Thursday, November 20, 2008

munich by k

the bells are chiming at some church here in's 7:54 a.m. dorian is still sleeping, arel is is the water but two comforters, reading his book. barak is out with his computer having some coffee and here i am at this little table writing and looking forward to a good german breakfast!

we rented a tiny studio apartment in the "in" neighborhood of munich. it's only one room with a sleeper couch and a single bed, with an extra matress for the floor. all very comfortable foam with nice white duvets and pillows. there's a tiny kitchen and a bathroom with a huge tub. all for 50 euros a night...and free internet!

breakfast, yes, germans do like a good breakfast! spaniards don't have a breakfast tradition at all...just some white bread or mediocre croissant and coffee. but the germans, ah, it's a thing of beauty! we went out yesterday morning and dorian got pancakes with bananas and chocolate sauce, which he then traded for nutella. arel got the standard breakfast...a basket of bread, a plate with coldcuts and cheese, and two poached eggs. barak got an omelete and i got muesli. we were even able to make two sandwiches with arel's leftovers for our german and thrifty is that?! it's funny how food can make one so happy...just having all these yummy things to choose from was a good start to the day.

after breakfast, we took a metro to the hauptbahnhof...the main train station where we started our journey to see one of the world's most famous castles, neuschwanstein. we bought a "bayern ticket" for 27 euros, which allows up to five people ride on trains within bavaria from 9:00 a.m. until 3:00 a.m. the next day! another bargain to caress my german soul.

the ride was about two hours and as we got closer there were amazing views of the alps. we really lucked out on the didn't rain all day and the sun even came out. lots of green countryside rolling by, lots of little towns and the snow covered alps in the distance for much of the trip. our destination was right at the edge of the alps...very beautiful!

from the train we took a bus closer to the castles and then walked up the hill...only a little bit of grumling from dorian. i visited this castle when i was seven, dorian's age, but really only remember that we visited and what the postcard i bought looked like, so i wasn't sure what to expect.

the castle (on which walt disney based his magic kingdom castle) is in a truly spectacular landscape...the edge of the alps with lots of granite rock and forest all around. one other thing i remember from childhood is that the king who built it was "crazy." what became clear to me, based on the very little that i know, is that king ludwig was not crazy. he had a great imagination and was very creative and playful, which i imagine in the 1800s in germany gets you the classification of "crazy." our tour guide said that ludwig's death at 41 is still a mystery and hinted that some think he wasn't crazy at all.

this castle of his creation is beautiful...not every part to my taste, but some mosaics and painted arches that are just amazing. the floor in one room is a mosaic made up of two and a half million pieces, and took over two years to lay. it's very playful with pictures of animals all around. lots of color everywhere! i really loved it.

then back to munich, where we found that to pee in the train station you have to pay 1,10 to use a toilet and ,60 to use a urinal! i wonder if women are allowed to choose the urinal. there are even little turnstiles to get into each section. i snuck dorian in on my 1,10.

from there barak headed back to the apartment to get ready for a work call. arel, dorian and i went in search of a place to buy tickets for a bayern munich soccer exercise in frustration! these european futbol clubs are hard to navigate, and when we finally found a fan shop, they told us the game is sold out! now i find it hard to believe that the allianz arena , which fits 69,000 people is going to be full on a day with snow and/or heavy rain in the forecast and bayern play a mediocre team. but, no, i can't satisfy my child's dream of seeing his favorite team play! frustrating! arel is very disappointed, but we'll take him for a stadium tour today to the mega fan shop, so all will be well.

off to breakfast now, then my cousin frank will pick us up to spend the day with him. this evening it's dinner at my cousin boris's. tschuess!