Sunday, September 26, 2010

Germany Day 7

Woke up about 6AM local time and grabbed a bunch of laundry and headed to the basement. We only need two more days of clothes, but I figured why not wash a load if the machine is big enough. So after catching up on posts, Facebook and other random Internet usage, we head out to the English Gardens. This time we beeline right to one of the entrances and then I whip out the iPad and get the dreaded 'No Service' and then check our iPhones which both have 5 bars and 3G service. Ridiculous.

So we start wandering...

The Monopteros from a distance

And in a very short walk end up at the Chinesischer Turm beer garden.

There is an Umpapa band on the second floor.

First bier of the day, Prosit!

And this was pretty funny, Bier Bike!

And then more wandering...

Lots of dogs, and no leashes required...or at the least very few had them.

And about a third of the way north into the park, we reach Kleinhesseloher See, a man-made lake.

But after eating brauhuas fare all week and sitting on hard benches and seats...I need something else today.

Now that is much better! Still a bench, but at least it has cushions.

I wanted to order the pork just to compare, but I opted for the sea bass. Colleen had the risoto with asparagus and truffles. I am not a big fan of truffles yet...I am not sure if it is an acquired taste, but I can take them or leave them.

And to finish we split an apple strudel.

But the coolest thing about this place was its dog policy. It was cool, and with only an occasional bark, it was a nice touch. Made you feel like you were at home.

Tired of public transportation, we got a taxi back to the hotel. Fortunately this driver was very good. As we sped through some part of Munich, snapping pics from the back of the taxi it occurred to us that a week in Munich is not enough time to truly appreciate all there is to see.

One last trip to the store for a couple of beers, then back to the hotel to pack for tomorrow's departure.

Germany Day 6

After 5 days running around Munich, drinking like 20 year olds...we are pretty exhausted. So we get out of bed at 3PM today. And head straight to running around and drinking like 20 year olds. Its raining off and on again throughout the day. To the tram and to the English Gardens.

But once again, without the sun to help me navigate, I am turned around coming out of the subway. So we spot a bunch of umbrellas which is a good indicator that there is a warm dry place to sit down and get our bearings.

JesusPad save me!
And by far, those Löwenbräu Dunkels were the best tasting beers we have had here. So out and on to the gardens...but still I didn't check our heading and we end up back-tracking a block. We see where it is now, but its cold, raining and twilight has arrived. We will be back tomorrow. First, it's time for a couple of touristy photo shots.
Then back to the subway.
Then a quick stop to Marienplatz for some souvenirs.
And back home to drop off the loot. And then back to Oktoberfest!

We were totally prepared to not get a seat, but we ended up sharing a table with two other couples who spoke very little English. One couple was from Moscow, the other from Germany but the guy was from Kosovo and had moved here 12 years ago.
And by time we got home we were soaked. Good timing since tomorrow is laundry day.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Germany Day 5

So, we wasted a couple of hours trying to get someone from Expedia/United/Lufthansa to call us about the cancelled flights home. We ended up calling them on our dime(or most likely C-note) and found out that when United changed us to a non-stop from Chicago to Munich, the information didn't make it to Lufthansa who marked us as a no-show, therefore cancelling the rest of our flights with them. Unfortunately, Expedia is completely useless as they can not handle this without us being on the phone, which I didn't want to use the hotel landline because of the surcharges and the astronomical international rates. Nightmare scenario, but I ended up doing it since the cell phone reception here is spotty(just like in the US) and all the calls we have been on have been dropped at some point. United ended up 'reinstating' the flights, and sent us a confirmation with $1800 in new charges...we will see if it ends up being additional and if we have to initiate a charge-back.

Anyway, on to the vacation! So its now like 6PMish and its raining pretty hard with thunder and lightening. Out to the tram and to the central station.

We only have travel umbrellas, so we get wet and decide to grab a bier at the Coke Lounge which affords us a great view of Hauptbahnhof.

But at this point we haven't eaten much in close to 24 hours. And am craving the pork 'crackling' and Colleen won't mind getting the cheese spätzle again, so back to Hofbräuhaus we go. Except its now Friday and the first night the majority of tourists show the line is about 10 people wide and 20 deep. Ok, back to 'Zum Spöckmeier' which translated on-line to English is "To Spöckmeier" ?? Ok, gonna need a German to help out with that translation. No outside service since its raining, so we find a couple of seats at a table with some dudes from Georgia and San Jose. They work for a telecom company that is based out of Munich and get to travel here about once a quarter...I ask if they are hiring!

Cheese spätzle
Und roast pork with potato dumplings, the roast is as good as Hofbrähaus, but the 'crackling' is not as crackled.

And then back to the hotel, but its still pretty early at 11PM, so we hit up the little sandwich shop at the central station for a couple more biers. Then back to the hotel to watch Beerfest! Und Becks!

My final post will be on some of the interesting or odd stuff we saw here, but this one can't wait. All I can say is WTF? Is this a cross between Mr. Hankey and Jar Jar? It creeped me out.

Germany Day 4 Part 3

We took 305 pics on day four, hence the multi-part blog. It takes forever to upload pics and videos, otherwise it could have been a single post.

So after Ratskeller, we go stand in front of the Apple store and use their WiFi to repurchase the data plan from AT&T. It works! Doesn't look like they charged us again either. So Amanda was right, even though AT&T was obviously ambitious to say our plan was active. Sometimes I hate both Apple and AT&T...just not as much as I hate Microsoft and Blackberry ;-)

And we keep passing by this place, so time to stop and get zwei biers. And then zwei mehr. Und zwei get the idea. At least today we are only getting 0.5 litres at a time.

And again we are hungry...not starving, but the food smells and looks so appetizing, and we want to try all the food while we are here, so we are compelled to order.

And off again, wandering...we keep passing by this store and for some reason I don't stop in. These are the shoes I am wearing and are the most comfortable shoes I have, but just this pair. I bought another pair in a different color but they are not as comfy as these. Probably why I haven't stopped...quality control issues and trends mean I am unlikely to match the comfort in a new pair, and the return process would likely be expensive.

Back to our hood, and to this 'little' bier garten...little because it can probably only hold a few thousand. This is a 5 minute walk from our hotel.

Time for a little magic

Und prosit!
And then some apple strudel
Und gute nacht!