Munich Mon 21:15PM

We rolled out of GAP this morning, very sad to say goodbye to everybody. What a great visit.

It’s been snowing a bit and the ride out was beautiful. I skipped reading again so I could watch the scenery and listen to a bit of music. Every time I get us in the smoking car. I swear this time I looked and saw a no smoking sign but apparently I was high because there were smokers galore and we didn’t want to deal with moving the luggage and finding a new place so we dealt.

Our hotel in Munich (located on the Internet with help from the Rough Guide checked out from the library, we highly recommend these travel guides)is near the Englischer Garten and an excellent location. It was a teeny bit further from the UBahn station than I would have liked. We had to drag our bags through the snow and gravel but it’s a small place, old building. Super friendly, helpful people. It’s also about 95 degrees in our room. Sheesh. Our rooms are exponentially hotter. Frankfurt was about how I’d (cheapskate with the heating bills) would heat my home. Nürnberg was how’d you’d heat if someone else was paying (cozy). This place is like we were missing our home in the Sudan. I attempted to turn off the radiator and cracked the window and we’ll see what it’s like when we return.

We arrived before Noon and headed straight from the Hauptbahnhof to our hotel. We dropped our junk and headed back to the Marienplatz to find food and do some shopping. Last time we were here we found this restaurant- Ayingers (Am 1 Platzl 1A next to the Hard Rock Cafe shop) – which we loved. We were hoping to eat there again and sure enough, Bob found it and we found a seat in the window like our first visit. We both ordered a tall beer and I got a salad with grilled turkey, sliced ham, Mozzarella balls, (Europeans must cry when they come to the US and see what passes for Mozzarella in our country) plus some fruit and potato salad and corn and kidney beans and a bunch of stuff all crammed in a small bowl and delicious. Bob had sausages (he regrets skipping the veal cutlet) and we had pretzels (big, yummy ones).

The Marienplatz was crowded but we hit the department stores looking for a long wool coat for Bob. We found lots but nothing brilliant until we went to a store called Romer – nice store. Perhaps equivalent to Nordstroms (?). A man came to help us and I said we only spoke a little German (“no problem”) and I pointed to my coat and said that’s what we wanted for Bob and he clarified whether we wanted long or short and then showed us a couple and the 2nd one was perfect. He gave us a little card and we went back downstairs to pay and then pick it up, all wrapped pretty in a nice carrying bag.

From there we went to Karstadt to get our candy fix. I don’t worry about bringing so many gifts any more. I just buy what I know I love which is a big brick of Hanuta, a stack of Kinder Schokolade and two giant tubes of Prinzen Rolle (cookies). Plus we got some odds and ends and Gummi Products. This is the first round because it will all go into the luggage. Tomorrow at duty free we’ll do round two and buy some cheap booze and add’l goodies we couldn’t find at Karstadt hopefullz ROUND Mozart kugeln, the best candy known to man. Basically all we can carry.

That’s the hard thing is all these things you can only find here and you want them all when you get home.

Our hotel is in a sort of faded hip district near the Universität. There are tons of bars and drink spots. We had a tough time finding a place for a meal. We were craving that last German meal, perhaps a dumpling soup that is traditional this time of year. We ended up at an Italian place which was fantastic and unbelievably cheap even with the bad dollar.

Then we wandered to this Internet cafe for a last drink. (Asbach for me, Campari and soda for Bob, wonder what we’ll pick up at duty free).

Tomorrow the flight is at 3:40pm so we plan to rise early and get our crap together and dump our luggage at the Hauptbahnhof and then do a quick trip to the Haus du Kunst (spelling is approximate as I don’t reallz know what it’s called). But Flori recommended it and we’ve never been there. Then for the airport. I got Harry Potter #5 in paper while I was here. I’ve purchased all my HP books here so I have the British paper editions for mz collection. The book is almost 1000 pages long so I have mz work cut out for me tomorrow on the plane. We fly through SFO so we don’t get home until after Midnight if everything goes smoothly and easily.

I’ll get photos and more stories up by New Years. … Stay Tuned. (note: for some reason when I click on any blogger button, nothing happens. I hope I can publish this.)

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