Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Back from Munich.

I just got back from a quick 2 day trip to Munich with Darin. This was my 1st time in Germany, not counting my couple times passing through Frankfurt airport. We left Saturday night and spent the night in a little hotel near Zurich. Switzerland is very black at night. Sunday morning, we left at the crack of dawn and crossed through Austria (my 1st time there as well) for about 2 seconds and then into Germany. We drove straight to the convention center. D was in Munich to attend ispo for 2 days. It's a annual international gathering of all companies sports related. As I waited for him to purchase his ticket, I was awestruck with the diversity of the crowd. Not only were there business men in suits who looked like they might have been partners for an international consulting firm I used to work for, but young kids who were dressed as if they just popped off their snowboards. Darin had to work all day so I was off to wander around Munich by myself. At first, I was a tad scared. I said, "This country doesn't like my people, D." Yes, that's now a misconception, but that did exist at one time in the not-too-distant past. As I rode the metro, I would look at someone and think, "One of his/her relatives could have been a Nazi." I was also concerned about not speaking the language even though everyone I spoke to told me not to worry, "Most Germans speak excellent English." They weren't kidding.

On Sunday, everything except the museums and Starbucks were closed so I decided to visit the museums. I got lost, but after asking a few people for directions, I made it. Afterwards, I sat on the lawn outside the Alte Pinakothek and watched a football game. From there, I "metroed" myself over to Marienplatz...home of the Glockenspiel. I strolled around there for a few hours until 5:00, hoping to catch the Glockenspiel show at that hour. Nothing. Maybe because it was Sunday? I grabbed 2 jelly-filled donuts that were flying off the bakery shelves in record speed and left to meet Darin. We dined at Ratskeller. Very touristy, but I wanted a typical German dinner and some good beer. The waiter made us feel as if we were in a restaurant in Paris: rude. Why work in an extremely touristy restaurant if you have no patience for tourists?

After breakfast on Monday, Darin left for the convention and I returned to the room to get my dosage of MTV. It was fun. I spent the rest of the day doing a little shopping, people watching, getting bored watching the 12 noon show at the Glockenspiel, eating a shrimp sandwich at the outdoor market, and climbing a bell tower for a view of Munich...it scared me to death. I think I'm officially afraid of heights. In the afternoon, I took the metro over to the Olympic Park. I found it to be quite massive, yet also pretty. I sat on a bench that faced the swimming pool and thought about Mark Spitz. Ok, not really. I sat there thinking about the massacre. It was a grey day so I thought about something somber. I was hoping to find a grand, yet tastefully done memorial and found nothing. Does such thing exist in Munich? Before meeting Darin, I stopped off at a grocery store and had a blast roaming the aisles and gawking at the different foods. The international aisle was so much better than what I can find here in France. They had "Newman's Own" salad dressing! It's the little things that thrill me.

At the Pinakothek der Moderne.

I ♥ Picasso. In the Pinakothek der Moderne.

The Glockenspiel.

Dinner at Ratskeller. The Dunkles wheat beer was tasty.

Looking at swimming pool at Olympic Park. Olympic Tower and BMW building are in the background.


Kelli said...

What a wonderful adventure. Are you silly with pride over the fact you essentially conquered a new country solo? Bravo!!

Jennifer said...

Hi Emily -
Thanks for sharing your fears (I'm afraid of heights and nazis, too) and the joys of this adventure (Glockenspiel! Beer! Jelly doughnuts! Art museum!).

Isn't it ironic that monuments exist where you wouldn't expect to find them, or don't exist where you want them to be? (For example, I don't know of a memorial to the horrors of slavery in America. But, Boston does have an amazing Holocaust memorial, and I hear Washington DC has a great one too.) History-by-monument doesn't tell the whole story.

Leslye said...

You were in Munich and didn't have the "big" pretzel? So delish!!