We have been busy the past few days, and apparently also the evenings, as I am very delinquent in updating my blog.
Today is Friday, and we are getting ready to leave Munich. Our original plan was to drive to Prague, but in speaking with my ex-boss, Peter Emmert, he suggested that I should not take a new BMW into the Czech Republic and park it somewhere. He advised that while it may be OK, it is just at a greater risk of being stolen since all the immigration has taken place. So we have changed our plans and we will be off to Vienna this morning.
On Tuesday, we started the day visiting Dachau in the morning. I have visited several times in the past, but Sophie has never visited a concentration camp. As always, it is just a very somber experience just trying to wrap your head around the cruelty of man against man that occurred in this place. Dachau was the first German concentration camp and the model for the rest. Later that day we drove to the Benedictine Monastery Andechs, built in 1445, near the Ammersee south of Munich. Following the somber morning, we needed
the traditional German snacks found there - Obatzda (beer cheese), Brezen (pretzels), and Bier (Beer). It sits high on a hill over looking the countryside and was extremely pleasant on a warm, sunny, German afternoon. Later that night we went to dinner at Haxenbauer, the famous Munich restaurant for pig's knuckles, although they were not nearly as good as what I have learned to make. We ended the evening with a quick trip to the Hofbrauhaus, the famous and infamous Munich beer hall. While it is filled with tourists, and the food is terrible, one must visit this really happy place.
On Wednesday, we decided to take an off day simply strolling the City of Munich, looking in shops and buying souvenirs. We visited the Asam Kirche (Rococo Church), located right in downtown Munich which is quite a sight. For dinner, we went to the restaurant Katzlmacher, which sounds German, but is a really wonderful Italian restaurant. The northern Italians became expert in making Katzl, which are small, carved wooden containers, selling them to the Austrians and Germans, who called the carvers "Katzlmachers" (Katzl makers). Thus the name which sounds German, but is Italian.
Yesterday was the German
holiday Corpus Christi (one of many, many), which limited what we could do. We had lunch in the empty Victualienmarkt, the outdoor market usually teaming with all sorts of fruit, vegetables, wine and everything else. We had a lunch of grilled Munich Bratwurst on a hard roll and a beer, standing in the market. We then spent the day at the Alte Pinakothek (Old Picture Gallery) and Neue Pinakothek (New Picture Gallery). The old gallery is one of the oldest galleries in the world and houses one of the most famous collections of Old Master paintings. Wall after wall of master painting, with the largest collection of Rubens in the world. The new gallery includes a vast collection of European Art from the 18th and 19th century, including Gaugin, Monet, Del Greco, Leonardo Da Vinci, as well as many statues by Rodin. We then rushed to Marienplatz by 5:00pm so Sophie could see the running of the famous Glockenspiel at the top of the New City Hall. Sophie calls it an overgrown cuckoo clock. We ended the day with a really nice dinner at the Spatenhaus, a historic Munich restaurant right across from the States Opera. Nice ending to our
days in Munich.
Just a few words regarding Munich. I have lived many places, moving 13 times, during my working career. From 1996 through 2000 we lived in Munich while I was the KL (CFO) for the Siemens European Lighting business. Of all places I have lived, Munich is still the most dear and emotional to me. Partly because it was hard - because of the language at first I could no longer write, speak or think; and partly because it was easy - the Munich life is to sit, eat, drink and enjoy. I am so thankful for my chance to return to this beautiful place. I hope someday to return again.
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