Getting our hotel room was sort of an ordeal. Our first room only had one double bed, which could have worked for Dad and myself, but it would have been too cozy with Jenna as well. So we switched to a room with two twin beds, but then the TV didn't work... so the receptionist brought a new one but decided that the desk was too dirty so he tried to move the TV to clean it and broke it.
Then we had to get a new cable cord. After the whole mess, the TV only half worked. OH WELL-- we did not travel to Munich to watch TV anyway.
Unfortunately, the Internet at the hotel was broken as well (common theme), so we scoped out a Starbucks to use to skype with Jenna. While we were out, we went to dinner and had delicious meatballs and spinach dumpling/ravioli things.
Yum! Then back to the hotel to do laundry. Laundry was kind of a fiasco too-- I washed all my clothes in a tiny little sink and had to do six loads to get it all done! Then I used every available surface to drape my clothes to dry.
We woke up early on Thursday (5/5) to skype with Jenna and her mom to answer any last minute questions. So excited! When we went back to the hotel, the clothes were still dripping wet, so we opened all the windows to try and expedite the process.
We went downtown to check out a few churches and the town hall. Munich has a really town hall called the Neues Rathaus that has a Glockenspiel (carillon) that performs a few times a day.
There are a bunch of dancing people that spin around while bells play. It was pretty ridiculous-- the bells were so out of tune and the people were preposterous, but it was hilarious none the less.
Next we went to 4 art museums: Alte/Neue/Moderne Pinakothek and another modern museum that I cant remember the name of.
They were all clustered around Hitler's old stomping grounds where he used to have his big rallies. Definitely impressive. the Alte was predominately traditional paintings, and it was overshadowed massively by the Hermitage. I really liked the Neue, which had a bunch of beautiful paintings by the French impressionists. I took a bunch of pictures... they're on the bottom of the blog.
The Moderne and other museum were pretty interesting-- took a bunch of pictures there as well but for different reasons. The Neue's art was beautiful, and the modern museum's exhibits were bizarre. Some of them were particularly ridiculous (bins of medical waste, scrap metal), but it was really great for the most part. There were some really excellent Andy Warhol paintings.
The museums took up a pretty decent chunk of time and we were totally exhausted, so we grabbed some quick Chinese and headed back to the hotel. Before we went to bed, I decided to check the status of Jenna's flight from Denver to Chicago.
She took off without trouble and was able to carry on her backpack, yay! Obviously it would have been easier to check the stupid thing, but she had a couple of quick layovers-- better safe than sorry. We woke up early on Friday (5/6) to monitor Jenna's flight, and the status was much less optimistic this time.
Apparently,t here was bad weather in Chicago, so her flight was delayed over a hour! Since she had a 1 hour connection in Zurich, this was particularly troubling. Her flight in Zurich was supposed to land at 11 AM, but it was rescheduled to 11:40 AM with a connection leaving for Munich at 12:15. Also, they made her check her bag in Chicago, so there was basically zero chance that her bag would make the connection (even if Jenna managed to). Very stressful, so we decided to go out and sight see while waiting for her to land/call and let us know her situation.
We went to the Residenz Museum, which was 90 palace room once occupied by German nobles. The place was pretty well destroyed during WWII, but it was rebuilt really nicely.
Right before we walked into the museum, I got a call from Jenna saying that she had landed in Zurich and they were rebooking her flight to the next one to Munich so that her bags would be able to make the connection. How helpful! But they hadn't figured out which flight so she decided to call me back.
Unfortunately, the Residenz did not allow phone calls while in the museum, so I literally had to run away from the museum lady when she called back. That lady was so pissed, but there was only one entrance/exit and it was on the opposite side of the museum so it wasn't practical for me to try and leave. OH WELL, we got it figured out-- Jenna was able to catch the flight leaving at 1:15 instead of 12:15, so it was only an hour delay! Horray.
After leaving the museum, I got on the train to the airport to meet Jenna! While I was on the train, Jenna called and we arranged to meet at the airport's S-Bahn station. I got to the airport and wandered around the inside of the S-Bahn station and did not find Jenna.
Then I walked around the outside of the station-- no Jenna. So I ran around the Munich airport to try and find a board that explained her arrival gate-- no boards. I finally broke down and asked a person to tell me what gate her flight arrived at, and she refused to tell me!
She would only tell me that it arrived in Terminal 2... but apparently they are not allowed to disclose the gate. Annoying, but I ran over to Terminal 2 and found ANOTHER S-Bahn station-- this one with Jenna waiting in front of it! So, second successful rendezvous down, 6 or so to go!
Jenna and I hopped back on the train, got settled into the hotel, and unpacked a little bit before meeting back up with Dad and hitting the town. We went back to the center (Marianplatz) to look at some architecture, then went to a giant market to get some sausage and beer. It was delicious like always!
Then we went to the National Theater to see what was playing that night. Turns out there were standing room tickets available for Swan Lake that only cost 5 Euros! The ballet was so beautiful-- the dancing, set, and costumes were absolutely amazing.
We couldn't really figure out the plot though. I tried to take some pictures but it was pretty quiet so I couldn't do much.
Got a nice video that I will try to post.
We went back to the hotel after the ballet to get some sleep-- by this point Jenna had not slept in nearly 36 hours so she was pretty exhausted. Plus, we had to wake up early on Saturday morning to go see the castles in Fussen, but more on that in the next blog. Tschüß!
We arrived in Munich around 7 PM and headed to our hotel. It was only about a 5 minute walk from the train station, which ended up being really convenient, but it was in the most charming part of town-- the Red Light District. Definitely 5+ strip clubs/sex shops. The strangest part is that this district is only two blocks from the city center, which couldn't be more different. Oh well, at least the hotel security was good.