On The Way to Munich

Trip Start Jun 23, 2009
Trip End Jul 08, 2009

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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Wednesday, July 1, 2009

We checked out of the Chalet Fontana and made our way to Interlaken.  We filled up our water bottles for the last time with that great Swiss water from the mountain.  We went from Interlaken to Bern to Basel to Zurich, through Lake Constance in Austria.  We had a compartment all to ourselves and had been guarding it so no one would join us.  When we went to the restaurant car and came back, a woman was in our compartment.  She was a retired school teacher who taught English and History from Munich named Gerdi.  Her husband was a retired construction engineer who spends his time coming up with inventions.  She was very interesting to talk to, but we all fell asleep anyway.

When we got to Munich we walked to our hotel and checked in.  Noel had the smallest bathroom any of us had ever seen.  It gave new meaning to the term Water Closet which is what they call the bathrooms throughout Europe.  He had to slide the shower doors together in order to sit on the toilet with his legs on the outside of the doors!  Wish we would have gotten a picture of that.  We were hungry, so we headed to the Hofbrauhaus for dinner.  It was excellent Bavarian food and beer.  We sat next to a table of local regulars who had their steins in stein lockers at the restaurant.  There was a polka band playing and the waitresses were wearing authentic Bavarian outfits.  Next we went across the street to the Hard Rock Cafe and got Noel's shirt from Munich.  Throughout the plaza there were several great street performers, including a group of four girls who were playing Vivaldi, and Metallic Man who was a mime in front of the Hofbrauhaus.  They have to pay 40 euros per year to perform there.

When we got back to the hotel we talked to a couple from Alaska who had won their trip a few weeks before they left.  The hotel restaurant was very smokey, so we went to bed.

The next day we had breakfast and then left for sightseeing.  We tried to get into the Asamkirche, a church that was under construction until October.  We looked in the window and it looked great.  Then we went to another church that we had to try several doors to get into it.  It was breathtaking on the inside and had pink and green ceilings with gold trim.  Words cannot describe the insides of the churches we saw.  Next we went to a church with onion domes which had the devils footprint on the floor inside.  Legend has it that the devil walked in when it was being built and could not see any windows so he said the church was worthless without any windows and stomped his foot on the floor.  When he walked further, he saw all the windows and left the church and turned into wind.

Then it was time for our bike tour with Mike's Bike Tours.  Our guide was Frankie who was originally from Hawaii.  We went throughout Munich and saw nudists and surfers at English Gardens which is four times larger then Central Park, many nazi historical sites, and stopped for lunch at the second largest beer garden in Munich.  When we got back we went to see the Residenz, the old palace of Bavarian royalty.  The opulence was overwhelming.  On the way back to the hotel there was a huge crack of thunder and lightning right over our heads, but it never did rain.  We freshened up and went back out for dinner.  On our way we stopped at another spectacular church and took more pictures.  We had dinner at the Hofbrauhaus again and sat with a couple from Derry Ireland, Carol and Kevin.  Carol was a mechanical engineer with red hair and they were on a city break for four days.  They were very interesting and encouraged us to visit Ireland some day.  She told us there is an Irish pub in every town, including Iraq.  She said "where there's a will, there's a way."  We walked eleven miles that day and also went on a four hour bike ride.  On the way home we saw another street performer who was a musician and comedian.  He made fun of all nationalities, and enjoyed using Bush as a source of humor.  He grabbed me from the crowd and took a picture of us.  After that, we went back to the hotel and went to bed.

The people in Munich seemed like a much younger crowd and were very hip.  Their shoe shops were fantastic and had excellent prices.  Unfortunately, I didn't have any space in my pack for new shoes. :(  Munich is rated as one of the best places to live in Europe and we could understand why.

The next morning we checked out and headed to Cochem on the Mosel River.

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