Muenchen

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Friday, 31 August, 2012, Bucharest to Munich

Because Jacky is traveling on frequent flyer miles, we were unable to fly together, although we are both going to Munich today. We shared a ride to Bucharest airport, but I was unable to get a standby seat on her earlier flight, and had to spend an extra 4 hours in the airport, waiting for my scheduled flight. Moomph!

But they gave me a business class upgrade, whose major benefit — on a 2-hour flight — was not having to rub elbows with anyone. They also gave us snacks, which were welcome. The passport inspectorin (female) discussed my situation with me auf Deutsch. It’s good that mine is good enough to survive a real conversation, if not a particularly profound conversation.

Jacky was there; we went out past customs, where Friedrich and Petra were awaiting us. Very nice of them to pick us up. We drove to their place in Allach, whence we — along with Rike — walked to the nearby Wirtshaus (the Würmtalhof). No Englisch gesprochen, but we can manage, especially with a lot of help from our friends. Good dark beer: Räuber Kneißl.

A long evening of talk, and a short night of sleep.

Saturday, 1 September, Munich

After a leisurely breakfast, we drove Jacky to the airport and dropped her off for her flight to Chicago. She leaves 4 hours earlier than I, and I get to SF 45 minutes before she does. And, for once in a long while, I have a business class upgrade from Munich to SF.

Friedrich and Petra and I went to Landshut and explored. Close to the airport for the return trip, and definitely die Reise wert.

We left the car in the parking area near the top of the hill above the town. After a short walk through the woods (no small animals …), we came to the Burg, which was worth a visit.

From here, we walked down the hill into the town.

I first discovered Landshut when we lived in Munich in 1995, and I explored the environs by bicycle. Jacky and I came again later with Tim. I believe Friedrich and Petra said they had been to the burg before, but not the town. They were surprised and pleased that it is bigger and nicer than expected. Always good to have visitors from faraway places to help you discover things in your own back yard…

I liked the colours, textures and patterns in the foto above.

And here: Jacky always says I don’t take enough pictures of the people. All right, here are some real people. Tourists from Ingolstadt, maybe?

One of the things I like most about Bavaria is the whimsy. Landshut isn’t big on whimsy, but I did find a door pull that I liked and a courting scene as we walked back up the hill to the car.

And what day would be complete without a small animal!

My friends were surprised that I had even noticed this little guy, and they had never heard of harvestmen (Google translator thinks the German word for harvestman is Harvestman, but that’s probably because it just doesn’t know; Oxford-Duden says a harvestman is ein Weberknecht (m). Well, for that matter, I only learned about them myself a few years ago.

It’s noteworthy that they carry their two eyes on a turret atop their heads*, while spiders are festooned with headlights, sidelights, running lights, fog lights, turn signals and sometimes backup lights, integrated into their heads. I also notice that the upper part of the legs is fleshy, while the lower part is a thin fibre; spiders’ legs tend to be all fleshy(tarantulas, for example) or all thin (daddy long-legs).

* Head being an anthropomorphic approximation for both spiders and harvestmen.

After munchies at the car and a quick ride to the airport, we said good-bye and I once again entered the spaced-out world of long-distance travel. Passport control was again auf Deutsch — I suspect it is a new policy on their part to try German first, rather than defaulting to Englisch, and that’s fine.

My flight was at least direct, and I got the business class upgrade, so it was pretty painless. Jacky flew through Chicago, where her connecting flight had problems and she was delayed several hours.

But we made it home, glad to be home, glad to have seen another new destination, and especially glad to have seen our friends again.

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