Thursday, 10 March 2011

Goodbye Bavaria

This is probably the photo I liked most of all from Michael's visit, so I decided to revisit it in the final blogpost. After this one, I'll be going back to my dry, unread travel blog talking about the minutiae of living in Bavaria. You can hardly wait, can't you? Ella and Louis took to Michael like he was one of the pack. He's always had a way with dogs, and this was no exception.

Here's Michael in front of the Mariensäule. He saw copies of the mythical beasts that you find at the base of the column in the München Stadtmuseum and was thrilled to see the originals here.

His last full day here, we finally went down to the Marienplatz and watched/listened to the Glockenspiel go off. Here's a Youtube video, so you can feel like you're there: with us at the Glockenspiel

The photo without the flash made the train station brighter, but this was a nicer photo of Michael. Here he is about to board the Lufthansa Bus, which'll take him back to the airport. #brotherstrip was an undisputed success, but he at this point he misses his family monumentally. Let's not make it another 37 years till you come back again, yeah?

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Going to Karneval!

We took the opportunity of Michael's visit to go to Cologne for the Carnival, or as they write it Karneval. Normally, this blog is all about Bavaria, but this was an understandable exception.

So here we are waiting for the Geisterzug (ghost parade). The way it was explained to me was that the big parade on Rosenmontag was cancelled in 1991 because of the first Gulf War. The people were so upset by this that they had an impromptu parade dressed as zombies and ghosts. Since then, it's become a part of the week's festivities, and we luckily got there just in time to watch it.

On the way home on the first night, we found drummers in the underground. You can see Michael dancing in the hamburger hat behind the others.

The best photo of the Cathedral had Michael in front of it. Nice, eh? We really were fortunate with the sunshine while we were in Cologne.

Had to show this, because I love the perspective of the clowns both in the foreground and the background. These guys had to walk so many hours in these cooking costumes. Certainly working for a higher cause.

This sad clown was included, because he so seriously wasn't feeling it this day. Must've been too many Kölsch beers the night before. Or that morning.

Really not sure what this is all about, but the German talks about a duet. So it's papier-mâché French and German sausage rolling on the ground with one another, and I assume it's symbolic for cultural understanding. We saw some odd things during Carnival, but this might've won the weirdness contest.

Michael loves hippos, so here he is in front a hippo float. You should've seen his smile when this one came round the corner.

Took quite a few photos of the exterior of the cathedral, but this one from inside was the one I liked the most. We learned plenty about the history of the site and the development from a relatively simple church to one of the most famous structure's in the world. Here's some information if you're interested: Cologne Cathedral.

Michael with the bells of the Cologne Catherdral. There were cards that we could've purchased that proved we made it this far, but this photo seems to have done the same thing. We were there. #Winning.

After all of the faux hedonism over the weekend, it was nice to see a statue of Pan. This was my favourite photo of the trip.

Friday, 4 March 2011

top of Germany to the depths of Augustiner

This was the Zugspitzbahn, which we rode almost to the top of the Zugpitze. Thanks to the transportation museum, I learned all about the technology that makes this possible. Not going to bore you with the details, but it is rather interesting that this train's been running like this since the early 20th Century.

This is Michael looking out at the summit of the Zugspitze. Although he was very impressed and kept talking about how much he enjoyed it for the next several days, it was a bit too cold and windy for him up there. We had to get back inside and quickly.

The border with Austria runs right across the top of the mountain, so here's Michael standing with my friend Jeff before they stroll into Austria. There's a restaurant from each country up there, but we'd had so much German food over the last few days. We decided to dine with the Austrians. It was a great choice. Not only was it delicious, but here was our view:

Don't ever let it be said that Michael isn't willing to try new things. Especially when the new things include new varieties of Strudel. This is Mohnstrudel (poppy seed) and Topfenstrudel (a bit like a mix of batter and less-sweet cheesecake). He certainly prefers Applestrudel, but these were a nice change of pace.

He would've gone straight to the dessert, but ate a huge plate of a meat selection beforehand. Michael desperately wanted to order Apple Strudel again, but I convinced him to try something new. If you read the ingredients and how it's prepared (Dampfnudel), you'll understand immediately that Michael loved it.

This was the Augustiner Keller where we had a fantastic meal. Michael was thrilled to eat down there, and he informed me that this was definitely something he wouldn't have wanted to miss.

Tomorrow we catch the train to Cologne for Carnival. Although the title of this blog says I'm in Bavaria, this'll be an exception where I talk about another part of Germany.

Earlier in the day, we were at the concentration camp memorial in Dachau. There's an entire blogpost on that one, but I just don't know how to start talking about it. Another time. But after a very difficult several hours looking at and imagining the horrors that took place, we had a beautiful sunset. This was the nicest photo I could get of it.

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

monkeys and transport

Not only did we walk through the English Garden yesterday (Here's Michael in front of the Chinese Tower), but we walked along the Isar River all the way to the Munich Zoo (Tierpark Hellabrunn).

As much as we enjoyed the baboons, the dogs were completely entranced. Here's Ella having a moment. When Louis started to bark, we had to move along. Until then, this part was quite fun.

I'm sure if you ask nicely, Michael will show you many more photos that he took from the Verkehrsmuseum (transportation museum), but I decided to include a photo of him standing in front of a Munich streetcar. There were some streetcars from the early 70s there, but this shot looked better.

There was a time, when we were much smaller/younger, when pulling Michael away from playing in this truck would've been much, much more difficult. He certainly enjoyed the few moments he allowed himself to daydream.

So, he's been talking about Strudel since long before he even boarded the plane to come here. He showed fortitude in waiting as long as he did, so we made sure that this part was ticked off our list. He said it was quite good. The whipped cream had a hint of vanilla, but he admitted that it could've been a bit sweeter. The Strudel itself was worth the wait.

Outside the Jagd- und Fischermuseum (Hunting and Fishing museum)
is this very attractive wild boar statue. Can you tell which one is me?

And the last thing before we went home for the evening was a bit of Eastern European street music. Accordion, xylophone and a double bass...was really quite good. Michael couldn't help himself from donating to the cause.