07/22/2011 - 07/22/2011 66 °F
After storing our backpacks with Chris' poster at the airport, we headed to the train station (S-bahn) for a trip to Munich's city center. It was a beautiful treck through corn fields and rural districts. When arriving at Marienplatz, we met Mike Prince (another former Herr Arnold student from Clemson) at Mariensaeule, statue of Mary with babe. It was raining a bit off and on, but the temperature wasn't too cool. We got our cash in Euro for the day and walked through Virktuelen Market and found a salami and mustard sandwich with cola and soda water to help us wait for lunch later that day. The market reminded me of the farmer's market, yet with meats and cheeses too. We toured two churches, St. Peter and St. Mary and headed quickly back to the Mary statue in front of the Rathaus at 11 pm, so we could hear the Glockenspiel
and witness the beautiful dancers, fencers, and jesters twirl around the tower at the clock struck. The models were the same as I had seen 17 years ago. The rain continued to waiver to and fro, but we were able to stay out of it mostly between churches. Our stroll past the Residenz (royal houses) led us to the Englisher Garden where we witnessed the awe. Surfers in Munich city. The Canal was channeled through the garden, and damned to a great wave creation that blew our minds.
Surfers on either side of the damn took turns fighting the current in a terrific still surf. After seeing the unexpected, what I'm sure was not expecting on Mike's historical overview of Munich, we continued around the southern end of the English garden, jumped on a tram to Isartor. This is one of the two remaining city gates. It was here we connected with Katrin, a local German who graduated from Clemson, also friend to Herr Arnold, my German professor from Clemson who took us as a class to Germany in 1994. We ate at the everpopular Hoffbrauhaus. We had large local beer , dark and light, spatzle, knodel, brat, kraut, and pretzel (which were served by a pretzel girl in traditional dress). The waitor was less than desirable but made for a good story. He was old, rude, and seemingly in a hurry to be finished with the tourist crowd and serve the locals. After the food I'd craved for a long time, we stopped by a Starbucks for the wifi to try to get a note out to the US that we were safe. We walked back to the U-Bahn, said goodbye to our guides, and ventured alone to the olympic tower and BMW museum . The olympic tower was a quick elevator ride, a beautiful sight to Salzburg and the opposite valleys. The BMW museum was a display of art cars by Warhol and the like. We walked a ways to the train station to miss several trains on the wrong tracks but eventually make it to the aiport with no time to spare for boarding. We were taken by bus to a small plane in the middle of the runway and flown to Gdansk. My german appetite was satisfied, and we were ready for more in Poland.