Germany - Day Seven, August 31st

Today is the last full day of this little excursion into Germany. The first couple of days were warm and sunny and I looked forward to the following days here in Munich. Suddenly, the rains and colder weather started and have never really ever stopped. In fact tomorrow’s forecast is for more rain! Wouldn’t you know it. The day after I leave the sun will return, though the temperatures will remain in the 30’s to lower 60’s.

It was fun none-the-less and I have no regrets.

I leave you with a parting photo out my hotel window. There's some clear sky!


Germany - Day Six, August 30th

I planned to bike around town, but the weather changed those plans.  The temperature has been in the 50’s, very windy and the rain has been everything from drizzle to a downpour.

In the morning the skies were dark but not yet rainy, which gave me some hope that the forecast was wrong.  I decided to walk through a very large park  in Munich called the English Garden (Englishe Garten). It will give New York’s Central Park a run for its money.  It is 3 miles long and 1.5 miles across and; merges into the country side.   The park has beer gardens, boating lakes, biking paths, flower gardens, even designated nude bathing areas! The river that runs through is not very wide but in places it is a minor rapids. I was told that this year alone 6 people had died on Munich’s little river. While walking through the park I encountered a person surfboarding of all things.

River in the Park

Guy Surfing Near the River Bridge

Next I visited a modern art exhibit a place called the House of Art (Haus der Kunst). This museum has an infamous past.  It was built by Hitler and originally called the German House of Art (Haus der Deutsche Kunst). The Nazis had decided that the modern art in museums in Germany was “degenerate art”. The art of people we now call the lions of modern art such as Picasso, Kandinsky, Braque, other cubist art, dada artists came under this description. Much of this art was of course done by Jews.  The Nazis loaded the House of Art with its approved art and sold off the “degenerate” stuff.  Hitler was a minor artist and considered his view as important to true German culture.  They went as so far to hold an exhibit of so called degenerate art in the building across the street at the same time.  To Nazi surprise the Haust der Kunst drew 70,000 people; the other place drew 300,000 people. After the war this place was occupied by the US military as offices. Today it is mainly used to show modern art.

Finally, I decided the take a “Walking Beer Tour” of Munich.  OctoberFest in Munich is world famous and no stay is complete without learning about Munich’s most famous pastime.  In Germany beer is considered “liquid food”.  Half the worlds’ breweries reside in Germany, especially in Bavaria. One of the most famous beer houses is HofBrauhouse.  We visited HofBrauhouse, the Weisse Brahause, and a micro-brewery to see how beer is made, and what are the differences. We had a real German meal complete with beer a the Weisse Brauhouse.  I even sipped a little of 3 types of beer to get a feel for the differences. See the photos below.

Entrance into the Hofbrauhouse

Interiour of the HofBrauhouse

Dinner at Weisse Brauhouse


Germany - Day Five, August 29th

Today I took the second of my paid day trips.  This guided tour was to two destinations on the so called “Romantic Road”.  Most of Bavaria’s preserved historical towns are along this road.  In between the towns are long stretches of green meadows, forests, and farmer’s fields. The road runs from the north of Germany to its south. Our trip only went northward to a medieval castle in the town of  Harburg and to the most well preserved medieval town in Europe called Rothenburg.

Countryside View from Harburg Castle

The Harburg castle goes back to the 11th century.  It was rather small and in need of a lot of renovation.  It was just a quick stop over.  Really not much to see.

Harburg Castle

The town of Rothenburg was a large town also built in the 11th century although most of the buildings you see are of the 16th century variety.  It was said the town was divided into a part of town that housed those sick with the bubonic plaque and the healthy section. Apparently the Jews of the town were subjugated to yet another section of the town as well.  Apparently, it was believed that Jews were carriers of the plague. They always seem to be the scapegoat for any thing that went wrong, no matter what century.

The place is mostly a collection of shops and restaurants housed inside the old buildings.  The town square is picturesque and quaint. It was so perfect that it reminded me of Disney theme park feel with it’s cobbled streets, town clock, and all.

See a few photographs below.

Rothenburg Old Town Entrance

Courtyard View in Rothenburg

House Detail in Rothenburg

Flowers on Rothenburg Street

More Flowers

Germany - Day Four, August 28th

Today I booked a tour to the nearby town of Salzburg. It is known by most for being the backdrop for the movie “Sound of Music”.  More famously, it is the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadaeus Mozart whose life was chronicalled in the Oscar winning movie “Amadeus”.  For me and other classical music lovers it is the mecca for the greatest 18th century composer of western music.  The town is full of church steeples scattered in the hills along the city.

Mozart's Birthplace in Salzburg

The weather was rainy and cold. Salzberg is the 7th most rainy city on earth. Mainly because of its close proximity to the Alps.  Its also explains its lush green hills, and crystal clean streams and lakes.

We drove to the mountains to take a boat ride on a pure water lake in the Salkammergut Area.  This lake was also featured the “Sound of Music” movie.

View from Lake in Salkammergut

Tomorrow another trip. This time north along the Romantic road. Named for the ancient Roman roads on which it is built; the Romantic Road has well preserved medieval towns along its route.

Below are some shots around the town of Salzburg. Also download a couple of videos.

Salzburg Court Fountain Closeup

Salzburg Court Fountain Entrance

View of Mountain from a Rootop in Salzburg

Germany - Day Three, August 27th

Today I returned the car to BMW for shipping to the US. The GPS system worked perfectly. I was a little concerned about gas as the BMW people only put a 1/4 tank of gas in the vehicle and I used a good portion of it just getting back to my hotel.  Luckily, I found a gas station. The shipping point was easy to find and half an hour later I was in a cab on my way to do a little site seeing.

I took the cab to a technical museum called the Deutsche Museum.  It’s a huge place situated on a small island in the middle of a river that runs through Munich.  At the entrance there is a huge, 20 foot tall, red stone statue of Otto von Bismarck, dressed like some medieval knight, leaning on a sword.  The museum has technology displays of all kinds. It houses several full size planes, a full size sailing ship, even space satellites and space craft.

Later I took a stroll to the center of Munich at a place called MarienPlatz.  It’s a huge courtyard with many open air restaurants. The centerpiece is the old town hall originally built in 1474 and later restored after 1944. It is called the Alter Rathaus

Tomorrow I visit Salzburg Austria for a day trip. Salzburg is the official home for all things Wolfgang Mozart. The area was also the backdrop for the movie “Sound of Music”.

See some photos below. Be sure to click the links to the movies also.

Technical Museum in Munich

The Alter Rathaus

Flowers in MarienPlatz

Flowers in MarienPlatz

Germany - Day Two, August 26th

Today is the day I pick up the car.  Everything went fairly well.  I was met in the BMW Welt at precisely 12:12PM. I got there five minutes early and was told I must wait until exactly that time.  The gentleman was nice, in fact all the BMW people were nice, especially when they knew I was a buyer.  They went out of their way to help me.

I was given a special card which allowed free access to the BMW Museum, free lunch, discounts on lunch and a 10 euro discount on BMW merchandise.

They take you through a complete audio-visual orientation with demonstrations and hands on simulation.  Finally after doing the audio-visual stuff, I was taken to my car, displayed elegantly like the cars in the auto show.  We went over the car in detail. I drove in a small winners circle and out the building. The gentlemen GPSed my hotel location in the car system and I nervously drove the next 33 miles back to my hotel. I am still a little nervous as the park spots are pretty tight around the hotel.  There is no place to safely stay away from other drivers. By the way, parking is 8 euros a day.

Tomorrow I go back into the city to delivery the car to the shipping department. After that it’s all fun and games.


Germany - Day One, August 25th

Hello. The plane flight went well after an initial problem with the ticket which would have left me stranded in Amsterdam.  Both flights were ahead of schedule and the weather was beautiful and sunny. I am going to appreciate it because later this week we are scheduled to have several days of rain.

My hotel is the called the Holiday Inn Express. It’s located at the airport rather than in Munich. It is cheaper and makes for a fast get away when I fly home. It costs about 85 euros (over $100 US) one way by cab to an in town hotel. I can get a 24 hr ticket for 10.4 euros allowing me to travel all over town. It takes about 41 minutes to get to the BMW Welt which is located near the site of the old Munich summer Olympic stadium so it’s a bit of a long hall getting into town.

I took a test run on the train into town from the airport to make sure I would not get lost for the critical events of tomorrow.  On the 26th I pick up keys for the car around 11:00 AM.  I don’t want to be late as we all know how very precise the Germans are when it comes to keeping schedules.

See the photos. I am standing in front of the BMW Welt and the other photo is the BMW museum across the street. You can also see the old Olympics space needle in the background.  

Tell you more tomorrow.  More to come. I hope a bit more interesting as well.

In From of BMW Welt Museum

BMW Headquarter Building