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    • Day 8

      Schliersee: alpine meadows and a lake, w

      May 7 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

      We arrived at the Műnchner Banhof (main railway station) this morning in plenty of time for our 0904 departure to Schliersee, a pretty little country holiday destination 50km south of Munich. Platform 33, our tickets said. Yes, there was a train at 33, but to the wrong destination. After much too-ing and fro-ing, we were told there were three trains stacked on platform 33, ours was the one at the very far end (see photo) and it was leaving in three minutes! Dashing Des put on a commendable turn of speed, and we made it with 30 seconds to spare!
      German trains are clean, wide gauge, absolutely steady with no gdunk gdunk because the rails are laid in a continuous roll. A pleasure to travel in.
      Some 52 minutes later we arrived at this charming spot. The village at the north end of the lake is full of traditional Alpine houses straight out of Heidi. It is a boating destination in the summer, with alpine sports in the winter. Health spa getaways are very popular in Germany ( we passed several).
      We followed the sealed pathway that runs 7km around the lake. Grandma seats at regular intervals!
      We lunched at La Trattoria Vecchia in the little village at the south end of the lake. A traditional country inn, Italian themed this time, with Italian radio on the sound system. A yummy pizza and very generous glasses of Weissbier (happy Neil).
      Highlights: tranquil lake, steep meadows with brown and white cows wearing broad collars with cowbells. As you walk you are surrounded by their gentle tinkle-tonk (see photo- I have a video to play at home). A pleasant break from the hustle and bustle of the city.
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    • Day 1

      Christmas in Munich

      December 25, 2019 in Germany ⋅ 🌧 4 °C

      2 pre nights/day before our cruise; we are going to see and do as much as we can, even inspite of the rain and wind. Today after landing early, quick customs and baggage claim, we headed to the Lufthansa Express (57 EU for 2 roundtrip transferes) to take us from airport to center city then short taxi ride to the Westin Grand. So glad rooms were available for early checkin; we could drop our luggage, changes clothes then head to the Cathedral of Munich were we enjoyed the celebration of Christmas Day liturgy with their Cardinal, 2 Bishops, priests and Deacons. Yes, it was in German, but we could follow along with the help of the liturgy aids. After, and now in the rain, we wondered around the Marianplatz to see the cleanup from their Christmas Markets, listen to the Glockenspiel play at 12N, and find a nice little place for some great German food and beer. Walked back to the hotel, still raining, but we did it. Great day, so ready for a full night sleep and praying for a bit of sunshine tomorrow. Enjoying the journey!!!Read more

    • Day 4

      Last Day in Vancouver

      May 3 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 11 °C

      Excellent breakfast again at Breka Café. This morning we were joined by a strange of man who shuffled between the tables muttering to himself in gibberish. He wasn’t harassing anyone so we avoided eye contact and he eventually toddled off.
      After having such a good time at Capilano the day before, we decided to focus on one destination rather than rush about (“aboot!”).
      Van Dusen Gardens, developed by enthusiasts over 60 years on the site of an old golf course (rather like Pukeiti) was supposed in the top 10 gardens of North America, so there we went.
      Wow! And again wow!. This is a stunner, and for anyone interested in gardens. Towering pines and majestic redwoods, one picturesque lake after another. Walked around for two hours, then hopped on the golf cart tour and saw some more. People as always in Canada very pleasant and welcoming.

      Dies Nefas! 3 May, Vancouver to Munich.

      The Romans were very superstitious. They believed that particular days were inherently lucky- Dies Fas- or unlucky (Dies Nefas). Any venture undertaken on such a day was bound to go awry.

      Our Lufthansa flight started well enough, with a fine modern Airbus 350-900. Wider seats and enough legroom to keep knees clear of the seat ahead.
      Unfortunately the plane was choko, with us in the central (claustrophobic) row. Alas too the temperature was set to poach the passengers rather than cool them. Wrapped up like a mummy, overheated, with selfish gits keeping their screens on full bore all night - and worst of all, a loud droning bore who carried on a loud monotone seemingly went on forever, meant I got no sleep at all, with Neil not much better.
      Finding the baggage carousel, then waiting for our bags, took almost an hour.
      I found a minimart inside the airport, bought some basics, took a (seedy ) taxi to the hotel, tottered jet-lagged inside, then discovered I had left the groceries in their black bag in the back of the taxi - which of course had shot through.
      Sigh. Worse was to come. When Neil finished unpacking he discovered-horror- that his best outfit in the black Rembrandt bag inside the poky black wardrobe had been left behind.
      Aargh! Rang the hotel in Vancouver found the suit holder. Negotiations in place to courier it back to NZ.

      Things looked up when we discovered a little Imbiss (fast food shop) down the road from our Munich hotel. Meals basic but cheap and filling. Next door was a REWE supermarket. Replaced what we had lost with better quality.
      Here’s hoping tomorrow goes better. Hop-on, hop-off bus tour of Munich.
      Concierge very helpful. Bed looking pretty good right now.
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    • Day 6

      Steps Day! Sunday 5 May

      May 5 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

      Up at the crack of dawn today. Caught the convenient local U-Bahn (Underground) into München Hof ( the main railway station) to catch our 0816 train to Salzburg. Having to pinch myself at the idea of nipping off after breakfast to a different country, then bimbling back for dinner!

      Seats (First Class) very roomy and comfortable. The train was so quiet and rode so smoothly that the only sign it was travelling was the countryside rolling past. An hour and three quarters later we arrived at the very modern station in Salzburg.

      Sunday morning: streets deserted, all shops shut! It was like a day-after-the-apocalypse movie. We did eventually find a café which did a delicious iced coffee with ice- cream topped mit Schlagobers ( whipped cream.) This accompanied applecake ( good) and Sacher Torte (stale.)

      Then off to the Hohensalzburg, the massive castle complex ( really a small town) which has dominated the town below since the Middle Ages. This was the seat of the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg (100 of them) who ruled with absolute power.

      First set of steps up to the funicular railway. This runs straight up the face of a sheer stone cliff at such an angle that the interior of the car is three separate rooms, each a storey above the last.

      14,638 steps today! Up, down, along, around, beside, above and below. Walled terraces with amazing views. Prisons, watchtowers, medieval staterooms, an armoury, a museum of the later Habsburg Army, peeking out barred windows in massive walls many feet thick. Straight stairs, spiral stairs, worn marble stairs, more stairs.

      It certainly was a massive if claustrophobic statement of power. Though beseiged, it was never captured. Certainly well worth seeing. It must have been so cold in the winter .

      We were pretty hungry after using all those calories and tottered down to a most wecome Italian eatery in the square where we got excellent macchiato. ( expresso with a touch of milk) and superb omelettes with sliced ham and cheese. Yum!

      Next to the exquisite Kollegienkirche (university church). We found this on a month ago on YouTube. Perfect balance and proportion, the white figures reaching upwards on the walls, balanced by the brown and cream patterns in the marble floors, with larger-than-life paintings in dark colours in the side chapels in deep niches on the walls.

      By now we were running out of puff so made our way back to the station, with a Grandma Seat break in the beautiful formal Mirabell gardens. This palace and gardens were built by one of the Prince-Bishops for his mistress and family of 15 kids. He also upset the the townspeople so much they rebelled against him and imprisoned him in his own castle, where he died. So there!
      Journey back home marred by the woman next to Neil dropping her suitcase on his head as she pulled it out of the rack overhead.

      Pretty tired when we got home at 1920 but pleased with our day.

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    • Day 9

      8 May: The Romantic Road

      May 8 in Germany ⋅ ☁️ 11 °C

      “The Romantic Road” was a marketing campaign in the decade after WWII to attract tourists back to Bavaria. It was hugely successful, and today it was our turn!

      We climbed on a very comfortable bus, glad to get out of a persistent drizzle. It seemed to take ages to get out of the Munich traffic, but we eventually made to our first stop, Harburg Castle.

      Schloss Harburg is reputedly one of the oldest, largest and best preserved medieval castles in southern Germany. It survived sieges and battles, and belonged to the same family for 700 years.

      It was a fascinating comparison with Hohensalzburg that we saw a few days ago. Well worth the visit.

      Then back in the bus, and on to Rothenburg. This town still has a complete surrounding wall and medieval houses, but thankfully modern plumbing!!

      There were a couple of highlights. First a great lunch - pork schnitzel and the local Franconian silvaner wine - which we were able to linger over. Des is enjoying the local delicacy, Schneeballen, “snowballs”, made of shortbread ribbons pressed into crunchy balls with an icing sugar coating.

      Then a real eye-opener. The local St James church has a wooden sculptured altarpiece by Tilman Riemenschneider, the outstanding German wood carver of the late medieval period (as my art guru informed me!) Absolutely stunning.

      In fact the whole church was amazing - everywhere you looked there was wood carving to die for. Plus original stained glass windows 56ft high! Apparently Riemenschneider started a wood carving school that lasted 300 years.

      Another great day!
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    • Day 101

      Munich #3

      October 7, 2017 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

      In Munich yet again - but sadly the weather wasn't so into it this time, with cloud covering the sky of Munich for kilometres. But we would not be stopped. We had another trip to Marienplatz, and just generally looked around Munich again before we would have to leave it for a long time.Read more

    • Day 46

      Closed - but still awesome

      September 14, 2023 in Germany ⋅ ⛅ 21 °C

      Wer Pläne macht, wird ausgelacht. Der große deutsche Lyriker Johann König hat diesen Satz einmal gesagt und er hatte Recht.
      Wir wollten planmäßig heute nach Holland fahren. Gestern Abend erreichte uns der Anruf von Anna: sie wäre jetzt gerade im Krankenhaus. Wir sollen uns keine Sorgen machen und keinesfalls heim kommen. Das ist der Satz, den Eltern immer ganz entspannt aufnehmen 😁.
      Jetzt haben wir natürlich mit Sasa und Laura die perfekte ärztliche Betreuung daheim und die beiden haben sich sensationell um Anna gekümmert. Aber selbstverständlich haben wir uns heute morgen auf den Weg gemacht und die 750 Kilometer, die uns von Anna trennen, in Angriff genommen.
      Inzwischen sind wir also in München und haben Anna schon umarmen können.
      Anna wird auch wieder gesund, es wird nur noch ein paar Tage dauern und vermutlich wird sie auch noch bis Anfang kommender Woche im Krankenhaus bleiben müssen.
      Wir machen jetzt also erstmal eine Pause und wir schreiben auch hier nichts.
      Am 25.09. sind wir mit Paul in Zadar verabredet. Beruhigenderweise ist Paul ja gerade mit dem Fahrrad von München nach Athen unterwegs. Er ist aktuell in der Höhe von Split, radelt jetzt noch bis Montenegro / Albanien, verzichtet dann auf Athen und kommt zurück nach Zadar, wo wir ihn aufpicken und via Plitvicer Seen nach Hause fahren.
      Anfang Oktober gehts dann wieder los nach England und Schottland - also zurück zur ursprünglichen Reise.
      Dieser Zwischenstopp kam unvorhergesehen und, abgesehen von Annas Nierenbeckenentzündung, freuen wir uns , dass wir unsere Kinder und die Familie sehen und drücken können.
      Alles im Leben ist für etwas gut.
      Stay tuned, am 25.09. gehts hier weiter .
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    • Day 1–2

      Tag 0

      December 22, 2023 in Germany ⋅ 🌧 7 °C

      Tag 0, warum? Naja, wir sind ja spät abends losgeflogen und das waren vielleicht nur ein paar Stunden, aber der Urlaub fing halt an als wir zu Hause loszogen. Viel getan haben wir nicht an diesem Tag, nur nen ShareNow genommen zum Flughafen, wobei das erste das wir probierten nicht funktioniert, hätte aber nur 19 cent die Minute gekostet, naja dann mussten wir halt eins für 44 Cent nehmen, dann hat die Fahrt zum Flughafen auch schon gleich wieder fast 40 Euro gekostet.Read more

    • Day 1


      September 23, 2009 in Germany ⋅ ☀️ 20 °C

      Abflug in Berlin ... Zwischenstopp in München ... ruhiger Flug ... über dem Mittelmeer kleinere Turbulenzen ... der Flug ist nicht ausgebucht; freie Platzwahl ... viele alte Menschen ... wir drücken das Durchschnittsalter um gefühlte 30 JahreRead more

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    Bogenhausen, 81925

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