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June 4-5, 2007


Monday June 4, 2007

            I woke spontaneously at 7 AM and fell back to sleep until the call from  Lufthansa woke me again at 10 AM.  Marcia developed some pain in her leg and back that was so bad she had Charlie take her to an emergency room before we went to the airport.  I woke again at 1:30 PM to discover Marcia was back and the ER had sent her to an orthopedic surgeon who gave her a shot of steroids in the hip.

            I went for my run at 3:30 PM to St. Mary's Church and then stopped at Starbucks for a cappuccino and did the LA Times puzzle in the Boston Herald.  I walked back to the house, did my email and got everything packed up for the trip.  At 5 PM we left Charlie's, drove to Logan Airport and by 5:30 we had turned in the car at Hertz and then got our bags on the terminal bus.  We had to be at Terminal E by 5:40 PM and we got cleared through TSA at 5:45.  We then went to the Business Class lounge of Lufthansa and settled in.  I worked on the computer a little and then took my 0.50 mg Klonopin at 7 PM.

            After sitting for a while, I made a few calls to the kids and at 7:45 PM  we boarded the plane.  After we got in our seats, at 8 PM I took the other 0.50 mg Klonopin and 5 Melatonin 3 mg tablets.  The plane (Flight #425) took off on time at 8:25 PM.   The trip will be 3,841 miles and take 7 hrs and 25 min.

            I curled up into a ball, put my ear plugs in and my blinders on and, according to Marcia, at 9 PM I finally fell asleep.  End of Day #1.

Tuesday June 5, 2007

            I woke up at midnight to use the bathroom and then slept again until 3 AM, just before landing - not bad for shortening the seven and a half hour flight.  One of the benefits of going to Maine first was to cut the 12 hour flight to 7 � hours.  We arrived at Terminal 2 in the Munich airport at 9:45 AM Germany time (3:45 AM Boston time.)

            We got off the plane via these walk down ramps instead of directly into the airport.  I thought this was a little strange.  We did the usual wait and at 10 AM we got all our bags and just walked through customs very easily after showing our passports and getting them stamped.  At 10:15 we took the customary Mercedes taxi to our hotel in downtown Munich.  The ride cost us �59.30 plus a �5 tip.


            At 10:45 AM we checked in the M�nchen Dorint Sofitel Hotel (above) [Bayerstra�e 12, +49-89-599-480, h5413@accor.com.]


            The room was included in the price of the flight and it was pretty nice, as most Sofitels are.  We checked and the bag shipment we had sent in advance from home had arrived at the hotel.  This is the first time we tried shipping luggage to our hotel in advance.

            Now we were all set for the trip.  At 2 PM I went out for my run in the Munich streets.  I passed the Munich Dom (left,) with its twin onion domes that has become the symbol of the city.

            At 2:30 PM I stopped in a really neat little "Italian" bar I had been to in 2003, called Tambosi [Odeonsplatz 18, +49-89-298-322] and had a cappuccino and did a puzzle.  {You remember that � = ss.}


            Because the outside tables were all taken, I sat inside at a table near the window, which was very nice.  The bartender ignored my requests because I was only allowed to order from one of the waitresses, even though they were all occupied serving ice cream at the other end of the place.  Tambosi sits in front of a park called the Hofgarten where I heard live musicians playing.  The beers on tap looked so good, I went ahead a had one and relaxed watching the comings and goings of the pretty frauleins.

            I then decided to walk around and take some pictures.  As I got to Marienplatz again, this time the main steeple of the Rathaus (City Hall) was covered in scaffolding.  They left enough open so that we could see the Glockenspiel clock strike and watch the famous figures dance through their cycle (below right.)


            This is what the Glockenspiel looks like when there is not scaffolding.  Below is the Altes Rathaus (both stock photos.)


            I then walked up the pedestrian street to Odeonsplatz with the beautiful Baroque church, Theatinekirchhe Ste. Kajetan, built in 1662.


            Right near by and across the street, is the huge M�nchen Residenz Palace we first visited when we attended a large President's Dinner affair in the Kaisersaal during an ESCRS meeting in 2003.


            Below left is the entry to the Residenz Museum.  In the entry archway they had this large map of Bayern (Bavaria,) showing other cities like W�rzburg, Bamberg, Bayreuth and N�rnberg.


            By 3:30 PM I was getting shots of the Bayern Royal Opera House (below) and the statue of Maximilian Joseph, the first King of Bavaria (left.)  He was born in 1756 and became King in 1806.  His coat of arms is that of the Wittelsbach family. He died in 1825 and is buried in the beautiful Theatinekirche church.  He was succeeded by his son Ludwig I and grandson Maximilian IIHis great-grandson was  Ludwig II, the "Mad King" (below left) who built all the Bavarian castles (see later.)  His building bankrupted the government and his uncle dethroned him claiming he was incompetent and mentally ill.  He was moved to Starnberger See (lake) and was killed in such a way as to make it look like a drowning suicide.  Today there is a cross at the spot where his body was found.  Ironically, today his many fabulously "crazy" castles are a huge tourist attraction and major income generator for Germany.



            I then found the Platzl Hotel (below left) [Sparkassensstra�e 10, +49-89-237-030] we had stayed in 2001.  I went in and checked the room prices and they had gone up quite a bit.


            I later found the Residenz dance bar that I enjoyed so much from the trip in 2001, but it was closed.  So I peaked in to see if I could remember that crazy night - I did.


            I kept walking, enjoying all the sights of the street scene.  The Altes Rathaus (old city hall) (below left) is quite picturesque as is the entry to the Ratskeller restaurant in the Neues Rathaus (new city hall above.)



            Below left is the Sendlinger Gate and later I came across this friendly wild boar.



            It didn't take much walking to find the famous 500 year-old Hofbrauhaus.  As you can see, they have established a Hard Rock Cafe right across the street.  I walked into this huge place which is a little quieter in the afternoon than it is at night.


            I was often ogled at in my running gear but finally settled into a bench and by 4:30 I was enjoying a great German bier in a very large stein.



            At 5 PM I was out walking again and toured a lot of the eateries in the area but it started to rain.


            I walked into this really classy store called Alois Dallmayr (below), which had tons of interesting household items and ...



... cases full of beautiful prepared foods, baked goods and meat products.


            I can't refrain from photographing a monkfish (below left,) they are so ugly and ferocious looking but they taste great (it's said they are like lobster.)  I left there and passed by this cute little outdoor cafe called Psisterm�hle Restaurant.


            I walked down the main pedestrian area which is quite large and full of people.  At 5:30 I decided to attend Mass at St. Michael's Church (left) and afterward found my way to the Augustiner Brau Ausschank (below right) for another beer.  It is a really neat place with tables out front.  We had dinner there with Dimitrii and Jake in 2003.  I really enjoyed sitting there, people watching and having a chance to suck up the ambience of being back in Europe again. This was quite unusual for me to have that much beer before the sun goes down but Bavarian beer is very tempting.





            Before heading back to the hotel I had to cross the area where the fountains are at the major intersection in Karlsplatz (below.)  I then walked my way back to the Dorint Sofitel to get changed.

        Here is a stock aerial photo of the Dom and Neues Rathaus.

            At 7:30, we took a taxi to the Opera House area for dinner.


            At 8 PM we arrived and walked around a little while enjoying the ambience of the area.  We had planned to have dinner at the Sp�tenhaus an der Oper [Residenzstra�e 12, +49-89-290-7060] which is directly across the street from the Royal Opera House.  This is where we had our first German dinner on our Italy trip in 1997.



        Marcia started with a glass of German wine and asparagus soup which was very good.


            For her entree she had the first of her many orders of Wienerschnitzle which came with fried potatoes.


            To finish up, she had a bowl of 3 ice creams with whipped cream.

            I started with a pint of Sp�ten bier and appetizers of herring and a  cool cucumber salad.

            For an entree, I had a beautiful � crispy duck that came with those doughy, big sticky potato dumplings balls (which I don't like) and a bowl of spaetzle (which I do) ...

... and a nice bowl of red cabbage.  For dessert I had a real apfelstrudel (apple strudel.)


            We were finished at 9:30 and we took a cab to our hotel.  I think I had enough German beer for one day.  We went to bed at 11 PM.

       [ I started to write diarios on the Palm while in Germany and here is the only thing I ever got to write.  This was written in Dresden (East Germany) regarding my run to the museum on June 18, 2007.

"I know I am in full touring mode now after having run to Mass in a magnificent restored cathedral and walking through a fabulous gallery filled with hundreds of old masters that cannot be seen anywhere else.  I got up at 7:30 AM and ran in the pouring rain to go stand in the rain for an hour to get this special ticket to see the rare collection of Augustus the Strong in the Dresden State Palace. I couldn't and wouldn't have done this last week. When I first arrived, I couldn't seem to generate any interest at all in looking at art or cultural exhibits.  All I wanted to do was sit and have a cappuccino and people watch. But now I guess I am in full touring mode. So let's see what Germany has to offer."

            I never got to write any more while on the trip so that is why I have to do it all now since I am back.]


KJH                                                               Go To -> NEXT DIARIO #3 

Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD


M�nchen, Germany

Sent: 8-1-2008

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  We Have Now Toured All the Countries in Western Europe Except Greece & No. Ireland

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Copyright 2014     Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD