I took a local Swiss train from Winterthur to Munich. The train was very disappointing: not only because it was very expensive (about JPY8,000), but was also very uncomfortable as there was not enough leg-room and no air-conditions were working.... What did I pay JPY8,000 for?!
After spending a few hours in the stuffy hot Swiss train, I met up with Toni and Julia at a beer-garden in central Munich. My previous visit in Munich was when the October Fest was taking place in 2010: almost two years had passed since then and I was stunned to see Julia's belly pumped. The baby is due in a couple of months. A good surprise!


While Julia and Toni were very kind to let me crash at their place again, I came to this funky German city for two specific reasons;

1. To go and see Xavier Rudd's live
2. To try the river-surfing

The first one was easy as Julia had already made a booking for me (EUR 37.95). The live was held in a venue called "Krone", a small circus place in Munich.
Unfortunately, Toni had to go to work early the next day and Julia was heavily pregnant. I went there alone, but the atmosphere was good and I met three Austrian people who sat next to me.


The live was somehow sponsored by Billabong (What's Billabong doing here?! They should invest in J-Bay's WCT event!)
A couple of local bands played first and then Donavon Frankenreiter also played quite a few songs before Xavier showed up. And it was Xavier who stole the show. He was groovy, charismatic and stylish.


The second one (To try the river-surfing) was something that I was super keen on doing during my previous visit, but I couldn't. So it was a must-task to be done this time. However, I immediately encountered one difficulty: it was to find a board to rent for river-surfing; I had my own surfboard with me then (a brandnew Hellfire 5'8), but I had no intention to take it out to that fast-stream and super-shallow river. A few dings on my Hellfire could easily be foreseen.
Funnily enough, despite no sea in Munich there are quite a few seasonal surf-shops in town, most of which change to ski & snowboard shops in winter.
I borrowed Toni's bicycle and cycled everywhere to check every single surf-shop, asking them whether or not I could rent a board for river-surfing. The first three shops that I walked in told me "No, we don't rent boards." And the fourth shop did have boards to rent, but all of them were rented out at that time....


Utterly disappointed with the situation, I almost gave up looking for a board to rent by this time, and as the very very last option of "sacrificing my own shining Hellfire" started circulating in my head, I told myself: "Just try one more shop!" So I walked into a shop called Planet-Sports without any expectations.


There was a basement inside the shop where I actually saw at least 10 brandnew surfboards standing up against the wall. I spoke to one of the staff members there, explained my situation to him and asked him very nervously if he had any board that I could rent. He replied to me: "Ahhh.... We do, but the board is very special and it was ridden by Quirin Rohleder, a professional German surfer, you know?!" I just stared at him and: "Okaaaay. Is there any chance that you let me use this board for a couple of hours?" I begged him. Yet his reply was very assertive: "Nope! This one is in very good conditions."
We were silent for a few seconds and then he opened his mouth saying "Actually, I have one more board." He brought a board out from a stockroom in the back and handed it over to me. The board clearly had a few dings on it, some were fixed and the others were taped up. I lifted it up and had a thorough look at all of it. Then I asked him: "How much is it to rent this board for a few hours?", "Oh, don't worry about it. You can just bring it back by tomorrow afternoon." he said. "Umm? You are not charging me at all? Are you serious....?" I looked at him with my mouth wide open.

Believe it or not, this is all a true story.


The next morning Julia and I cycled to the park and I tried river-surfing for the very very first time in my life as pictured below (The board in my hand was the one from Planet-Sports).


After a few failures I was able to stand up on the board. In fact, standing up was relatively easy for me, but riding the stream (not a wave) was very different from surfing. That's why I look very clumsy on the board in the photo below.


Honestly speaking, it wasn't really fun. Hahaha.
This river-surfing in Munich was quite challenging or rather struggling with cold water. It might have been easier for me if I hadn't been a surfer. I just tried it for my own novelty value anyway.

The photo below shows the most famous river-surfing spot in Munich - Eisbach. There is much more water running at Eisbach than the spot I tried at today.
Some guys say that it might actually be easier to surf Eisbach than the other spot. Oh well, I might give it a go here next time!


Munich is so vibrant and it's been great fun visiting this city and hanging out with Toni and Julia again. I owe Toni and Julia so much now, and I must treat them to the finest Japanese restaurant with best Sushi if they ever visit my country along with their son/daughter in the future.



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