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June 29-30, 2011



Wednesday, June 29, 2011


            During the flight, I woke up at 4:30, 6:50 and 9:15 and looked at the maps on the TV screen in front of me, showing where we were located.  I could see we were now passing the tip of Greenland.

            The screens also show the distance and time to destination and our travel speed (577 mph) and altitude (38,000 ft.)

 

            They were serving dinner, so I decided to go ahead and eat.  They gave me a starter which was chicken with greens, bread and cheese (left.)  Then the entrée was a short rib with mashed potatoes and carrots (right.)  It was just OK.

            They served a dessert with cherries and coffee.  Below right is the TV screen showing the maps.

            At midnight in Boston, it is 6 AM in Munich.  After finishing my meal, I fell back to sleep and woke about a half hour before landing (as usual.)  I could see we were 134 miles from Munich and aiming straight for the city.

 

  

  

            Then, about 20 miles out, the plane started to head northeast toward Freising where the airport is located.  I wondered why we weren't always heading straight for the airport.

 

            Above you can see the plane actually making a sharp turn.  I took a few shots of a village not far from Munich.

            As we were coming in for a landing, I got a few shots of the engine outside my window.

   

            At 9:45 AM (CET) we landed very smoothly at the Munich Airport.  A man near me was kind enough to take my big bag down from the upper bin and we rolled off the plane.

            Surprisingly we had to climb down the aircraft stairs, roll them over, then load our bags onto one of the buses they brought to take us to Terminal 2.  Below right is Marcia with her backpack on.

            We arrived at the terminal and waited for our checked bags and picked them up at 10:15.  We went easily through passport control but never had to go through any customs check entering Germany.  At 10:30 I made a call to Kemwel [39 Commercial St., Portland, ME, +1-207-842-2285, ] the company that we leased the Peugeot from.  After getting our bags (below left,) Marcia just had to get her Starbucks fix while we waited.

 

            I called the Kemwel number they gave me three times but could only leave a message, no one ever answered the phone.  I was beginning to panic, when suddenly I got a call back from Alexandra telling me she would pick us up outside the building in the parking lot where the Mercedes taxis line up (below.)

            At 10:50, she arrives and helps us load our bags into our new car and then drove us on the autobahn to their offices (below left) in Hallbergmoos, [98 Ismaningerstrasse, +49-800-589-1576; +49-693-329-6246] about 5 miles from the airport.

 

            At 11:10, all I have to do is sign one piece of paper and Alex handed me the ownership and insurance papers (above right) and the keys to the car and we were on our way.  It really couldn't have been easier.

 

            The car is a brand new Peugeot 503 1.6 L engine with built in GPS, automatic transmission, air conditioning and a very large trunk (below right.)  The 90-day lease of the car had all been negotiated online and totally paid for in advance, before we left, so I was very relieved to see it is what I ordered.

 

            Another advantage of this car lease program is that we had no expense for a taxi to the hotel and another to BMW Welt, saving us ~$200.  At 11:20 AM, I set off for our hotel using the GPS and discovered I really liked driving this car.  I also discovered what a "1.6 L engine" means (which saved us $1,000.)  It means it doesn't have much pick-up when trying to pass or when climbing hills.  On the straightaway, however, it is very smooth and really moves.  It has the best set of side view mirrors I have ever seen on any car I have ever driven.  There is no side blind spot on either side and you don't have to crane your neck around when trying to change lanes.  I wish I could get them on my Corvette.

 For information on Kemwel (located in Portland, ME) and their Peugeot Leasing program, click the links.  They also rent cars but the Peugeot Open Europe Lease is best if you are in the EU for at least 17 days [In 2013 it was changed to 21 days.]  Here is application form.  Here is page of cars available.

            We arrived in the Old Town (Altstadt) at 12:30 and checked into our favorite, Mercure Munich Altstadt Hotel [Hotterstraße 4, +49-89-232-590] and were given room #103 on the first floor (2nd floor to Americans.)

  

            This is our eighth visit to this capital of Bavaria.  We got unpacked and at 2:00 I fell asleep, while Marcia went for lunch at Güglhupf Cafe (right) [Kaufingerstraße 5, +49-89-260-8868.]  She came back at 6:30 and woke me up so I could get my run in before dinner.  I changed into my running outfit and headed out and at 8:00, I stopped in the Rosen Apotheke.

            At 8:05, with computer in hand, I ran straight to the Hofgarten near Odeonsplatz and took some photos of statues I hadn't seen before along the way.  This one is of Friedrich von Schiller (1759–1805,) the famous German poet,  philosopher, historian, and playwright.  His great friendship with Johann Wolfgang von Goethe led to a period now referred to as Weimar Classicism.  Click the links if you are interested in who they were and what they did.

            Below left is a portrait of Schiller and below right is a stock photo of the statue of him and Goethe standing in front of the opera house in the German city of Weimar which we saw on the 2007 Germany trip.

     

            The statue here in Munich was erected by King Ludwig I in 1863.  While running by Oskar Mayer Ring, I came across this park I hadn't been in before with a beautiful working fountain.

     

    

   

            There was another art piece in a different pool nearby (above.)  At 8:35 I was finished and ended in Odeonsplatz and of course, had to photograph the two buildings that frame this famous spot; the  Feldherrenhalle (Hall of Heroes) (below left) and the church of St. Kajetan Theatinerkirche (below right.)

   

            Since it was nearby and I had never been in it before, I took a photo of the Pfälzer Weinstube [Residenzstraße 1, +49-89-242-2910] located in the Residenz complex.

   

            Just outside the entrance, there are two large lion statues holding large shields.  The face at the bottom is worn down to the bronze by people rubbing it for good luck.

   

            The interior dining area is quite spacious (below left) and they have a pleasant outdoor dining area inside the Residenz building courtyard (below right.)

 

            Here are views of their menu.

   

            On the wall they had this interesting map of Die Deutsche Wein Strasse (the German Wine Road) (below left.)  Now it was tiime for a cappuccino at my old favorite, the San Francisco Coffee Company (SFCC) right in Odeonsplatz (below right.)  I was able to get free WiFi, do my LA Times crossword puzzle and get my AOL email caught up on.

    

            At 9:05 I walked back to our hotel and had to take another photo (below) of the Neues Rathaus (New City Hall) in Marienplatz, which is only two blocks away.  I took some photos of these advertising columns I saw on the way there.

                 

            I changed for dinner.  Zum Spockmeier - MunichSpatenhaus - MunichWe headed out at 9:35 and first stopped for a beer and wine at Paulaner zum Spockmeier [Rosenstraße 9, +49-89-268-088] (left.)  At 10:05 we arrived at our favorite place for dinner, the Spätenhaus [Residenzstraße 12, +49-89-290-7060] (right, where we had our first dinner on our 1997 trip.)

            The evening was so lovely, we decided to take one of the tables outside, which we had never done before.  We started off with a bottle of Reichsgraf von Kesselstatt Weißbergunder 2009, which was very nice.

  

            Marcia ordered her favorite Wienerschnitzle (below left) with her favorite berry sauce.  It came with cucumber salat and hasbrown-like potatoes.

    

            I started with four Kalbsbratwürstl (veal bratwursts) with that wonderful kartoffelsalat (German potato salad)...

...followed by a small order of Sauerbraten with spaetzle and red cabbage because they were out of duck, which is what I usually get.  It wasn't as good as the duck.

 

            For dessert we shared a Küche warm divers.  After dinner we walk slowly back to our hotel and at 12:30 I had an espresso at the hotel bar then got to bed at 1 AM.


Thursday, June 30, 2011


            I woke at 2:55, 3:55, 8:20 and at 10:20 I decided to get up.  I left the hotel with my computer for my run but because it wasn't fun running with it yesterday, at 11:10 I got to Marienplatz and took the Ubahn to Odeonsplatz.  It lets me off just in front of my coffee shop so at 11:20 I had a cappuccino at SFCC and with free WiFi did my puzzle, downloaded Rush and did my AOL email.  At 12, I booked a hotel for Innsbruck and because there are few Accor hotels where we are going, I followed the advice of both my friends Dimitrii and Brian to use www.Booking.com.  I found a good place and made the booking.

            One of the girls at the counter was kind enough to stash my computer bag behind the counter and by 3:25 I was doing my run to Bayerisch Museum.  I passed the Bayerische Staatskanzlei at the back of the Hofgarten (above) and then passed by the Prince Carl Palace which is such a pretty little building.

 

            I then ran by the famous Haus den Kunst on Prinzregentenstraße, which I discussed last year in Paris 2010 Diario #8.  They had a series of red banners hanging between each of the columns.  What amazed me is when I went to Google to ask for Haus den Kunst, below is the first link on the list: ...

... which is this travel website.  Very interesting.

  

           At 3:40, I crossed the bridge and just had to photograph these young people surfing in the wave in the Isar river.

            You can see on the map (right) how the Isar River runs from the Englischer Garten, past the Haus den Kunst and under the bridge.  I don't know whether the large wave is natural or manmade, but these kids were sure having fun.  I finally reached the famous Bayerisches National Museum [3 Prinzregentenstraße, +49-89-211-2401] (see Paris 2010 Diario #8 for details.)  This is Bavaria's cultural museum.  I discovered it was impossible to get the complex in one shot.  It took two shots to PhotoStitch the below vertical photo of the main center building and...

... it took three horizontal shots to create these two different aspects (below) of what the whole building looks like.

            The one above is the normal view and below is a wide-angle view.

            On my way back to Odeonsplatz, I had to pass again through this park with a little brook running through it and a series of beautiful weeping willow trees.

            I got back to SFCC at 4:00, got my computer back and had another cappuccino while working on my diarios.  At 5:00 Marcia was having lunch at Dinea [Fürstenfelder Straße 11, +49-892-318-5757] inside the Kaufhof Galeria.  An hour later she bought some pillows at Galeria Kaufhof.  While there, she also got us some diet cokes and some Post-it note pads.  I left SFCC and, eager to have some German beers, on my walk back, at 6 PM, I stopped for a Tucher pilsner beer at Tambosi's am Hofgarten [Odeonsplatz 18, +49-089-29-8322] as I have many times before (below left.)

           

            At 6:20 I stopped into the T-Mobile shop and bought some top up for my German phone chip and then stopped at an ATM to withdraw some Euros.  At 6:35 I stopped into the same Paulaner for one of their beers (above right.)  I got back to the hotel and changed and then at 7:45 Marcia and I had our Accor Favorite Guest free beer and wine in the hotel lobby.  We then went for a walk and came across this display of fragments from the Siegestor (Victory Tower) at the end of Ludwigstraße that were dug up during excavation.

 

            The Tor (left) represents the oldest of Munich’s city gates.  Historians say that it was built back in 1318, to facilitate the trade between the province of Bavaria and Italy. The gate’s central tower was pulled down in 1808, and the two outer towers were connected with a single arch about a century later.  Marcia (above left) got very interested in looking at the displays and took the two photos below.

 

   

            I wanted to try and find this neat place we happened onto two years ago when I was desperately looking for a restroom.  I knew I wanted to come back this time and eat there.  I knew it was a brew-pub in a large white building and on a corner near the Viktualienmarkt.  I was happy when I found it (below.)

 

            From the map you can see that it is not far from the Heilig Geist and St. Peter churches at the ends of Frauenstraße and Blumenstraße.

            At 9:00 we went inside Der Pschorr [Viktualienmarkt 15, +49-89-44-238-3940.]  The interior is large and beautifully appointed and has a second level.  We sat on the first floor.  I had to try their Pschorr Helles beer (below center.)

            Here are their menus, left in English, right in German.

     

Both below are English left and German right.

     

        

            I then ordered eight Nürnberger bratwursts with sauerkraut and kartoffelensalat (Beilagensalat) (potato salad.)  Boy, were they gut!

 

            I followed that with a nice dish of veal goulash with spaetzle accompanied by a salad with sliced beets on it.

  

            Marcia enjoyed some Grüner Veltliner white wine and Gerol sparkling water then a dinner of Saibling natur (Perch baked in parchment.)  Below left is how it arrived wrapped in parchment and below right is the fish when it was opened.

            It came with snow peas and a vegetable sorbet.

    

            We enjoyed everything.  By 11:00 we were back to our room.  I don't know the cause but I wound up with a bad case of diarrhea.  I quickly went to bed.

 

KJH                                                                                                                    Go To -> NEXT DIARIO #3 

Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD

KHofferMD@AOL.comRETURN TO INDEX

Munich, Germany

Sent 1-4-2012

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