Back on the wagon in Munchen

Trip Start Mar 22, 2010
Trip End Jun 10, 2010

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Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Monday, May 31, 2010

Oh glorious - feeling so much better today than yesterday - 2 AFDs this week must be good for me! Today is a miserable, cold, wet day in Munchen. Perfect for therapeutic organising! We packaged up some clothes, books and maps (as well as some booty and kitsch) and loaded ourselves up to go into town. We had figured out where the Deutsch Poste was, but when we got there, all we could see was a huge hole in the ground where a building obviously once stood. We remember seeing a sign for DHL somewhere yesterday, but not exactly sure where, so we semi re-traced our steps hoping to find post / DHL, or some way of offloading this 7kgs home. After wandering in our wet weather gear (already decided it is ballast to be shed before the airport) for a while, we found out again why we love German efficiency - Deutsch Post and DHL all in one office. Why didn’t we think of that in Australia? Got in line with about 20 other people ahead of us, but didn’t mind because the man in front of me had 3 beautiful charming pug dogs which I played with while waiting. He spoke to them in German to sit, and come etc. I said hello in English, and they seemed to get the gist! Got to the front of the queue and the ladies were most helpful in pointing us in the direction of what to do, how to do it and helping us with customs declarations etc. Got our 2 packages very efficiently packed (between Seano’s spatial ‘tetris’ ability and the postal ladies’ assistance in what was the most efficient, effective and cheap posting options) we got rid of 7 kilos, and swore to each other that there would be NO MORE shopping between us. At home we are very good at playing ‘good-cop-bad-cop’ to each other - e.g. able to tell each other, no, we don’t need that etc. In Europe, one of us gets a wild idea that it would be a good  idea to take a coffee machine home, and the other one goes “Yeah!!! In red!!!” with the obligatory statement which has somehow crept into our vocab “we may only do this once in our lifetime, Darling”. Feeling awfully organised and smug, we ducked back to our coffee shop for a bit of banking (Seano), blogging (Seano), coffee drinking (both) and people watching (Rach).

In between people watching, I noticed that a lot of people were walking past with big punnets of strawberries and blueberries. I went for a little wander and found the most glorious berry stand, with fresh cherries (my very favourite thing!), blueberries, raspberries and strawberries. I excitedly emptied my pockets (Seano has started calling me the ‘change lady’) and bought a punnet of each, and a kilo of big beautiful cherries. I quickly downed the whole punnet of blueberries because they were the best ones I have ever eaten, and then feeling a bit guilty for not being a very good sharer, went back in to raid Seano’s wallet to get some more. Went back to the stall where I told the lady that I had already finished my blueberries, and made a start on the cherries, and got another kilo of cherries (I think most people know that a kilo of cherries is not a challenge for me - I once talked April the dietician into agreeing that a kilo is ‘one serve’), as well as another 3 punnets of blueberries - my memory is going to improve like… well… I can’t remember what. Loaded up with kilos and kilos of summer fruit in June and a big smile, I looked at Seano who just sort of shook his head.

Decided to try out a little brew house which was on the other side of town - the rain had eased back to a mizzle, so we left off the wet wether gear which made walking through the city much more pleasant. Seano once again shook his head because all too soon we were at the swanky shopping street which had both Tiffany’s and Cartier, so of course, our walk took a little longer than planned while I found the perfect rock for me (I found it - tighty Mcfisty wouldn’t buy it - a meagre €69800. The million euro one was a little garish for my taste). Walked past the old gates to the city, which was more of what we expected Munchen to look like. Munchen is giving us quite a lot of reminders about Berlin - sort of feels like a city with a big past but is more intent on looking to the future. Over the river, and we found the street where the brew house should be… walked on (rain getting heavier) along the street, through road works galore, until… well… nothing. Couldn’t find it. We were both hungry (wanted lunch, but it was well after 4!), so we agreed that the place across the street looked fine. Crossed over, they don’t open until 5. Right, off we set again, and found the address where the original brew house should have been, and a note saying that the door was around the block. Around the block we went, only to find a note on the door all in German, but we could make out the words “insolvent” and “regret”. We agreed that this little expedition had been fun, we had seen a bit more of the city, but perhaps we should just go back into town where things are easier to find and a higher likelihood of being open. After a few false starts we found a little place called the Braunauer Hof, which is supposed to have a warped beer garden, but it was too cold and miserable for a beer garden, so we sat doen in a lovely dining room with huge beams in the ceiling and the whitewashed walls were adorned with various hunting trophies (very Bavarian). We had a lovely waiter who pretended that our German was brilliant. For lunch/ first dinner‘s, we had a couple of beers, some obadtza (mud cheese - remember from Bavaria), I had a weisswurst and mustard, and Seano had a game schnitzel (which was interesting in its steak like qualities, and consistent lack of ’schnitzel’ - but yum). After ’lunch’ (5:30) we decided we had one last chance to go to the Lowenbrau brewery and beer hall, so jumped on the subway to get out there. Seano was visibly excited!

Found the brewery which had enormous brass brew-type things (aren’t I great with details?), then went across the street where all the Bavarian flags (light blue and white) were waving. Tried to look un-tourist like while we got a couple of photos of Seano going in the door. Inside was a huge 2 storey hall, with various little off-shoots to the sides. We settled into a huge long bench and table, and had a Lowenbrau beer each. Chatted with the restaurant manager, Chris, who had lived and worked as a chef in Australia for some time. He was very nice to us, but really awful to his staff - criticising them to us and in front of us - certainly not someone I would want to work for - His eyes were everywhere. On the menu there were ’portions’ of schweinhax’n (pork knuckle), but after chatting with the waiter he said that he could bring us a whole one! Joy! So we had lunch and dinner within just a couple of hours of each other, but we have decided never to say no if a pork knuckle appears on a menu - we may not get one quite like it back home (although Seano is going to do his best to cook us one every now and then).  We watched a brewery tour group come in, and we noticed that the tour leader‘s shirt said “For the best night you will never remember“. They all downed a few beers each then just as quickly got up and staggered on - they looked like Contiki kids, and we congratulated ourselves for deciding against the brewery tour that we were considering, and just sampling slowly but surely by ourselves….over and over again. By the time we finished at the Lowenbrau, it was after 11pm (still not used to these long days, it doesn’t become night time until after 10pm), so we made our way to the U Bahn (located right outside the door- love the Germans) and made our way home again, safely back on the wagon.
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