Munich – Home of Steffie, culture and art…

Our week in Munich has been all about our friend, or ‘our other daughter’ Steffie as we sometimes call her.  She came to Australia to learn English some seven years and all we managed to teach her were slang words which we still laugh about today.  We just picked up where we left off and was wonderful to spend time with her.

She is now 23 and quite the grown up lady going to Uni studying Law, living in a nice old apartment, setting up house and drinks like a fish. Skinny as a weed and needs a good steak I think.  Such a shame her mother is not here to see how well she is doing.

Steffie’s Dad ‘Volka’

Her father, Volka, came down from Lake Constanz to see us as well and we met her now live in boyfriend Moritz.  He is at uni as well and not as smart as Steffie – he is doing Quantum Physics and we had a huge discussion the other night about his experiments with atoms, lazer light beams hitting them and measuring if they move and in what direction if any.  As I said – dumb bugga.  Just kidding – he is very switched on and interesting but also very practical in his thinking – as you would be when dealing with things as massive as  atoms.  His idea of the ideal car is a VW Van that you can sleep in as well as travel in with your friends to the mountains skiing etc.  Hates BMW’s but time will change this as he is only 27 I am sure.

They both cooked us a fantastic Bavarian/German dinner of potato salad which was a bit different.  Grated cooked potatoes, grated cucumber, cherry tomatoes and red onion and some dressing.  Then some meat things that were like ravioli but not encased.  Moritz made a pastry with eggs in it and rolled it really thin and then covered with a layer of minced meat and pork with parsley and onion with another layer of pastry on top.  Then you boil them and I expected all the layers to fall apart, but they didn’t – very heavy but very tasty.  Then Steffie had made strawberry gelato with stewed rhubarb.  All washed down with buckets of red wine and a lot of laughs.

 This is the in the Town Square and a massive building.  These little characters which are larger than life size come out at 12.00 each day and move around the carousal thing to some dingie dongie music.  Quite impressive and great crowds of people stand around to watch. 

We all had separate times with Steffie as I was crook with a flu bug for two days and stayed in bed trying to shake it.  Then I shared it with Ella who just ended with a sniffle and then Alby got it a little worse.  He was resting while we all went out to BMW and Olympic Stadium.  He had a massage on his legs and the pain has eased now. Will try and find him some more massages as we go along I think.

Mini on Steriods

These new cars are for Matty Powe –  I brought you one of these.
Guess which one????

The BMW building which is massive with a very interesting roof structure.  The cars were amazing and loved the new range of Mini’s that our out now.  There is one that looks like it is on steroids, almost 4wdish.  Apparently, they are made by BMW now – learn something new every day.  The little mini BMW from years ago was so cute.  You open the door from where the bonnet is and climb in.  It has a sunroof and also only three wheels on a motorbike engine.  Volker, Steffie’s dad said that a friend had one years ago and drove a really long way with a big cello in the back parcel tray with the neck sticking out of the sunroof.  Would have been great to see. Isn’t it cute – smaller than a smart car…
Behind the BMW factory, museum and showrooms are the Olympic Stadium from the last Olympics in Munich.  The architect designed a skin like structure over most of the facilities.  It is really amazing and much more impressive in real life.  

Then we went up the TV tower thing (has a special name) but rises at 7m per second up 185 floors.  A bit freaky – your ears pop about half way up.  The view incredible and you can see the mountains of Switzerland from up there.  There are also markers on the glass all the way round to tell you what you are looking at.  Very well done. 

A group photo on time release.

Steffie brought me this pretzel thing as I had never had one.  They are delicious.  The bit that goes across the middle is the best bit.  More chewy than the outer ring.  Covered in course salt and very moreish.  You just keep nibbling.  Everyone walks around the street with them and now I know why…

From the Tower we went to a beer garden up on the adjacent hill. Apparently, this whole area was bombed in WW2 (mind you which part of Germany was not bombed) and all the houses that were there at the time were piled up together in a heap of rubble and then grassed over the top.  It is now an amazing park with lakes and stuff and all sorts of folks out exercising or sunbaking – thawing out more like it.  So we had dinner and of course the time got away and before we knew it, it was 9.00pm and the sun just thinking about going down on another great day in Munich.

A very safe feeling city.  Even late at night when old chicks in high heels are coming out of nightclubs etc you never feel unsafe.   There are always heaps of people of trains even at 10 at night – everyone from little old ladies on their own to families.  The mums with the designer prams give me the shits.  Think they own the whole caboose – uuggh…  So easy to get around and would be a great city to live in – young or old.

Early in the week Alby, Ella and Steffie went to Deutsches Museum which is a huge museum full of old and new stuff with a technology bent on it.  They had a great time and saw some amazing things.  Came back with lots of stories of what they had seen and some photos.

Then next day they went to Nymphenburger Castle where King Ludwick was born and grew up.  The furniture, painting, crockery and everything was still in place Alby said.  It was amazing.  I remember when Versailles in Paris was the same, but now it is all covered up – even the wall paper is behind perspect and the furniture was gone the last time we were there three years ago.  So for Alby and Ella to see this castle as it was years ago was amazing and makes it all the more interesting and gives a better understanding of their lives.

Ella took some photos on her camera, but just can’t find them.  There were carriages made of gold and others showing the opulence he indulged in and the money he wasted.  Alby reckons that’s why he went broke.  

Ludwick went on to build his own summer castle at Neuschwanstein (the castle Disney designed his stuff on) which is outside of Munich.  We went there last time we were here and it was amazing in the snow.  His other family castle there was also full of their own national treasures and well worth a look.   

They walked through the gardens and at last the flowers are sticking their little heads up and opening into the most amazing colours.  It has been raining here for over six weeks and everyone very much ‘sick’ of it apparently.  The last few days of sunshine have been just so nice being in lighter clothes and without jackets until the evening. 

In the heart of Munich are very old buildings as in all cities in Europe, but in Germany there are much for frescos/paintings on the newer buildings which make it look very Austrian almost. Austria only a minute away so I guess it makes sense. 

Still amazed at what people eat…

Wet and cold in Munich

We found the old markets in the centre of the city and for 2 euro brought two punnets of raspberries for my lunch – they were delicious and huge. There were lots of dogs out the second day and of course we loved seeing them.  We had big bowls of soup the first day as it was freezing.  But later in the week, more folks out in the beer gardens drinking and singing etc. A much lighter mood in the sunshine that is for sure.

This photo is for mum.  There have been asparagus everywhere since we got to Europe – have never eaten so many of them.  There are masses of the big fat white ones which Mum loves.  We normally fight over the tinned ones, but they are not a patch of them fresh.  You would love it Muzz…

Volker is the nicest man.  He just turned 70 and despite his health issues, but walked for miles with us and is so gracious and just so sweet.  I hope we get to see him again next time we are in this neck of the woods.  Just loves Steffie and spoils her rotten she says.  He is still working part time as an anaesthetist and until recently was lecturing as a professor of anaesthetistism.  Very smart man and well informed on lots of subjects.  His new hobby is to play the cello which he loves.  It keeps him sane in between eating his 3 euro tv dinners and his wine and cheese.  He has just planned and booked a ten day holiday for Steffie and her brother Sebastian to Russia and St Petersburg. After that holiday at the end of July Steffie will come to Italy for a few days with us which will be nice. She didn’t want to say good-bye to us in cold old Germany she reckons.

Well, just coming into the station for the change to Salzburg.  Are on the fast train again and it is lovely again to see wide open spaces again flicking past at 200km an hour.

We all love Salzberg and no doubt will enjoy our time here.

Bye for now. 
EKA Travels – Ella, Kendall and Allby.

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