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Germany: From the Mosel to Munich - A Detailed Trip Report

Germany: From the Mosel to Munich - A Detailed Trip Report

Old May 6th, 2008, 03:30 AM
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<b>Day Seventeen</b> (25 Oct, Thursday, MVV All Zone Pass) - MUNICH, NYC, HOME

I awoke early from a freaky science-fiction nightmare, which kept me from falling back to sleep, so I was feeling sluggish when I hastily packed our luggage and prepared for our final few hours in <b>Munich</b> and Germany.

We both enjoyed our last typical-German breakfast buffet provided by Peter, and then we were off to the Goetheplatz, where we purchased our MVV All Zone Pass for the day’s public transport. The U-line to the <b>Marienplatz</b> was incredibly full; we were literally crushed into the U-bahn car. I was glad we were only going two stops to the Marienplatz.

They say you don’t really own beer - you rent it - and since we had leased a lot of liquid the night before, we were both relieved to use the free, but foul-smelling, public water closet which is located in the bowels of the Marienplatz station. We had both become quite familiar with this WC during our stay in Munich, since we had “rented” many beers.

We strolled down the Kaufingerstrasse, which turns into the Neuhauserstrasse, and stopped briefly at the <b>Deutsches Jagd und Fischereimuseum</b> (Museum of Hunting &amp; Fishing) to look at the brass wildlife posed outside. A few doors down was the tower less, renaissance <b>St. Michaelskirche</b> (c.1585-97), which houses a crypt containing the remains of 40+ members of the <b>Wittelsbach</b> family, including Bavaria’s beloved castle builder, King Ludwig II. We paid the Euro 2,00 entrance each, and paid homage to the man that sent us on our travels to visit four of his five homes (not counting the “little shack” in the mountains). We figured our journey wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t visit his final resting place.

Afterwards, we zigged and zagged our way through the streets of Munich, stopping at a few souvenir shops along the way, until we arrived on Sendlingerstrasse, at the <b>Church of St. Johann Nepomuk</b>, named for a monk who drowned in the Danube, but better known as the <b>Asamkirche</b> (c.1733-46), named after the brothers who built this incredibly opulent Baroque masterpiece. The entrance way is enveloped by craggy formations that seem to erupt from the ground, which transform into a sleek upright foundation. A sculpture of St. Nepomuk rests above the doorway. Inside, every square inch of the church is covered by gold gilt, swirling rose marble, statues and frescoes. We have visited numerous churches on our journey, but this was perhaps the most over-the-top creation in the name of God that we experienced! It was stunningly beautiful. The gilt skeleton was one of the best “skeletons in churches” that I photographed.

It was after 11:00, and we had to get back to the hotel to grab our luggage and head to the airport, so we took one final walk around the Marienplatz before heading to the U-Bahn station. When we arrived at the platform we were shocked to see the vast amount of people waiting for the train. There was a message on the electronic board, in German of course, about the S-Bahn trains, so we asked a young woman what was going on. She informed us that all of the S-Bahn trains were shut down due to the rail strike. The U-line wasn’t involved, which is why it was so crowded. But even worse yet, we needed to take the S-Bahn to the <b>M&uuml;nchen Flughafen</b> (Munich Airport) in order to fly home today. (If the trains aren’t running, does that mean we don’t have to go home?)

After a very scary and claustrophobic ride to the Goetheplatz (I could barely breathe), we were back at our pension, where we were able to look over the timetable schedules I had downloaded from the Bahn.de website before we left on our journey. We were glad to see there was a bus that runs every 20 minutes to the airport, so we had Peter call us a taxi, we paid our bill and said good-bye, and then we were off to the <b>Hauptbahnhof</b> (Euro 10,00).

Once we got to the train station we inquired at the information desk, where we learned that although the S-Bahn was indeed down due to the strike, the S-8 to the airport was still running. WHEW! It was two minutes before noon when we left the Hauptbahnhof, and within 45 minutes we were at the Munich airport, with a little direction from a flight attendant who helped us when we had to change trains half way through our trip.

We easily navigated our way through the airport, where we were able to use the Easy Check-In to get our boarding passes, and then we dropped off our checked luggage and headed to security check-in with our carry-on bags. I obediently displayed my 3-1-1 bag of liquids to the inspector, and was expecting to be waived on, but instead was told there was a “suspicious item” in my bag, and I would have to unpack it. In all my times flying, I have never had a problem with security. I was feeling a bit mortified – I had a flash-vision of being dragged away in handcuffs to be interrogated, but even more terrifying was that the three wiessen glasses we had bought at the Hofbrauhaus for souvenirs were gently packed in the bag, wrapped in our dirty underware.

Luckily, the inspector showed me the x-ray of the bag, and I immediately knew what it was that had made the alarms go off. In my groggy haste to pack this morning, I forgot to remove the little cosmetic bag with my moleskin, folding scissors (with hidden knife), and our corkscrew, that I had packed for our two-night jaunt through Ludwig-land. I was ready and willing to surrender my suspicious items just so I could get on my way. Instead, the inspector inspected them, and then called over another guard, who looked at the items carefully, looked at me, and then asked me if I was an American. I hesitantly said “yes”, and then she handed my items back, told me to have a nice trip, and then waived me on. Needless to say, I was shocked and relieved.

We had an hour to spare until boarding the plane, so we found a little bar/caf&eacute; in the terminal, where we ordered up two 0.33 liters of wissenbier, our last in Germany. As we sat there, remembering some of the highlights of our holiday, and lamenting that our trip was over, we realized that all the folks sitting around us who were eating were using silverware – not plastic knives and forks, but metal ones. Oh no… does that mean there was another inspector to get past?

Sure enough, there was another security check point before we could board the plane. This time I was prepared, and not only did I have my 3-1-1 bag displayed, I had my scissors &amp; corkscrew in my hand, ready to surrender. I explained to the inspector my error in packing while she was x-raying the contents of my carry-on. She carefully inspected the “suspicious items”, then she studied the x-ray screen, and then she took a good look at me, before returning her glance back to the x-ray of my carry-on. Suddenly a smile came across her face as she approvingly exclaimed, “wiessen glassen”!! I was elated when she handed me my items and carry-on bag, bid me “auf wiedersehen”, and then waived me on my way. I guess in Germany, beer truly is a universal language.

We boarded the plane at 14:30 and spent the next half hour watching an annoying little man trying to sit in other people’s seats. Apparently he didn’t want to sit next to his wife, who was behind us, so he just took another empty seat in the plane, which was still being boarded. I suppose that would be okay if the plane wasn’t filled to capacity, but, as it turned out, there wasn’t an empty seat to spare on this flight. We watched twice as he ignored the passengers who tried to sit in their assigned seats… as if they would go away if he didn’t acknowledge them. He was eventually booted from both seats, and had to spend the duration of the flight sitting next to his wife…. poor woman.

Our flight on Lufthansa was in a “346” aircraft, which we found to have an excellent lay-out of their bathrooms, which were located downstairs. There were five stalls, and an area where you could get as much drinking water as you needed. A “green-light, red-light” system at the top of the stairwell let you know when a stall was vacant. It was nice to give our legs the exercise of walking up and down the steps during the long flight home.

Dinner was Chicken Teriyaki, which was standard airplane food, and the in flight movie was Evan Almighty (glad I don’t have to watch that again). The flight attendants were very generous with the fluids, and not just the alcoholic beverages. They were constantly serving us juice, soda, water, etc… We can’t remember ever being on a flight before where we felt so hydrated.

We arrived at <b>JFK</b> airport in <b>New York</b> ahead of schedule, around 18:00 EST, but spent the next 30-45 minutes sitting on the tarmac waiting for space to clear so the pilot could park the plane. By the time we retrieved our luggage and made our way through immigration and customs it was nearly 19:30. JFK has got to be one of the most inefficient airports around. I don’t know why we keep flying out of here.

We were excited to see my brother, Charles, waiting for us at the gate. It was warm and balmy in New York as we left the airport and headed back to the <b>Poconos of Pennsylvania</b>. We talked non-stop for the three hour drive home, sharing our stories of travel with fresh enthusiasm. As we pulled into the driveway the headlights on the car illuminated our two cats, Stevie &amp; Gordon, who were waiting on the porch for us. It was a wonderful 17 day vacation… but it was still good to get home again, to our own bed and pillows.

THE END
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Old May 6th, 2008, 06:01 AM
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=D&gt;
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Old May 6th, 2008, 06:58 AM
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Great report! I'm sure I'll be referring to it again and again as our July trip draws nearer.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 07:05 AM
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Lovely report, artstuff. Thanks for taking the time to share your trip with us, especially in such an organized manner!
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Old May 6th, 2008, 08:03 AM
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Donnerwetter!

What a trip report!
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Old May 7th, 2008, 12:43 AM
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Thanks for finishing Robyn, congratulations. A big bouquet to you from me!
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Old May 7th, 2008, 03:55 AM
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Danke! Danke! Danke!

...for all your kind replies, and taking the time to read my quite lengthy trip report (WORD stats: 44 pages, 353 paragraphs, 23,191 words).

But more importantly, danke sch&ouml;n to the many people here at Fodor's who helped us with our planning. I was really happy when I saw some of your names pop up as replies to my post. We couldn't have done it without your help.

From the time I was a toddler I can remember my mother writing in her journal about our travels around the United States. Naturally, when I got older I started keeping my own travel journals. But now, thanks to the computer, it allows me to be more fanatical with my thoughts and memories.

Thanks all, for joining in.

Robyn &gt;-
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Old Oct 19th, 2008, 03:25 AM
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bookmarking
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Old Oct 19th, 2008, 06:00 AM
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Bookmarking for upcoming trip.
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Old Jan 8th, 2009, 04:26 PM
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me too
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Old May 16th, 2013, 11:01 AM
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artstuff: I just saw the link to your report in another posting and have printed off for my leisurely reading. It looks very similar to trip we did last September except we didn't make it to Munich. We are going back to Germany and also Austria this September, starting in Munich and ending in Austria. We loved Germany and are looking forward to seeing more of it this year.
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Old May 16th, 2013, 06:05 PM
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Thanks, winnick, for taking the time to post. I hope you enjoy reading my trip report. It's been a couple of years since I posted it, so I started reading it again and remembering some events I had forgotten about!

We just got back from 8 nights in the Black Forest and Schwabische Alb, so I'll be working on a trip report - before I forget some of those special events.

Enjoy your time travelling in Bavaria and Austria.

Robyn
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Old May 17th, 2013, 08:19 AM
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I am glad this thread is showing I have already emailed Edith for the Romantic Special however it is now 108 euros pp.
Excellent reporting!!
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Old May 17th, 2013, 09:57 AM
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Both my husband and I read your trip report last night - it was fantastic. We both really enjoyed reliving some of the places we visited last year and have us looking forward to some of places we will be seeing this year when we return to Germany.

Thanks for a well written enjoyable read.

We look forward to your report from the Black Forest and Schwabische Alb.

Karen
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Old May 18th, 2013, 02:12 AM
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Thank you, atfox1 & winnick, for your kind replies. I'm glad you enjoyed my trip report.

atfox1 - That's so cool that you are booking with Edith. I do hope that you enjoy your stay with her as much as we did.

Happy travels!

Robyn
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Old Jun 20th, 2013, 11:57 AM
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Loving the report. Heading to Germany in September. LOL, I travel with my own pillow. Willing to wear black every day just to have that pillow and my good nights rest Hubs and I agree, the planning (something we start almost immediately upon return home from last trip) is more than half the excitment of the trip. I shouldn't be doing anything on this trip yet because my piles of notes and half written trip report from last year remain unfinished. Life-a parent that had to be moved to assisted living, a wedding and 3 graduations....that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 06:36 AM
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Hey, LuvToRoam, thanks for reading my report and responding. I do hate when LIFE gets in the way of LIVING. It sure sounds like you have a lot on your plate, but I do hope you enjoy your trip to Germany in September. It's a beautiful time of the year to visit, with all the flower boxes overflowing with colors.

Robyn
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 06:48 AM
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Old Jun 22nd, 2013, 07:32 PM
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Hr
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Old Jun 23rd, 2013, 12:15 PM
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Many thanks for some of the links I had lost when my computer crashed awhile back... They will prove useful in 10 weeks!!!

And we all APPRECIATE how much time you devoted to generate this TR...

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