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We got up at 9:20 am again this morning and had a quick shower before dashing into the breakfast room for some more bread products, chocolate muesli and strong, hot beverages. All was going well until I had a bit of a yawn & stretch in my seat and heard a loud cracking noise behind me. Whoops! Somehow I was strong enough to break the back of the chair simply by arching my back. That can’t be good.

So there was a bit of whistling and staring into the corner of the ceiling until the waitress in the “full Bavarian” went out of the room, at which point we made a swift exit in the hope that no one noticed. Well, I’m sure they’d notice eventually, but we’d got a busy day ahead and we were going back later in the evening, so if they were going to hold me accountable they could do it in the evening.

It was a beautiful bright, sunny morning and we’d agreed to meet the rest of our new “caching crew” at Karlsplatz at 11 am. We set off in plenty of time to make the, oh, 100m journey there from the front door of our hotel, and we arrived a little before the others so we had time to mooch about a bit taking arty photos of rainbows in the fountain and trying to ignore the shopping trolley that someone had left in the middle.

When the rest of the posse did arrive there were rather a lot of them. Several more than the previous morning. We didn’t have any particular plan other than to enjoy the day. There was an informal gathering planned up in the English Garden mid afternoon, to be followed by “doing a webcam”, and there were plenty of caches in the Old Town as well as the prospect of another easy one for the total by attending the Giga Sunday morning event at the Hofbräuhaus. There were also 10 more lab caches available around the Old Town.

All of which sounded like the makings of a plan, or at least some kind of a fuzzy cloud type thing on a whiteboard with “Sunday” written in the middle and a few random arrows pointing to words like “geocache” and “beer” and “sunshine”. Not so much of a plan, more of a nebulous concept, if you like. A cumulo-nebulous, probably.

So our very large group we started walking a bit of a loop in a clockwise direction towards the Hofbräuhaus. Note that it has to be a clockwise loop. If you go the other way, the dark path, the way that shall not be named, you are obliged to rebalance the universe by playing pattycake and chanting “Hot potato, orchestra falls, pluck will make amends!” It’s true. A bloke down the pub said.

After a couple of lab caches and a traditional we found ourselves at the Hofbräuhaus, whereupon we proceeded to queue round a large gallery whilst waiting to sign the log book. Ami also decided she quite liked all three of the official heart-shaped geocoins so we queued up to buy her one each of the two that she hadn’t bought in advance. Luckily they had a few leftovers at the Hofbräuhaus event. She paid with the money out of her own purse, so that was OK.

By this time Ami was getting a bit twitchy, as it was a warm morning, and we were on another day of official “holiday rules”, so 2 hours after her breakfast she was ready for an ice cream. It’s just as well there was an ice cream parlour over the square then.

We re-met with most of the same group after our ice creams and continued our clockwise meanderings, taking in a couple more lab caches, a traditional and a puzzle, and at this point we came to the conclusion that there were, essentially, two separate Sundays floating around on the whiteboard. One involved a lot of caching and the other was tending towards lunch, beer, sunshine and more ice cream, so rather than ending up with two groups of not particularly people we decided it would be better to split into two smaller but somewhat happier groups. We were in a group with the attending members of Dave’s Piglings and EmmaW, this being the group that favoured the lunch, beer, sunshine and more ice cream school of thought.

We looped back into the centre of town towards Marienplatz (still going clockwise) passing another puzzle and a traditional and another couple of lab caches, before arriving at the foot of St Peter’s Church. We’d managed to establish that there was a WherIGo cache somewhere in the church tower, and had got a hint from someone about the location, before we arrived. However that hint implied it was necessary to climb the 300 or so steps to the top. I’d figured out that the cache was in this church some weeks earlier by reading the cache hint, which identifies that the final location costs money to enter and is only open between certain hours. From there it is a fairly trivial task to find tourist sites in central Munich that are open between those times and which charge that amount of money to get in. There was a shortlist of one possible option.

300 and something steps up sounded like a bit much for just now though, so we opted for lunch and beer at a little cafe right where we were standing. It looked quite nice. And indeed, it was quite nice really. The food was good and the toilets were very ornately decorated and lit. I had some rather nice gnocchi in chilli tomato sauce and some even nicer beer. The only downside was that our waitress seemed to get the hump about something or other and spent the rest of our meal wandering up to us with a face like a bulldog chewing a wasp. It was rather pleasant sitting outside under a sunshade on a scorchio day though, and the beer hit the spot nicely.

Me, Ami and Izzy all were keen to go and explore the church tower but Becky and Emma seemed more happy to explore another drink, so off the three of us went. Izzy became my child temporarily again, to keep the cost down, and we then proceeded to make our way up 300 and something rather tight and claustrophobia-inducing wooden steps up to the top of the tower. At about one-third of the distance up there was a family playing with what looked very much like a geocache, so I asked if it was the WherIGo cache and received a positive reply. So before they had time to put it back into its locked box and allow me to “do it properly” I swiftly borrowed the log and added all our names in. We then stole away off up the church tower, just in case they thought we were cheating.

The view from the top is quite spectacular, but to be honest it needs to be, because there isn’t a lot of room. It was difficult for someone of my, errr, healthy stature to pass anyone coming the other way, so I had to play catch up with the two girls, who were managing to get their relatively slight frames through gaps that I couldn’t even get my rucksack through. At least they’re both bright enough to realise and make a bit of a game out of it. If you have the patience to go all the way round you’re rewarded with good views down on the Marienplatz on the north side and all the way across to the Austrian Alps on the south side. Fantastic!

After this rather extended lunch with added climbing we shuffled our way around to Marienplatz to make an attempt on the webcam cache there. Initially our problem was that it was really busy. We waited for a while to allow it to calm down a bit, at which point Becky and Izzy extracted a fairly impressive collection of English flags from their bags which would “help the camera to spot us”, as it were. It worked – partly because the flags stood out, and partly because everyone within a 20-yard radius decided to move out of the way, as we were obviously quite insane. So we snapped a nice photo of ourselves standing out like a sore thumb, before returning to some form of decorum. Well, not that much decorum, to be honest. It was a hot day and there was a fountain. The shoes and socks just had to come off.

By the time we got here it was getting on towards late afternoon, so we followed a road out for a hundred yards or so to grab one more puzzle cache and then decided we’d just about all had enough for the day, having made about 8 finds plus 10 lab caches, so we wandered back along to Karlsplatz marvelling at our own inability to find any tourist-tat shops that were actually open (it was a holiday Sunday, which meant that more or less all of the shops were shut). We decided that Karlsplatz was a pleasant enough spot to engage in some more of the beer and ice cream side of the floaty-cloud-on-the-whiteboard equation, so we grabbed an outdoor table at a cafe on the square and ordered a not inconsiderable quantity of calories.

By this time we were at a bit of a loss on how to finish our day off and late afternoon had turned into early evening, so whilst Becky, Izzy and Emma wandered into the nearby McDonalds again for some dinner, Ami complained that she felt a bit ill (for which I read “tired”) and we retired to our hotel room for a couple of hours to grab a quick snooze.

We did eventually end up having Macky-D’s for tea again, after which we strolled down to Marienplatz and back one final time in the rapidly setting sun before going back to our hotel for showers, packing and sleep. We had another long day in prospect for the following day.

Caches found during the day were :