The train over here was simply smooth and uneventful. No complaints, other than our Amtrak should be at least 50% as fine as the trains here. Not in my lifetime.
Smoke everywhere here in Munich. Not the horrible Napa smoke, the cancer killing type smoke of cigarettes. It could not be worse! None of the locals I asked could answer why so many people smoke.
The lush, green, quiet countryside was only sparingly interrupted by cute little towns, and old Bavarian cities of yesteryear. Lots of corn, soy, farm livestock, and neatly kept farmhouses.
The limited view of the mountains, the Alps, with their sharp, snow-covered peaks reminded me a little of Torres del Paine, on a small, and less spectacular scale.
Uber has not made the same inroads into European cities, primarily due to $$.
This is Munich! And I must say, the beer has improved with each stop.
Euros seem like play money, just like crowns in Prague, the zloty in Poland, and the florant in Budapest. Want to play Monopoly??
I hope I just did my last laundry of the trip in my sink.
DHL is still a player here in Europe.
Don’t let trump or Putin fool you, Germany and Merkel are a powerful economic and political voice in the world. I think she prefers being top dog with London out of the EU. And she will get even with trump.
Our cycling group wisely canceled our overnight to Napa Valley, as the hotel rooms are needed for displaced souls and disaster relief personnel. Over priced cabs are going to be even higher priced!
I am reading another inspiring book, this one by Tracy Kidder, called Mountains Beyond Mountains, the quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a man who would cure the world (of TB and AIDS). Check it out!!
So, many more cyclists using bikes as main form of transport, with nice bike lanes and lights on bikes. What a novel idea!
Still lots of Asian tourists, many traveling alone. I thought I was not only the innovator, but the ONLY one!!! Damn, they must have found out about the Samurai School of Discount Travel, right Dr. Ken??
Now picture this! As I am leaving the hotel for dinner, a long line of Asian (you know which country) come scurrying up the street, roller bags in tow, about 20 yards apart. The hotel was not going to leave without them. I wished I had a wide angle lens on my cell phone at that moment.
OK, I have now officially overdosed on wurst. I had six different types and ate less than half this eve. But I finished both Augustiners and a nut liqueur. No more pork, no more wurst, but please, more beer!
Weather is ausgetzeitnecht!!! Easily, we dine and drink outdoors under the yum yum trees, with xmas lights for added light. As they say, wunderbar!!!! It was cold, dreary and rainy the first 10 days of the trip.
Many more people speak English than my visit here 46 years ago.
I am sick of Weinsteen, Trump, and fires on the English speaking news. Give me the blah, blah, blah of ESPN, or the blather of Good Morning, America. Maybe, it is time to go home???
More electronic age stuff. I can text or email all of you, though mindful of the 9 hour time difference. Took care of some future travel plans, and still have time to check the scores of games I care about. Both my Cal Golden Bears and Fresno State Boodogs won big!!! Nobody here cares about the NFL or American baseboll. But they do care for motor sports, dog racing, and that interminable pfoootbol.
Would you believe my hotel is right next to several breweries?? Again, another rather hip hotel, too hip for me. I need a good old Marriott once in a while. Oh, these darn shower tubs are dangerous, I must do a gymnastical dismount to enter or leave!
Last Austrian thought. Can you believe they elected a 31 year old President, a guy named Kurz, to lead them??? Better than what we have.
At least he sounds like a beer!
My German is not coming back as quickly as I wished. I almost got slapped by three pretty frauleins at dinner last night. I commented about their boots, but they thought body parts. I really was looking at their feet.
Noisy Asian tourists at breakfast, cut in line all the time, then make that trademark “smile” as if they didn’t know better. And they do not tip! It is both bothersome and amusing. But sadly, this is the new world traveler.
Ophelia is rapidly reaching Ireland. Winds as high as 80 mph. As my friend Mike says, Mother Nature is pissed, and we only have ourselves to blame. And I am really glad they never name a storm after me. Was there not a family surname of Ophelia in our small hamlet??
So, I miss my Lexi, Sheri, and my bicycle. I took a 4 hour bike tour Monday. The weather has been great.
Nice, easy 4 hour bike tour in old Munich, including the nudist park (we rode by quickly so we did not have to look at the moving tripod). Nice guide from Orinda, married to Canadian scool teacher here. Lots of bike lanes including big intersections. Met some nice people from all over the world, including another Corvette junkie like Mike. And get this, the weather was merely gorgeous, as were the sunbathers at the river beach.
Trying to maintain my meatless Monday, with cheese and pretzel for lunch, and pommes for dinner. With beer of course.
I head to Frankfurt today for my flights home on Wednesday. I take the noon train from here directly to the Frankfurter airport. The train is probably more expensive, takes longer, but more comfortable. And I get to see the beautiful Bavarian countryside. And I found out that it is good for the S bahn here.
Count on me to say the German bakeries are as good or better than anywhere in Europe. But the coffee, of various types, have not measured up to Peet’s Coffee.
Count me as one who finds a sushi bar in the Munich Hauptbahnhof somewhat disturbing. When in Bavaria, eat Bavarian, Seiji!!! On the other hand, just too many shabby looking Italian joints here.
Why do men of Middle Eastern decent wear so much bad cologne??
The Döner kebabs are rather ubiquitous as well, but Berlin has the best in Europe. But I saw my grilled mackerel at the fish market. It goes great with beer. The spiral radish is also a treat.
My feet are tired, tired of over two weeks walking on cobblestones. Always wear the best and most comfy shoes you can afford, speaking as someone who spent about 30 years on his feet.
My camera finally ran out of battery juice after two weeks. Cell phone cam is great backup.
This is definitely the tamer version of me, not the me who was last here 46 years ago. Enough said about that subject.
Auf Wiedersehn, meine freunde!!!!