CAMILLE BERRIMAN: Beer, castles and World Cup football

A personal view
A personal view
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Last weekend I found myself doing three things: One a predictable celebration, one a new experience and one completely out of character.

Let me explain... The first experience was my annual birthday celebration (predictable). Birthdays are generally underwhelming after the age of 10, so this year mine was combined with a new experience and on Friday hubby and I departed England for our first trip to Germany.

Destination: One night in Bavaria followed by three in Munich. The aim: Fulfilling a long-held ambition to see the famous Neuschwanstein Castle. As it turned out, this ended up being combined with watching the World Cup quarter final between Germany and France (something out of character for me).

Readers may remember that when the tournament kicked off I started counting the days until the final and vowed not to watch one game. However, hubby’s excitement about watching this particular match while in Germany was infectious and I found myself thinking ‘why not?’. After all, when in Germany and all that...

We arrived at our hotel at 4.48pm. By 5pm we had checked in, changed our clothes and were at the hotel bar ordering our first litres of beer as the teams kicked off. And as someone who normally hates watching football, I can honestly say the experience was brilliant. Maybe it was down to the fact the hotel was projecting the match on to outdoor screens; or that half the town was watching it there; or that the German team won, prompting universal jubilation. Or maybe the beer helped...

Day two saw us visiting the fairytale castle. Unfortunately, it seems I will never learn and had succumbed – again – to what hubby terms ‘first night madness’. This ‘madness’ and accompanying enthusiasm for alcohol only happens on holiday but has seen me visit sights including Petra, the Valley of the Kings and the Pyramids of Giza while suffering the after-effects. I can now add Castle Neuschwanstein to this list.

The remainder of our break – spent in Munich – was a slightly more sober affair. We managed to sightsee, walk 10 miles in one day and catch up with two Bury friends who were in the city at the same time.

My only regret is that we returned home hours before Germany’s 7-1 defeat of Brazil. Now that might just have been another game worth watching.