Friday, August 24, 2012

Munich Part 1

A couple of months ago, my long-time friend John John let me know that he would be going to a wedding in Austria towards the end of August. He and his girlfriend would fly into Munich, stay there for a couple of days, and then come to Stuttgart for a couple of days before going on to the wedding. I figured that it was as good of an excuse as any to go to Munich so we contacted Esther, a friend that used to live in Barcelona and went to stay one night with her, her boyfriend Toni, and their new baby.

This post (Munich Part 1) is a quickie and covers the first half of the weekend (with Esther and Toni) while Part 2 is the second half of the weekend (with John and Stacey).

After arriving via carpooling on Friday evening, Esther and Toni took us over to wander around the 1972 Olympic park. For me, it's Munich's version of New York's Central Park and it's pretty impressive with rolling hills, a lake, the left-over stadiums, and the iconic Olympiaturm tower. In this photo, you can see the tower with the BMW headquarters building to the right and one of the original Olympic structures (the curvy, pointy building in front of the tower):

The night we were there, and I'm guessing all summer, they had a carnival-style event happening. Diana, of course, got her beloved corn on the cob (keep your hands away from the opening!) and we walked the whole park. It seemed pretty busy probably because there was a concert, an open-air movie, and some fireworks all scheduled for the evening. Hmm...Munich might turn out to be a pretty interesting city...

(By the way, an editorial note. I've greatly reduced trying to eliminate random people when taking photos. I think that it might make the photos more interesting if you can (also) see some of the people who happen to be there. Let me know if you agree or not.)

Artsy-fartsy, after-sunset photo of BMW and the Olympiaturm tower through an opening in one of the Olympic structures:

Everyone was starved so we went out to a local Chinese-food place and filled up on carbs. It was more of an Asian-food restaurant with some Vietnamese and Thai dishes as well. Yummy!

The next morning we woke up to a local bakery assortment (more carbs!!!). The reason why I show this photo is because breakfast included fresh-baked, Bayern-style PRETZELS!!! Woo-hoo! And, yes, here in southern Germany, they put butter on the pretzels. I've grown to love that too...

After breakfast we went to the Schloss Nymphenburg, which is a large palace complex a few miles from the city center. This lovely fixer was originally built in the second half of the 17th century as a summer residence for the ruling family of Bavaria. The building, which reminded me a lot of Ludwigsburg, is giant and the grounds around it are even...gianter! Oh, in case you're wondering, I didn't see any of the namesake peeps...maybe you've got to go back at night???

We walked around the grounds for about an hour but it was, believe it or not, way too hot to be out in the sun. This has only happened maybe two times since I arrived to Germany in March. Have I mentioned that, unlike California, the weather is NOT a reason to visit Germany??? Anyway, we high-tailed it out of there and went for some ice cream at a small but very busy place right down the street. From there, it was back to check in at our airbnb-rented apartment and to wait for JJ and Stacey.

A big hug and an even bigger thank you to Esther, Toni, and baby E (shortened to protect the innocent!). We had a great time and can't wait to do it again maybe real soon??? Hmm...secrets are fun!

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