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Tuesday, July 23, 2001


        We got up early at 7:30 AM to pack and check out of the hotel.  I discover that my 3 phone calls to Santa Monica for emailing using AOL have cost me over $150 over past 3 days just to get and send email.  I will wait until I can connect directly to AOL here in Europe.  We took a taxi to the Milano train station (ferrovia stazione). As usual it was an exercise getting all our bags in and out of the cab and on to the train.  As is true of most all European trains we have taken, there is no one to tell you where your train is or when to get on.  You fend for yourself and lug all your bags onto the train since there are no redcaps to help you on board or show you where your room is, even if you are first class and paying the highest fare.  The two of us struggled to get these huge bags through the corridors of the cars since we got on near the end of the train and had to wend our way through 13 cars to finally find our room.  Our room is intended to hold 6 people, 3 facing 3 on long bench seats with bags in racks above.  So you have to negotiate lifting all the bags yourself while others sit and watch you struggle.  The elderly German couple just scowled at me, probably because they wondered why I needed so many bags.  Of course this arrangement leaves little privacy except that the door to the 6-man room closes.  We experienced the same during our train trips from Paris to Munich in 1997 and again in 1999, our round trip from Milano to Lucerne, Switzerland in 1997 and the Chunnel train from London to Paris in 1999.  No matter how high you pay, you hoof your own bags and get no privacy.  Give me Amtrak service any day.

        It was a beautiful trip through the Alps.

 

            I did some email and slept a little.  Milano to Munich was about 7 hours.  We arrive in the fabulous Munich Hauptbahnhof station and took a Mercedes-Benz cab to the Platzl Hotel which is near the old center of town (altstadt) and the famous Marienplatz.  We checked into our hotel, the Platzl Hotel [Sparkassenstra▀e 10, +49-8-923-7030].

  

  

I went for my run at 6:30 PM, up Ludwigstrasse to Leopoldstrasse and saw part of the city I had never seen in our last two trips here.  Enjoyed a so-so cappuccino at Cafe AmDerUni near the main university and medical school.  This is a neat little place where all the young, hip students hang out.  I then ran back to the hotel.  Below is City Hall in Marienplatz and the Opera House on Maximilianstrasse.

    

        Dr. Thomas Neuhann (of Munich), a famous ophthalmologist, returned my call to invite us to dinner at Locando Picolit.  A delightful spot (Italian) that reminded me of where Wendy (Mrs. Eales) took us to lunch in London two years ago.  It was a beautiful balmy evening and we had a wonderful time with Tom the entire evening.  I had brought along my new SONY picturebook computer which allowed me to teach him my new pigment vacuum iridectomy technique.  It allowed me to show him video of the procedure.  We then returned to the hotel after visiting his home to share a bottle of red until 2 AM.  We get back to the hotel at 2:30 AM and I decided to get some air and see where the music was coming from that you could hear echoing from the streets.

        The streets were completely empty and as quiet as a morgue other than for this one dance bar.  I decided to go in and ordered a pils to watch the scenery.  Somehow I felt like Ernest Hemingway - I should have been in bed.  Suddenly two Amercani entered the bar.  They were in their late 20s to early 30s.  One was 6' 2" and had everything going for him.  The other was 5' 3" slightly stocky and very loud.  He immediately buys me a beer and starts checking out the ladies.  The contrast between these two was striking.  When 4 attractive girls entered the place, he was on them like fly paper.  He bought them all drinks and was immediately dancing.  The other fellow stood there quietly and finally asked me to tell his friend he was leaving to go to bed.  After giving the first guy some fatherly advice about which girl he had the best chance with, I finally left to get to sleep.  This really seemed like a Hemingway night.

        I am trying something new; I saved several photos in the lowest memory possible so that the five I have attached add up to less than a usual photo.  So they should take less time to download than one photo did before.  Fernando, let me know.

 

KJH                                                                                                                 Go To -> NEXT DIARIO #4 

Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD

KHofferMD@AOL.comRETURN TO INDEX

Munich, Germany

Sent 7-25-01

Edited 5/18/2013

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