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July 13-15, 2015

Monday, July 13, 2015

            It's time to get our bags down and get off the plane.  We had flown on a Lufthansa Airbus A340-600 named Leipzig (below right).  We went right through Customs without a question and got into the main Terminal.  As soon as I had a chance, I called the Peugeot Open Road number to let them know we had arrived and were ready to be picked up.


            While waiting, at 10:13 AM I got a cappuccino at the Starbucks in the Terminal and it cost a whopping �10.83.  She arrived quite quickly and was very nice helping us load all our luggage into the trunk of our brand new Peugeot 503.  I knew her name but that is gone with the Palm.  Marcia looked happy with the new car.


            Remember, this car was ordered for us by the company in Portland, Maine, calculated based on our length of stay and paid for by credit card months in advance of the trip.  We were lucky that they had the model we wanted with a diesel engine, automatic transmission, air conditioning, built-in GPS and the works.  File:Wappen Hallbergmoos.gifSometimes they may not have one if not ordered early enough as happened to us one time before.

            She drove us the couple of miles from the Terminal to the little town of Halbermoos (coat of arms, right) where they have their offices (below left).  We went inside and I signed two legal lease forms, she gave us a rundown on the car and we were ready to leave.  Our new red French license number was DS-351-XS with an expiration of December 2015.


            We decided it best to fill the tank, so before we left the town we stopped at 11:32 AM at OMV Tankstelle [Ludwigstrabe 54, +49-811-999-9889] and filled it up with 54 liters of diesel fuel (labeled black) which cost us �65.36 ($70, 08) and is much cheaper than the usual gas (petrol).  I got into a habit of taking a quick photo of the gas meter just in case of dispute or loss of receipt.  It has come in handy at times.


            All filled up, I drove the 18.6 miles (30 Km) to downtown Munich.  I knew we were getting into town as we passed the Triumphal Arch.


            As we continue down Ludwigstrasse, we pass the University Church (below) and soon we will turn right at Odeonsplatz (at the end in left photo) near the Hofgarten to wend the circuitous route to the hotel.


            We finally make the turn on Hotterstra�e and park up on the sidewalk near the door and check into to Hotel Mercure M�nchen Altstadt [Hotterstra�e 4,  +49-892-3259] (below) and was happy to say Hello to Dirk again.  That's a blurry shot of Dirk (on the left, below right) in the stock photo on their website.  His office is the door behind the green plant on the desk.  I booked it for two nights for �260.40.

Hotel - Mercure Hotel Munich Altstadt Hotel - Mercure Hotel Munich Altstadt

            There is another shot of their lobby from their website and there is Derik as a model again ...

Hotel - Mercure Hotel Munich Altstadt  

            ... and a blow up of it so you can see his face (below left).  After getting all our bags up to the room and organized, I wanted to get our telephones working so at 3:11 PM. I first stopped at my favorite nearby Rosen Apotheke [Rosenstra�e 6,  +49-892-300-2700] and then walked down to the Saturn Electro-Handelsges (electronics store, above right) [Neuhauserstra�e 39,  +49-8-923-6870] and at 4:02 PM I bought a new cell phone and other electronic supplies for �319.97. 


            Walking along I saw this bronze plaque memorial (above center) to Fyodor Ivanovich Tjutschew (1803-73), a famous Russian poet (above right).  I then went to get some phone chips for the phones.  At 4:10 PM I went in to the Telekom Shop [Neuhauserstra�e 10,  +49-800-330-1000] at the corner of Kappellenstra�e and bought a T-Mobile chip for both of our phones for �30 each.  Thank God I remembered to bring my passport with me.

            That job done, I then headed to the Viktualienmarkt (map below left) and found my favorite Nymphenburg Sekt Cafe pavilion [Viktualienmarkt 2, +49-892-323-9660] there to have a cappuccino.  They are not very big (as in Italy) but I just enjoy the atmosphere.


            I was told at Saturn that I could find what I was looking for at Conrad Electronic SE [Tal 29,  +49-960-440-8789].  I got there at 4:54 PM and bought it for �35.57.  I then stopped back at  Rosen Apotheke at 6:14 PM and got to the room to change into my running gear.  I had waited to run due to the heat.  It was a little cooler now as a walked up Theatinerstrasse to Odeonsplatz (below) where all the Mercedes Benz taxis are lined up in a circle.  The Hofgarten gate is on the right.

            Here it is up close (below left); I'm going in to do my run.  I looked back at Odeonplatz where I had been and got my usual photo of the church and square.


            I left my computer bag with the bartender at Tambosi's as I usually do and then did my usual half hour run in the Hofgarten park; going around it four times is usually one mile (at 7 MPH) then I fast walk at 4.5 MPH the remaining time.  In the center of the main park is a domed structure.  They had wonderful flower arrangements planted.


            When I was done, I retrieved my computer bag and headed to the San Francisco Coffee Company (below) [Theatinerstrasse 23, +49-892-429-1576] as I do on every trip and get my email and downloads done.  They have exterior seating, a very large interior and even seating in the fountain patio in the central atrium of the building.

            Now I am relaxed and really ready for a good Bavarian beer.  I walked back over to Caffe Tambosi [Odeonsplatz 18,  +49-8-929-8322] and at 9:30 PM ordered an Augustiner-Bra� lager from my friend (below).  It was very refreshing.


            [His name is long lost on the Palm phone.]

[To my horror, when I arrived there in July 2017, Tambosi's was closed and out of business - the whole place was gutted.  Wonder what it will become.]

            I walked all the way back to the hotel and got changed.  We then walked back up past the Opera House and the Spatenhaus where we usually eat and at 11:15 PM went to dinner at Zum Franziskaner [Residenzstra�e 9,  +49-89-231-8120] (below).  I noticed on the walls they had the emblems of all the German cities so I got this one of W�rzburg, the home of my good friend Dr. Wolfgang Haigis.


            Stock photos of the interior from their website below.


            As in most Munich restaurants, they immediately place a basket of hard salted pretzels on your table.  If you take one, then there is a charge for it.  They are free if you leave them be.  I broke a piece off one.  Marcia ordered a plate of bread, onions and cheese spreads.  She doesn't touch the onions.


            I then ordered my two favorite things; Nuremburger bratwursts with sauerkraut followed by a roasted half duck with red cabbage and German potato salad.  I was in heaven.


            Marcia had her favorite Wienerschnitzle but there are no photos of it.  We finished this excellent dinner and walked back to the hotel to bed.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

            Since I woke up before the free breakfast closes at 11:00 AM, I got dressed quickly and ran downstairs.  The Asada Steakhouse that was housed on the ground floor (below) for several years has now been taken over by the hotel for their breakfast room.  It is huge and the layout of food is as spectacular as ever.  I hd brought my Samsung S-5 phone down with me to try putting in the T-Mobile Germany chip (labeled "KG") and see if it would work.  I just exchanged it for the Verizon chip in the slot where it goes.


            You can see the layout of meats and cheeses (below left) and they even had a full honeycomb (below right).


           They also had eggs hard boiled and scrambled along with bacon and sausages.  Since I don't eat this early, I made myself a thick ham and cheese sandwich on whole wheat to take up to my room for later (below right).


            Below left is a shot of what Marcia was enjoying for her breakfast.


            I went out for the same run I did yesterday and then at 12:05 PM I had a cappuccino at the Starbucks near the Viktualienmarkt on Rosentalstra�e 7 and worked on my computer while Marcia later went to lunch at 5:30 PM at the Italian Connection [Neuhauser Stra�e 5, +49-8-926-5520] (above right and below) and then at 6:00 PM went shopping at the nearby Crabtree & Evelyn Store [Neuhauser Stra�e 2, +49-892-422-3956].


            We soon discovered that our car was missing.  The girl at the hotel desk told us to contact the Police Department because they had towed it because we were parked in a fire zone.  I guess my German was not good enough to read that sign (below left) indicating it was a fire zone and that parking was prohibited.  I won't forget next time.


            She gave us the address of the police and since I wasn't sure where Hochbr�ckerstra�e was ...


 ... we walked through Marienplatz, went down Tal and found it on the left (map below).  For a beautiful short synopsis of sites in Munich Altstadt click HERE and for an excellent expandable map of the central area of Munich click MAP.

            It is on an area of Tal which is a busy shopping area just outside Marienplatz ( below left); it even has a McD.


            We found the police station on the corner (below left) but had to go around the side to get in the guarded entrance.  Once inside, the police were very polite and told me I would have to pay �235 in cash (below right) to release the car.  After paying the cash, I hailed a cab (above right) and Marcia went out to pick up the car and bring it back.


            She got the car and drove back and picked me up.  Then we drove by the Viktualienmarkt area to take a look at the hotel I had booked for the return to Munich three months from now.  It is called the Derag Livinghotel (below) and we discovered it was very nice and also quite convenient.

            We drove the car back to the hotel and found a legal place to park.  Since it was getting late, we headed to Viktualienmarkt for our favorite Munich spot for dinner.  At 10:00PM, we got a table in our usual place at Der Pschorr Restaurant [Viktualienmarkt 15, +49-895-181-8500].


            Its a big beautiful place (stock photo) and ...

 ... they serve their Hacker-Pschorr bier in nice ice cold glasses from the freezer.  Their menu is extensive but I always go for my favorites.  I started with my Nuremburger bratwurst with sauerkraut and mustard.


            It was delicious.  I followed that with a half Schweinhaxen (roasted pork knuckle).  I tried to get shots of it from different angles but tried first without a flash.


             I then tried it with the flash (below left).  It came with that potato knodeln (round sticky ball of potatoes) which I do not like so I asked them to bring me some some spaetzle (below right) instead.


            Below left is literally what is left when I was am almost finished - there is still a little meat left.  Marcia had her favorite here; the veal goulash (below right).


            Both meals were fabulous and we were very satisfied.  The whole meal only cost us �74.90.  Our servers wanted to get this photo together.  It doesn't get better than this.  If you are in Munich, you must get here.


            At 11:40 PM, we wandered our way back to our hotel on a very nice evening and got to bed rather early.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

            Today is the day we leave Munich and start our big journey to Northern Ireland and then Spain.  I woke up again in time to go down to the free breakfast room and get a cappuccino.  By the time I leave, everyone else is gone.


            I headed out to get a few things done.  I got a shot of the lobby and the "front" of the hotel on Hakenstrasse.  It looks like the breakfast room is going to turn into the M&H Bistro Cafe.


            The little "alley" to the left of the hotel is Hotterstrasse where the entrance is.  This is the only place you can park for free on the left side of Hotterstrasse and it is usually full. 


            I wanted to get some shots of the hotel with the Frauenkirche Dom towers in the background.  I started way down the street and worked my way closer and these are the best I could get.


            I then headed around the corner and had a cappuccino at Rossi's and worked on my computer for a bit.


            Above right is the city parking structure which we have had to use on occasion.  I left there and took a walk on the big shopping street and love these carts loaded with fresh produce.  Here is one with fruits and the cherries (kirschen) looked beautiful.


            I learned that since we were here last, the EU Parliament passed a law that a phone chip from one country must work in all EU countries without extra roaming charges.  Based on that, and the fact our German chips don't seem to expire easily, I thought it best we load up our phone chips.  At 12:27 PM, I got back to a Telekom Shop [Kaufingerstra�e 6, +49-895-795-3501] and had this nice young fellow put �30.00 on each of our phones.  Things are so much easier in Germany.


            At 2:30 PM, Marcia had lunch at Schnitzelwirt im Spatenhof [Neuhauserstra�e 39, +49-8-926-4010] (below).  You can she that without knowing it, we were not far from each other; me at the Telecom Shop and her at Schnitzelwirt.


            They specialize in schnitzel (below), whether of pork, veal, turkey, fish or even vegetable.  Spatenhof shouldn't be confused with the Spatenhaus, our favorite restaurant.


            I then went for my run and when finishing I found my self in the famous Hofbr�uhaus area.  This has a real touristy feel to it with tons of souvenir shops and crowded streets.


            I went inside the Hofbr�uhaus and got a shot of their arched painted cielings.  Looking through the shop windows I could not help taking a photo of this beautifully crispy Schweinhaxens in the window.


            I wound up in front of the Zum Franziskaner (below left) where we ate dinner the night before last; it was certainly busy.  Across the street, the Opern [Opera House] (below right) must have a special event going on with all the columns colorfully wrapped.


            I made it back to the hotel to get dressed and packed for the trip.  Then I lugged all our bags down and stuffed them in the trunk.  I checked out of the hotel and we were off to W�rzburg.  Marcia was driving so I got a shot of this eagle monument and some sculpture.


            We stopped and got gas and I decided to try these potato chips with the ham and cheese sandwich I had made yesterday.  With the name Hoffer, I had to try the Hof Chips; also tried the bacon style Kessel chips.


            We had to pass the airport on the way north and then head west.


            The traffic wasn't bad as we zoomed along on the beautiful Autobahn but getting a sign pop up in your lane is a little disconcerting when going at these speeds especially with a big semi in the next lane beside you.

            We finally arrived in the city of W�rzburg (city flag, right).  My dear friend Prof Wolfgang Haigis had arranged for us to stay at the Schlosshotel Steinberg [Reu�enweg 2,  +49-9-319-7020] where we had stayed before when we held our IOL Power Club meeting in his city.  We had set the GPS for the hotel and after checking in, Wolfgang had arrived to pick us up.  As you can see, the hotel (castle) is high up on a steep hill with beautiful vistas of the city and the Main river below.  After we unloaded and checked in, he immediately took us to his home which he had just finished remodeling and adding a room next to the garage with a deck on its roof leading to the house.


            Here is the layout of the huge Steinberg.

            We went out on the deck and greeted us with a very welcome beer and wine.  That is his wife Katrine to the left of Marcia.  They took us in to see the new room which has not been furnished yet.


            Here you can see the cute little bridge that crosses from the deck to the house.


            Wolf then took us to his favorite Italian restaurant, Ristorante Pizzeria da Toni [13-15 W�rthstra�e, +49-9-317-052-5052] located in the "Euro Center W�rzburg" (below) and I was thinking how good could Italian food be in W�rzburg.  The owner/chefs are Antonio and Ulrike Satta.

            We were seated at a nice outside table and I ordered a glass of the local W�rzburger Hofbr�u bier - it was perfect.


            Well, to my great surprise, they had vitello tonnato (below left) on the menu which is an arcane Italian dish that you seldom see outside Italy.  So Marcia and I ordered both that and prosciutto � melone (below right) to split.


            They were both great.  For a primi, I followed that with a whole wheat penne with speck (ham) and peas in a cream sauce (below right) and Marcia had a bowl of minestrone (below right) again both very good.


            For our secondi, I ordered a plate of saltimbocca with roasted potatoes and Marcia had salmon linguini.  Saltimbocca is scaloppini of veal with prosciutto and cheese in a sage/butter sauce - just delicious.


            They were all five times better than they look in the photos.  It was a fantastic Italian meal in a Lower Franconian (upper dark red) city in Upper Bavaria.  Lower/Upper refer to the elevation and not north/south.

            What a pleasant surprise.  Thank you Wolf and Katrine for a delightful evening.  Before we left Wolf, introduced me to the owner-chef who, of course, was from Italy.


            After dinner, Wolf drove us back to the Sternberg and we went past a Ferris wheel (above right) located in a park.  We got to bed at a reasonable hour.


KJH                                    Go To NEXT DIARIO #3  

Kenneth J. Hoffer, MD



W�rzburg, Germany

Sent 2-28-2018

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