Archive for October, 2012

Sunday 28th October

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

munich-46.JPGAwoke to find the city covered in snow. After breakfast (had to sign again), this time in the bar where the table hadn’t been set properly (no milk, salt etc). Coffee was left on the bar and was cold. Out to the Olympic park and up the TV tower there. Decided against finding a Maredo for lunch, agreeing to eat at the airport instead (wrong move). At checkout they correctly removed the internet charges but incorrectly tried to charge us for eight breakfasts. After much discussing and photocopying of our confirmations the breakfasts were also removed. All this made me think we hadn’t been allocated the rooms we had paid for and were actually upgraded to the rooms we had paid for; all conjecture on my part though. This with the poor breakfast and location gives the hotel 3/5 on Tripadviser. Rather than take the U-Bahn into town and then the S-Bahn out of town to the airport we decided to try a different route: bus to an S-Bahn station en route to the airport. Not a bad choice even though we just missed a train and had to wait about 20 minutes. At the airport check-in was open (we were very early!) and lady was polite and efficient and we were soon in the queue for security. Although the queue was not long it did seem to take forever and my bags had to go through the machine twice. Only then did we realise we had made the wrong decision about lunch. We were in a small “terminal” which is part of the main terminal and had one small café. I fancied the Wiener Schnitzel but not the price (€13) so opted for a panini, seemingly made of cardboard. We soon moved to the BA lounge which is quite large (but did get busy) with very friendly staff. Fortunately there was a decent food selection (sandwiches, hot snacks etc).


Went to board exactly at the right time – we were first on. Flight was delayed because of de-icing and just as we entered the runway to take off we stopped – some sort of incident with an incoming plane – details are hazy. Food was a Hoisin Duck Wrap. On arrival an announcement were made that people travelling to GLA would be met off the plane – they were given “fast track” tickets to get through Flight Connections in time for their onward flight. Trains from Feltham to Waterloo were being diverted so we went by tube instead.



Saturday 27th October – Munich

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

munich-42.JPGC’s birthday.


After a good night’s sleep we headed for breakfast where we had to sign (another sign we hadn’t got the package we had booked as breakfast was supposed to have been included. We weren’t able to get into the main restaurant and there was no toaster where we were. Coffee was cold.


Took tube into town, having bought a one-day partner card and wandered round the centre to see the main buildings. Stopped in the main square at midday to watch the musical clock just as it started to snow. Drink at a traditional bar just off the square. Lunch was self-service in Galleria Kaufhof. Back to the hotel via the Mexican restaurant I fancied and secured the last table for that evening and back to the hotel for a rest. Evening at Don Luca.  Very good restaurant but only gets 4/5 on Tripadvsor because starters didn’t come together (quite a big gap between them). Back at the hotel E went to bed and we and D played cards.

Friday 26th October – Munich

Tuesday, October 30th, 2012

The Ds’ flight was delayed but they still plenty of time in the lounge. D seemed particularly impressed by the champagne and we all had a burger which also went down well. For some reason the tube line in Munich that went to the hotel closes early in the evening so we ended up with a taxi journey at a cost of €20.

At check-in we were told we had been upgraded but we weren’t sure to what as we had actually paid for a better and couldn’t tell the difference.



Sunday 21st October – 007 @ Graham Norton

Monday, October 22nd, 2012

Went round to the Turners to deliver George’s 18th birthday card. I remember when we took him at about 3 years old to his first gay bar in the Yumbo centre.

 Then off to meet MartinZ, Michael and Stephen and Justin at All Bar One  before queuing in the rain to get in to a special 007 recording of the Graham Norton Show. Guests were Daniel Craig, Dame Judi Dench and Javier Bardem (the baddie). Band was Of men and monsters – interestng Icelandic band. Good show; Michael’s pic of him coming out of the sea was shown – will it make it to the big screen?

Belfast – Sunday 14th October

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Breakfast was ok but, despite the number of staff, there always seemed to be something that had run out and several people were complaining about missing things – tea, fried eggs etc. Back out to the tour bus and a very windy day but well-delivered and interesting commentary covering the history of the troubles. Lunch at Pizza Express (free, courtesy of vouchers). Back to the hotel and then to the airport where we the first into the lounge. Flight was packed and I was in the middle seat in 1F where they had forgotten to change it back from Club formation so at first I was squashed in until the purser accepted there was a problem but didn’t know  how to fix it – someone else was summoned!


Belfast 2012 – Saturday 13th October

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

Up early to get to LGW for flight to Belfast, with FlyBe! This time went to Number One lounge; nice enough but not that big. At least they had put breakfast stuff out which meant we didn’t have to wait to be served. Flight was surprisingly busy for an early Saturday morning flight. Only a short flight and with hand luggage it meant we were straight out to get the bus into town. Although it was still morning our room at the hotel was already prepared and we were able to unpack in our upgraded executive room before heading out into town for lunch) and then get a 48 hour ticket on the sightseeing bus which dropped us off at the Titanic exhibition. As we were early we had hoped to enter ahead of our scheduled time but it was fully sold out so we had to wait. To control the flow of people visitors are let in every twenty minutes but even so there was still some congestion. Much of the exhibition, understandably, concentrates on Belfast’s role in the Titanic; still makes it worth a visit. Tourist bus back into town and the hotel.




As is usual for European Hilton hotels the executive lounge offers free alcoholic drinks in the evening (6-8.30 in this one) which here is not self service; not that it mattered. I probably drank more than I would have done if I had been helping myself, which is saying something – my glass was never empty. Back to the room for an early night.