Posts Tagged ‘Munich’

Muenchen

September 2, 2012

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.

Munich 2010

September 6, 2010

Wednesday, 25 August, 2010, to Munich

The quarterly FSAN (and ITU) meeting was in Munich this time, so Jacky took a few days’ vacation and came along. We came early so we could spend some time together and with our friends. Friedrich and Petra very kindly offered us bed and breakfast, and spent a lot of time with us.

Jacky flew on my frequent flyer miles. We flew through Chicago, had good seating from San Francisco, but we were in the last row of a full flight on the long haul to Munich. Not much sleep.

Thursday, 26 August

Friedrich was at the airport to meet us, and thank you very much. He took us to Allach, where we dropped off our things. Without sleep, we didn’t think we were up for a very adventurous day, so we went to Nymphenburg and the adjoining botanical garden and wandered around. Very nice.

Abendbrot zuhause. We are doing our best at remembering our German, and talking mostly in German. We are actually managing to discuss some real things, albeit not in really complex detail. Good for us!

Friday, 27 August

Today we went to Nürnberg to see a museum. What? A museum? Us? And it isn’t even raining, well, not very much. But it was a railway museum. Oh, okay, that’s different. Interesting place.

After the museum, we wandered through the town for an hour or two, up to the Burg and around. Jacky and I came here fifteen years ago, and I had the recollection that it was okay – but not more than that. Nürnberg is actually a very nice city, well worth a visit.

Two of the bronzes around the town caught our eyes, the Narrenschiff, ship of fools, and a bronze fountain, the Ehekarussell, a group dedicated to marriage, with a poem by Hans Sachs, der Meistersinger von Nürnberg.

In the evening, we four went to their favorite Indian restaurant in Dachau, a place called Shalimar. I was surprised that the proprietor called them Ihr and Du, but they later explained that they had gotten to know him very well. He had given them a full course in Indian cooking in his kitchen, had visited them at home. Okay, the Du is justified. Nice.

They have also met a lot of people and made friends through the Volvo Forum, in which Friedrich holds a position of some responsibility, helping to organize events, keep the money sorted out, and such.

Saturday, 28 August

Today was for Kloster Scheyern. Friedrich took comp time to be with us the last two days, but this is the first day on which Petra was able to join us. We thought if it rained, we would go to the Audi museum at Ingolstadt, but the weather was fine. Cool, mostly cloudy, an occasional raindrop.

Our friends bought a case of Kloster Bier, took it back to the car, and we went for a ten km hike or so in the woods. Very pleasant.

We took some lunch at the Klosterstubn, wandered the Kloster church, which was a bit less grandiose than the usual Bavarian baroque, and returned to Munich.

We thought to go to Schloß Schleissheim in the afternoon, but no sooner did we get there than our friends got in touch with Doris and Wolfgang, and we went over to their place in Garching for a brief afternoon chat and drink. 13-year old Lukas was worried about having to speak English and with Uhus who were definitely not Cool anyway, so he took his I-Pod and went over to his friend’s house.

Friedrich and Petra had a golf lesson and went out for the evening. We could have walked along to a nearby neighborhood restaurant, or scrounged from the fridge, but we had eaten enough, and really wanted no more. Mostly, we needed to catch up on sleep.

Sunday, 29 August

Anna was flying in this morning. We moved into the conference hotel, the Holiday Inn opposite the Gasteig. We met Thomas, Doris and Wolfgang, and Anna at 10. Lukas and his friend were invited, but thought the Parnachklamm would be boring, so they didn’t come along.

Eight of us, two cars. It was rainy as we drove toward the Alps, but mostly sunny by the time we reached Garmisch-Partenkirchen.

Great Klamm!

We stopped above the Klamm for lunchies. Some of us went down from the top to a bridge that  runs across the narrow part of the gorge for a few photos, then we all returned through the Klamm, the same way we came.

Went to a Hofbrauhaus near the Holiday Inn, where we first thought to eat outdoors, but it was getting chilly and we were happy to go inside. We are still a bit short on sleep, and Anna had had only two hours sleep or so on the plane, so after lots of talking and eating (and drinking), we all said our good nights and called it an evening.

Monday, 30 August

We have two narrow beds in our room. Cozy to share only one of them between the two of us.

Massive tour group in the breakfast room, all getting ready to leave. We hope it won’t be like this every day, but you never know. (It was in fact better until Friday, when another tour group came through.)

My meetings start at 10, so Jacky and I went out for a brief walk after breakfast. Chilly and breezy, we only went as far as Isartor, then returned through the museum and discovered a pleasant little parklet with trails coming up from the river to our hotel, which stands at the top of a low hill.

We had a separate conference in the next-door Novotel, whose conference facilities seemed much nicer than those at the Holiday Inn. Also less expensive, and the hotel itself seemed nicer. Somehow the FSAN people seem to have made the wrong choice.

Internet access at the Holiday Inn is also pretty unsatisfactory. They charge by the minute, with a max of EUR22 per day, which is expensive enough that we connect, download email, disconnect. In the ultimate irony, the service provider probably gets ten percent as much revenue as if it lowered its prices to a flat rate of, say EUR10 per day.

The meeting ended around 4:30. Jacky was back at the hotel room, and we went out, wandered around the Viktualienmarkt, Marienplatz, Odeonsplatz, the Theatinerkirche, all the old places. Nice to see them again.

Cold, windy, rainy. Great summer!

It was just starting to think about raining again when we got back to the south side of the Isar and stopped into the Chopan Afghan restaurant, which we had noticed this morning. Pretty good. They didn’t accept plastic, so we used most of our remaining cash.

Raining as we returned to the hotel, where we stopped in the lobby for a Dunkles – the Afghan restaurant had no alcohol. Back to the room to mellow out. Jacky flies home tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 31

Jacky left for the airport after breakfast, and I headed into my meetings. Trouble with wireless acess in the meeting room. By the end of the week, they had it working reasonably well, but it was pretty frustrating throughout most days.

It turned out to be a pretty nice day. After work, Denis K and I went out wandering. I had thought to go find the graves of Ohm and Fraunhofer, but it was getting a bit dark by the time we got to that neighborhood, so I gave up on that objective. In any event, we came upon the Jewish museum, new since last I was in that part of the city. Next was Sendlinger Tor, the Asamkirche and Asamhaus, which are always fun. And of course, I added on the Theatinerkirche as a constrast with Asamkirche.

We ended up at Wok and Roll, a restaurant that has Chinese cuisine on the first floor and Japanese on the Erdgeschoss. All you can eat sushi for EUR17. Pretty good.

Wednesday, September 1

A day of meetings, followed by an organized tour to Aying, where we spent the evening at the Ayinger Brauerei. Big place, lots of stainless steel. Although they admit that it’s only a mid-size brewery in terms of its competition, it is nevertheless big enough to produce one and a half times the entire consumption of Oktoberfest in a year.

Anna learned how to pour beer vom Fass, without having foam all over the place. She commented that with her new skill, she could get a job as a barmaid if she ever got laid off.

Late when we got back, as always in these things. Fortunately, I had escaped from the last of the afternoon sessions for a nap.

Thursday, September 2

Looked like a pretty nice day, but it was almost 6 by the time I was able to get out. Started off with Jeremy and Denis, thought it might be interesting to go to Schwabing. Near the university, Jeremy succeeded in getting in touch with half a dozen friends, and begged off to go spend the evening with them.

Meantime, Denis was on his cell phone, also arranging something. Will I end up doing this on my own? We veered off to Amalienstrasse and found an antique books dealer, where the proprietor handed Denis a ready-packaged roll, which Denis later told me contained old maps.

On to Schwabing, where we wandered for a while, then saw a restaurant advertising Tibetan food. No idea what that would be, but we gave it a try. Not bad.

On the way back, we stopped here and there to try for some night photos of the usual suspects.

I especially liked the eye charts in one shop just below the hotel.

Friday, September 3

Last day of meetings, the ITU interim session. Pleasant day when finally we broke up around 5. I walked to Isartor S-Bahn and bought an Einzelkarte, EUR2.40. Had to wait awhile for an S-2, but once on the train, it was fast and easy to Allach, where Petra and Friedrich were waiting.

I suggested Shalimar, the same Indian restaurant as before, and Doris and Wolfgang joined us. This time, Lukas came along too (13 years old, independent, bored by Uhus). A good evening of food and conversation.

Saturday, September 4

After breakfast, Friedrich and I wandered around Allach for a while, then went to Aumeister, a Biergarten in the Englischer Garten. Doris and Wolfgang were supposed to meet us at 10, but we were late and they were later. Wolfgang rode his mountain bike; Lukas declined to spend the day walking with Uhus in the rain. Too bad for him.

We walked an hour or so in the Englischer Garten, stopped for possible lunch at Milchhäusl. But the grill was not yet hot, and I was getting fidgety about having enough time at the airport, so we skipped it. Caught the U-Bahn back to the north, bid Doris and Wolfgang good-bye and drove with Friedrich and Petra to the airport.

There is a large covered terrace between terminals 1 and 2, surrounded by a number of businesses. We went to Airbräu, an on-site brewery, where we (I) had spareribs and a Weissbier. Ganz angenehm.

I was frisked twice on my way through security, but … oh, well. No big deal.

Nice to be on my way home. The world was overcast until we reached Baffin island, where there were great views of glaciers. Toward the west end of the island were hundreds, nay thousands, of round craters, some of them filled with water. Glaciers don’t leave behind round depressions, but I never heard of volcanic activity in this part of the world. No idea how to interpret the underlying geology.

Jacky was waiting for me at the airport. Home to unpack, check the email, crash into bed. Great trip for both of us.