While America was rallying to restore sanity and prepping for the dramatic midterm election this past week, I went down to spend a long weekend in Munich with Janine and Micha, as they are no longer living in Dessau.
I spent pretty much all day Friday in a carpool driving down, and although I had my head buried in my computer for a certain amount of the ride, the countryside was absolutely beautiful. Usually I don’t care much for fall colors – usually it’s either overwhelmingly orange like the hills are on fire, or everything looks half-dead and skeletal. The German forest has a different texture though, and the frequent evergreen trees mixed in with the bright oranges and yellows made it much more pleasing.
When I finally got in that evening, Janine and Micha and I took the train out to their little town about 20 minutes outside the city, checked out the new grocery store behind their apartment, which had unusual options such as cheddar cheese, and then talked for quite a while over dinner since we hadn’t seen each other in a while. Their town is very pretty and quiet, with a brook running through it right by their flat.
Saturday morning Micha had to take his car to the shop and he brought rolls back for our breakfast, which were very tasty. Eventually around lunchtime we got underway to Schloss Nymphenburg, birthplace of the famous crazy King Ludwig II. We toured the family rooms on the first floor and admired the hunting-themed art and slightly-creepy “Gallery of Beauties,” where the king had a painter go around and paint portraits of women that met the king’s taste.
Afterwards we walked down the main axis of the grounds in search of the waterfall we had seen in one of the grounds-paintings in the castle. The weather got a bit chilly – the whole rest of the weekend the weather was really quite nice. I cooked some chili to go with the cheddar we found, so we had a nice warm dinner after our adventure.
Janine works at the Bavarian State Opera House, so she got us 7€ tickets (usually our seats would have cost 80€!) for a modernist ballet Saturday night. Although really really weird (for starters, ballet doesn’t usually have words, does it?), everybody agreed it was very well done, and the audience clapped for far more than three curtain calls. The inside of the opera house is also ridiculously fancy – there is even a box for the king! So of course the rest of the building has to be fit for a king to set foot in, with lots of gold and crystal, but sadly photos are not allowed inside.
Sunday we were once again slow getting started, as Janine had work at a morning concert and we waited for her to make our foray to the Marienplatz and Deutsches Museum. The Marienplatz is probably one of the epicenters of tourism in Munich.
We also found a ridiculously kitschy Bavarian souvenir shop, which is what America thinks German culture is:
The Deutsches Museum was impressive – I doubt there was a scientific subject they missed, except maybe for really soft sciences. Sadly it was more like 3D encyclopedia, because most of the displays had a paragraph or two of rather dry text, instead of an exciting interactive science museum that really teaches you how things work. (yes… I have been to way too many, and like to think of myself as a science museum connoisseur :P) Nonetheless, I found some of my family here and we got a photo together.
I also found this guy funny:
We got back as night was falling and saw a surprising number of little kids wandering the streets of the village unaccompanied, mostly dressed in witch hats and asking for candy. They were pretty cute. After dinner we settled in for the evening and watched Prince of Persia, and Monday I spent driving back with another carpool to Cologne.