to Memmingen some day for a more extensive exploration and I do highly recommend it to other travellers. It is utterly enchanting.

Stay tuned and spread the word.

A turning point.

22nd of May.

The 22nd of May was somewhat of a turning point in the trip and I do not have a single image to accompany this particular day but I hope it will serve to explain the (many) journal / blog entries that follow this.

I make no secret of the fact that I am here in the undoubtedly forlorn hope of ever creating a decent website as one of the many refugees from the late and much lamented Virtual Tourist which many of my few trusty “followers” were members of.

One of the highlights of the VT calendar was the annual Euromeet which was held in a different town or city every year and was organised entirely by one or more members. Whilst the meets were not officially sanctioned by VT (I suspect for legal reasons more than anything else) they were hugely supportive and used to send the organisers large boxes of “swag” i.e. promotional items to be distributed amongst the attendees. Additionally, one of the members of staff usually attended and I had met and got to know several of them personally over the years. I count the last two CEO’s of VT, Giampiero (G) and Kimberly as personal friends. It really was that kind of site which makes it’s loss, especially the circumstances of that loss, all the greater.

This year’s meet had been in the planning for some time and was scheduled for a town called Kempten in Allgau in Bayern (Bavaria) in Southern Germany. It was being organised by a German member called Christian who had already done an awful lot of legwork and booked coaches, restaurants etc. which must have left him in an awful position when they pulled the rug out from under us.

Needless to say there was much discussion as to whether it would go on or not but the overwhelming consensus was that it should for a number of reasons. Obviously, nobody wanted poor Christian to be out of pocket nor for all his hard work to be wasted. Also, there was an element of defiance that we weren’t going to let the “bar stewards” grind us down and if we wanted to have a meet then we were going to have one, website or no. Perhaps most importantly, a number of very firm personal friendships had been formed over the years and people go to the meets as much for the incredibly sociable atmosphere as for the excellent activities and meals that the organisers consistently arrange.

I had more or less decided that I wasn’t going to go this year although I had initially signed up as I thought it would be something of a wake with everyone sitting around moping over the loss of something we all held so dear. However, as the date drew ever nearer I was increasingly thinking that if I did not attend then I would regret it forever. I will give full details of the meet itself in future journal entries. I have mentioned before that I had made my mind up I didn’t want to fly if I didn’t have to and so I booked an overnight bus (coach) from Lyon to Memmingen which is very close to Kempten. I knew if I headed off the next night I would have a day to spare and so I might as well take in another location.

I “booked passage” with a company called Flixbus on the night bus the following evening and I must have spent the rest of the day toiling over a hot keyboard as I do not have a single image of that daytime as I mentioned at the top of this piece which is unusual for me. Don’t worry, there are plenty more to come.

23rd May.

 

After the supper of the night before it was a miracle I slept at all but I did. The idea of consuming a whole beautifully over-ripe French cheese along with some more Crement d’Alsace (which is really champagne but they cannot call it that due to where it is made) I suspect would not be recommended by a sleep expert, especially for one with my sleep disorders.  I should explain that I deliberately leave cheeses in my fridge at home for a month or two past their sell-by dates just to mature.  They have not killed me yet.

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I love French cheese!

I knew I had to keep myself fairly well in check that day for a couple of reasons. Firstly, I did not want to miss my bus (coach) and secondly, I know that the “facilities” on such vehicles can be a touch unsavoury to say the least so the less need to use them the better. The day, therefore, was spent going round one or two of the local establishments of alcoholic refreshment I had taken to frequenting and drinking small beers which caused some confusion as that is not my normal way. I was bid some very genuine and hearty “Bon voyages” (I am not sure if I should pluralize that or not so apologies if I have it wrong).

Not least of these fond farewells was in the hostel of which, yet again, I cannot speak highly enough. The staff had taken to calling me by my name and would invite me to sit with them when they were having their coffee breaks etc. for a chat. Despite the fact that I was easily old enough to be the Father of anyone there and probably biologically even Grandfather to some, I never felt anything less than most welcome there. I know I was most happy in le Flaneur and it was certainly a far better experience than sitting alone in a room or soulless hotel bar in any place I could afford in the city. I’d never have found a guitar!

I shall publish a little collage of images of the hostel on another page here.

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Au revoir, old friend.

I kept myself fairly straight and, with a final pat on the “head” of R2D2 (does R2D2 have a head?), I was off in plenty of time to get to the station, maybe even slip in a quick beer before the off. Wrong. Once again I relied on technology and once again it failed me. Using the appalling Google maps I walked and I walked and when I had done that I walked some more! Eventually I resorted to tried and trusted tactics, asked a passerby, got proper directions and arrived with about five minutes to spare, sweating like the proverbial pig although I am sure I have read that pigs do not actually sweat as I mentioned before but who knows? What I do know is that I could have wrung out my bandanna and I was very grateful for having worn it. I thoroughly recommend one for travellers of either gender, especially if you have a bit of hair.

I made it to the bus station and not a problem as the baggage loader / conductor seemed in no rush so I joined him for a smoke and a chat. I asked about seats and was told they were not allocated and to sit where I wanted. Great stuff and I knew where I was headed. The bus was about half full and I spied my seat immediately. If i can I always take the middle seat of five in the back row as it offers just about unlimited legroom and I am 6’5″ (194 in metric?, I am not sure) so that was me. Happy days with happier to come as nobody else apparently wanted to sit in the back row. Whether this was due to me being there I cannot say but the upshot was that I had five seats to myself and whilst not the most comfortable bunk in the world at least it was a lie down. I knew it was going to be a long night but a sleeper on the train was going to be ludicrously expensive and take me on a most circuitous route with not a lot of time saved by doing that.

A short time after the appointed hour off we went and I settled down with a decent book, a very interesting military biography of a chap called George Alexander (Sandy) Forsyth who fought for the Union in the American Civil War and then spent years fighting the “Indians” in what was still then very much the “Wild West”. He fought with Custer and “little” Phil Sheridan, whose most trusted lieutenant he was, before organising buffalo hunting parties for Russian nobility and a whole lot more. The book is called “The Hero of Beecher Island” by a very eminent American military historian called David Dixon and I do recommend it.

Night had fallen and there wasn’t much to look at anyway as it was purely motorway (autoroute) driving which is never too exciting at the best of times so I thought I would try for an hour or two of a kip. Boots off and a bit of judicious positioning of the seatbelt anchor points and I made a half-decent “basha” (Army term deriving from the Hindi in the days of the Raj). OK, there was not much chance of a decent sleep as the bus would stop every couple of hours or so at some major settlement to let people on and off. Still, it was a smoke break and there was an interesting interlude at one point when the conductor politely asked me to stand five metres away from the bus whilst smoking. Some stupid regulation from the detested EU. He gave me this instruction standing right at the door chatting to the driver! One law for some and one for the rest as they say.

Being half asleep most of the time I had sort of lost track of what countries I had even travelled through as border controls are just about non-existent on these borders although this was to change during the course of my trip due to the completely insupportable amount of economic migrants from sub-Sharan Africa particularly to Italy and now Spain. These are UN figures and not any sort of xenophobia of mine and were to dominate the newspapers in Italy when I eventually got there (trust me, I shall write about it eventually!) Seven out of ten of the supposed refugees landing or being rescued from the seas by the totally overstretched Italian and Spanish authorities are UN designated as economic migrants and not refugees but as soon as they hit Lampedusa or Sicily or get pulled out of the sea then they have reached the “promised land”. Why else would they risk such a hazardous crossing? I know that I was later to sail through Brenner on the Austrian / Italian border without even having a passport check and yet a couple of weeks later the Austrians had effectively closed that crossing point but more of that later.

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On this journey I think I probably went through about four countries although, as I say, I was half asleep or reading most of the way. I know I was in Geneva just before midnight which was the first time I had ever been in Switzerland (who can afford that place?) but I am never going to “claim” it as a destination I have been to as a jump out the door for ten minutes and a smoke hardly constitutes “visiting” a country. That being said, I can quite honestly say that I have set foot on Swiss soil.

Onward, ever onward and I cannot say it was the most pleasant journey I have ever been on albeit I knew what to expect and wasn’t at all misled by Flixbus. They are a cheap option and you get what you pay for. The “excitement” came at one pickup / drop off / smoke break / leg stretch stop and by this stage I genuinely did not even know what country I was in. There was a police van waiting and I worked out from the plates that I was no longer in France or Switzerland but rather I had somehow ended up in Germany in the delightful town of Lindau which I was to revisit and thoroughly enjoy later.

We stopped at a car park in town to set down, pick up and have a smoke for those of us that did but not so quick Fergy, my lad. I pulled the boots on and down the steps for a smoke only to be ushered quickly back on board by the conductor with the brusque phrase “police check”. OK, fair enough, I have nothing to hide and there then ensued a complete performance by two armed police officers, one male and one female who went through the pantomime of checking everyone’s ID. Again, no problem for me and I was asked a couple of cursory questions but it was so obvious they were acting “on information received” as I believe the cop term is and looking for someone in particular.

There was a youngish female sitting a few rows in front of me and I was privy to the conversation which was conducted in English as the only common language between her and the female officer. It turned out she was Macedonian, had a scant few € on her, no credit cards and apparently little idea where she was going or where she was going to stay.  She was to be picked up at the bus station by someone of whom she had no details.  At a guess I would think she was being trafficked for prostitution.  Last I saw of her she was being put in the back of the police van and I have no idea what happened to her after that but it merely extended an already long and tiresome journey by over an hour. Deep joy!

I have no problem with any country protecting it’s borders and, grateful as I am that we never joined Schengen, I shall be even happier when we finally leave the Federal States of E (aka the EU) and regain proper control of ours.

In due course we reached Memmingen where I alighted in the early(ish) morning and that will have to wait for the next edition of this journal / blog but at least I had got there.

Stay tuned and spread the word and there will be images of Lindau in a future entry I promise.