Friday, 29 April 2016

Friday 29 April, 2016

Early breakfast at 6:30 to get a full day! Headed off to follow Rick Steves city walking tour. We have used his travel books before and he is spot on with tours and restaurants.
We are now quite proficient at using the underground train system and set off for Marienplatz - Mary's plaza. 
The New Town Hall was built in the late 1800s and has a spire nearly 100 metres. It is famous for its Glockenspiel. A carillon in the tower chimes a tune and colorful figurines come out on the balcony to spin and dance. This is performed 2x a day to huge crowds. It tells the story of a noble wedding.
Went on to see St Peters church (1368) that was badly damaged in WWll but still so beautiful.
The Vikualienmarkt was started in the 1400's and modernized in the 1800's and again in the 20th century. Very few fast food outlets (we have only seen 2 MacDonalds) because taxes are so high for multinationals but very low for small retailers. They set everything out so nicely!
And home to the Maypole.
We walked by the Jewish Synagogue, a few more churches, stopped to have a coffee and then headed to the Hofgarten which was the "garden of the royal court". The Renaissance style temple had great acoustics and there are many performers there.
On our way back to the train we saw an electric car many cars that run on electricity only! Even a coffee cart!
Spring flowers were everywhere...they look so pretty!
We also saw a drone in the sky above one of the statues.
Back to the hotel for a beer...we walked over 10 km according to Jan's phone.

Thursday, 28 April 2016

28 April, 2016

ŚWoke up at 4 and couldn't get back to sleep! Oh well, it will sort itself out in time! Had a great breakfast at the hotel...always good when you don't have to cook and clean up. We then went for a walk to again find this Bavarian restaurant Rob had been told about. We were smarter this time and checked Google maps first, realizing after looking at the map we had no hope yesterday of finding it. 45 min least it wasn't snowing but still cool at -1, we found the restaurant but the menu didn't look that exciting. Headed back to the hotel to find Jan and Andy had just checked in!
Great to see them again and as usual, we picked up as if we had seen each other last week!

Headed into the city to do some sightseeing after a quick lunch for Jan and Andy and decided to take the Hop on Hop off bus to get an idea of the city. Sadly the commentary was in German over the loudspeaker which meant that it was almost impossible to hear the commentary in English using the earphones.  It did show us how huge Munich is!  Munich, home to 1.4 million people, is the capital of the German state of Bavaria.  Munich means "by the Monks place" as it was founded by the monks in 1158.
People everywhere travel by bicycles and the underground trains are fantastic. They also have above ground trams and buses.
Lots of the restaurants have an outdoor eating area for "people watching" and they have blankets on the chairs as it is so cold even though it is Spring!
Passed the "walking man" on the tour. Such an amazing statue!
The Schloss Nymphenburg was the Summer Palace for the royal rulers of Bavaria. The panorama photo does no justice to the size of the palace.. I actually needed a 360 view as this was only half of the palace! 

We stopped in one of the many beer gardens for an early dinner. Rob had a huge meal, pork knuckle, roast duck, sausage and pork roast. It was so delicious! Andy had pork roast while Jan and I had white asparagus and salmon. White asparagus is in season in Spring and is a very sweet asparagus. It is grown with dirt molded around it so that it does not receive any light therefore is deprived of chlorophyll . It is served every way you can think of...soup, steamed with hollandaise sauce, fried with breadcrumbs, ravioli etc. very expensive at about $18 a kilo.

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

26-28 April, 2016

The day has finally arrived and we are off on our trip to Europe! Matt dropped us at the airport and our flight left on time at 11am for our 9 hr trip to Hong Kong. Early evening arrival and a long 7 hour layover. Slightly tired we wandered around the airport for an hour and then thought we would try to get into the Qantas Lounge. As we had Business Class tickets we could get in and just relaxed there. 
Boarded at 1am and I was sound asleep before we took off. Still have no idea what happened. I was talking to Rob and the next thing I knew it was 6 hours later when I needed to go to the toilet. Somehow I had taken my glasses off, put my noise cancelling earphones on, wrapped myself in my shawl, pushed the correct buttons to flatten the seat into a bed, covered myself with the airline blanket and then fastened my seatbelt over the blanket! Gee I am a clever person! Especially when I am sound asleep!
Landed in Frankfurt and headed for the train to Munich. Amazing train big!

Took the bullet train, 3 1/2 hrs to Munich, quiet and very smooth travelling at some stages at 230km per hour. Very relaxing with lovely views of villages, lots of solar and amazing fields of crops and stunning yellow rapeseed. We also saw a few fields of grape vines. Great way to travel!

Arrived Munich and changed trains for Munich South and our Holiday Inn hotel. Now close to 40 hours of travelling since we left home! No idea whether I'm coming or going!
Decided to take a walk to find a German restaurant that had been recommended. We walked for 1 1/2 hours, in snow flurries with a temp of -4 with the wind chill. Certainly woke us up!!! Snow is so soft. Sadly my jeans were soaked and the tops of my legs were beet red from the cold. Hot shower was wonderful!

Had a good night sleep, great breakfast and now we will go for a walk while we wait for Jan and Andy to arrive!