Trip Start May 10, 2008
Trip End Jun 15, 2008

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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Thursday, May 15, 2008

DAY 5 WED We were really looking forward to Mittenwald. By all accounts it would be more pleasant than nearby Garmisch, described by some as too touristy. The setting of the small town was as beautiful as we had expected, huddling in the shadow of an enormous mountain still capped with the remainder of last winter's snow. Mittenwald itself was a little less beautiful than it must have once been due to the heavy concentration of souvenir shops. Nonetheless there were many picturesque buildings boasting the frescoed facades we had come to expect from Bavarian towns.

After a quick visit to the Church of Saints Peter and Paul we seated ourselves in a bustling beer garden and sampled some local dishes. At Margaret's insistence I passed on the jellied pig's head in favour of pork, sauerkraut and the ubiquitous pasta-peculiar-to-the region. Margaret chose weiswurst. Both choices were wise, especially when washed down with Dunkel beer produced by the local brewery.

Mittenwald is a world-renowned centre of violin making, a fact of which I was unaware. I think that Margaret, the violin meister, was also ignorant of the importance of the town in the history of violin manufacture. Imagine our joy when we stumbled upon the Geigenbau Museum. For a small fee we were able to spend many hours learning everything worth knowing about violins and their place in the history of Mittenwald.

How the hours had flown! With fifteen minutes to kill before the train was due to depart we bought ice creams and sat in the town park. So engrossed were we in our treats, the bright blue sky and the towering peaks before us that we failed to realise that we had only three minutes to reach the station. Needless to say we missed the train. This turned out to be a good thing as it gave me time to discover that my Lonely Planet guide to Germany was missing. Not only had it cost me thirty dollars but we relied upon it for information on the places we planned to visit. I left Margaret to trail in my wake as I retraced our steps from the beer garden to the park via the violin museum.

At the beer garden a helpful frau looked through a few drawers and questioned some of the serving wenches. No luck. She asked me where I was from and, upon learning my nationality, announced that her son and daughter-in-law had recently spent ten weeks in Australia. I should have realised that I was about to become a victim of an old Thai conman trick. Having created a bond she asked me whether I liked Bavarian music. I could hardly tell her that it left me cold so I told her that I was quite fond of it. She had me in her trap and proceeded to the dénouement. Her son, she informed me, played in a Bavarian band. Would I like to buy a CD by the band? I wouldn't, but I did.

Eventually I found the book at the violin museum. I had left it in the water closet while combing my hair (a euphemism). The long train trip to Munich was almost unbearable. The German travellers closed all the windows and, as the air conditioning was switched off, the carriage quickly became hot, stuffy and claustrophobic. By the time we reached Munich Hauptbahnhof I had developed a bad cold. I could only hope that the Medi Nait the pharmacist sold me would work as promised for our next expedition was to King Ludwig's most famous castle.
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starlagurl on

You fell for a scam...was the music good at least?

Louise Brown
TravelPod Community Manager

cullism on

Music scam
I've played some or all of the CD twice. It's typical 'oompah' music and perfectly good for that type of music. I may give it to my mother, who is Swiss.

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