Sunday, June 19, 2016

Crossing the border


An early morning breakfast buffet, the highlights of which were 3-minute eggs, muesli, and local apple juice, helped us find the energy to climb back in that airport shuttle.  No flying today, thank goodness! Our train to Munich was departing from the airport train station. We arrived quite early and as this station doubled as a mall, Greg got some new shirts at H&M. He packs light, leaving space for  the opportunity  to shop when it arrives.  We sat with a lovely Swiss couple and their parents and brother and his girlfriend, who were traveling to Munich  for a holiday weekend.  They had a picnic which they offered to share and entertained us the whole trip with getting- to- know -you conversation. We wondered if passports might be checked as the train traveled from Switzerland briefly through Lichtenstein then on to Germany but there were no interruptions to our lovely chat barring the distraction of the beautiful scenery.


Once in Munich, we took the S-bahn to Isartor, our closest metro stop, and were at our apartment building in two minutes or less. As we rang the buzzer and climbed the many steps to the penthouse, Michael’s timbered voice boomed out, “Don’t  be afraid of the dog, she is coming down to say hello.” So before we laid eyes on our host, his friendly Rhodesian  Ridgeback was wagging her tail at us near the bottom of the last flight of stairs making us feel welcome.  We met Michael, a handsome young artist, at the top.  He quickly showed us around and gave us the key, ducking out to leave us to ourselves as he headed back to his pressing work. We learned he has an art show opening later this week.  The apartment is just as it was pictured, full of whimsical artistic charm; we felt instantly at home.  Getting hungry, we walked a few blocks to Viktualienmarkt and picked up some snacks and groceries from the biggest farmers market we've ever seen. Back home we ate a plate of olives, pickles, marinated artichoke hearts, local herb cheese and crackers with a glass of white wine on the terrace.


After an afternoon nap, we headed back out to explore the old town. Marienplatz, Peter’s church, the onion domes, and square crowded with tipsy tourists were just as we remembered from our visit five years ago.  The streets seemed to be packed and we later learned there is a festival going to to celebrate the founding of Munich way back in 1158! Happy birthday Munich!

We decided to make our first dinner a traditional one, and stopped at Augustiner am Dom where Greg had sausage and kraut and I enjoyed the Käse spätzle, Germany’s equivalent of Mac and cheese.  We walked to a more modern neighborhood to check out the local music scene, when we arrived the band had already finished playing for the night but at least we had a chance to walk off our dinner. Sleep came easily to this tired traveler after we climbed the many stairs back to our perch above the city.

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