My third trip to Europe was longer and more adventuresome than the previous two. We would spend ten days in Germany. The first half of the trip would be in Munich, where we stayed at the Hotel Gebhardt, near the main train station. The remaining time would be spent on the road. We would fly out of Frankfurt airport, but otherwise we didn't have reservations or a fixed itinerary.
That worked out well. Munich is a great place to see on foot and we walked all over the city center. We also made two day trips during our stay there.
While admiring a portrait gallery at Schloss Nymphenburg we were joined by a rather large group of Japanese tourists. At one point their tourguide stood next to the bust of a military leader while she lectured to them animatedly. Perhaps she was describing a battle, because suddenly she burst into cries of "Banzai! Banzai!" We barely managed to keep from laughing out loud.
After a few days of nothing but meat, cabbage, and bread, I was ready to eat some vegetables. One night at dinner at the Augustiner Bierhaus I ordered the sausage salad. It consisted of: one leaf of lettuce, one slice of tomato, one pickle, a few thin slices of onion, and a huge veal sausage. So much for my healthy eating.
It's usually pretty easy to spot Americans in Europe. I try very hard to blend in. We had dinner one at the Ratskeller, a nice restaurant located in the Town Hall. Unlike so many tourists, we dressed up a little as expected for the location. We entered the restaurant. Without a word the hostess led us to a table, seated us, and gave us menus. English language menus. I still don't know what we did to be so obvious.
We spent some time at the Bavarian National Museum and the German Museum of Science and Technology. While walking there, an Italian man approached us and walked alongside. After discovering that we were American, he began to talk to us about how Americans and Italians share a common culture but how the Germans were savages! Then he walked off in a huff without waiting for a reply. Strange fellow.
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© 2004 Kermit Lancaster