Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Vacation Begins in Munich

Oktoberfest in Munich! It's only a couple of weeks away!
Willkommen to Vacation 2014, part dois.  It all begins with a few days in Munich.

Why Munich?  If you've been following my vacation blogs over the last several decades, you understand that the answer to every "Why?" question is "Why the [heck] not?"  Actually, there is a reason this time.  This is a vacation trip that I am taking my sister (hereafter, the "Sister") and brother-in-law (hereafter, the "Brother-in-Law," or "B-I-L"),  In the interest of maintaining my promise to keep their internet presence they shall be referred by these names that will leave no internet footprints.

Me, on the other hand, I am totally OK with my sasquatch-sized internet footprint.  It's part of the territory when you are one of the few known Spretnaks in the internet era.

As an aside.  I do know people who caution that you should never announce on the internet when you are gone on vacation, whether to Munich, Croatia, or anywhere else on this fine planet.  I understand your point.  Yes, I do realize there are marauding gangs lurking on Facebook and elsewhere on the intertubes just waiting to find out when the Bob Spretnaks of the World(TM) leave town on yet another Big Adventure Holiday Vacation Extravaganza(TM).  For those of you lying in wait, hoping to attack Casa del Spretnak in the while I'm cavorting in Deutschland, the joke is on you.  (1) The cat is still there and she is one angry pussycat when left alone for a few nights.  So be warned if you break in.  (2) I got nothing worth stealing!  I really don't.  Take my furniture.  Please!  (Aside: if I knew in 1984 when I set up my first apartment that I would still have about half of the furniture 30 years later, I would've bought MUCH better stuff.)

So what's that got to do with Munchen, as us International Jetset Travelers Who Pretentiously Call Places By Their Name in the Local Language(TM)?  Nothing really.

The Munich/Munchen leg of this trip is something different for me.  Sister and B-I-L were here before, a few years ago.  Loved it.  Wanted to see it again before we start the Croatia/Slovenia part of the trip.  So I'm along for the ride.  Which -- speaking exclusively in sentence fragments here -- is not my usual vacation style.  I normally plan the trip meticulously,  Have a sense of what I want to see.  And flexibly move things around when the mood hits.  Can't do that on a multi-person vacation.  So I'm Munich-ing, too.  But without my usual font of knowledge of things I'm seeing because I meticulously planned on seeing them.

The Glockenspiel. Lying dormant. Foreshadow: it will come to life on tomorrow's adventure.
Which is cool.  Well, for the first few days of the trip.  When we hit Croatia, I will be large (sadly) and in charge.  In Munich/Munchen, I am a passenger.

Thankfully uneventful flight to Munich.  The connection in Toronto was very tight, but despite the fact that Toronto Pearson is gi-normously huge, it is extremely well-organized and the line at passport control was one person deep.  It was awesome.  Eight hours later we were in Munich.  And about an hour later, we were having lunch at the Ratskellar, a restaurant the size of Toronto Pearson Airport, underneath the New Town Hall (New "Town Hall," rather than "New Town" Hall), which is the home to renowned Glokenspiel.

There will be pictures of food later in the Vacation Blog. But not at the Ratskellar. I was jetlagged.
Lunch was an array of seven sausages, shooting out from two potato pancakes on a bed of sauerkraut.  Trez German and muy delicioso.  (Multi-cultural irony)  (Multi-cultural irony aside:  I know the German word for "thank you" is "danke," yet to say thanks to the German speakers I keep wanting to say "obrigado."  Which is Portuguese.  I'm still stuck on my last vacation.)

The sausages, sauerkraut and potato pancakes temporarily re-energized me to handle a walking tour of the churches of the Marienplatz area.  And who did I see?

Bas relief of the Bavarian Pope
Benedict!  The Pope Emeritus!  At the Cathedral Notre Dame de Munich.  The church interior was magnificent as you would expect:

Next it was off to St. Michael, with its beautiful white interior:

Mad King Ludwig, as history has chosen to call him, is buried in the basement.  We visited him.  But I took no pictures.  He wasn't looking his best.

Sister, B-I-L and I then headed off with Leo (our friend and Munich/Munchen local) to see the Oktoberfest grounds.  Oktoberfest was still under construction, although it will be opening soon.  (Oktoberfest is in September.  One of life's great ironies.)

Oktoberfest is a big deal in Munich.  Except maybe for 1970s-era Donna Summer/Giorgio Moroder Euro-disco, it's probably what Munich is most famous for.

And overlooking the Oktoberfest grounds?

Miss Bavaria 1844
The Bavaria statue in Munich's Theresienwiese neighborhood.  You can go up in her, a la Statue of Liberty.  The spiral staircase of 123 stairs (guessing from middle of the night memory here) is not too claustrophobic, at least not until you get inside her head

But the view of the Oktoberfest grounds, and surrounding neighborhood, through the eyes of Miss Bavaria 1844 was quite nice:

And then it was time for supper:

Pictures of food! As promised.
Kalb!  Which in English is veal!  And like the Baby Jesus in the old German Christmas carol "Stille Nacht" -- it was so tender and mild.  Served up with some cheesey potatos au gratin and some firm carrots, good eatin'.

And then it was time for this ...

Bedtme at the Ambassador Apartmenthotel near the Vaterstatten ubahn stop in the Munich suburbs

1 comment:

  1. Enjoyed your first post and wish we were there with you. I'm surprised you didn't visit Maxinger's with Sister and B-I-L. I've been checking my inbox for confirmation that the Kavorka is alive and well with Max!