Saturday, July 5, 2008

Munich, Germany: July 2 (Day One)

Marion and I woke up Wednesday morning, enjoyed our breakfasts, then started packing for our trip to Munich. Packing took less time than I anticipated so we were on the road by 11 am. After short stops at the gas station, bank, and McDonalds for lunch, we were on the A3 towards Germany.

The drive was uneventful. Marion managed to fall asleep a couple of hours into it once we had passed through Lichtenstein and into Germany.

The Autobahn was fun and scary to drive on at the same time. I mean, driving fast is always fun. But some of the cars on this road took driving fast to a whole new level. I was on the same road for approximately 60 miles or so and would stay in the right lane most of the time. Occasionally I'd pass people. I'd check my blind spot and rear view mirror, turn on my blinker, and start to move into the left lane. Then, out of nowhere, a car would be there, flying by me. It was unsettling to me how fast these cars showed up, seemingly appearing out of nowhere. I learned rather quickly to make sure several times before switching lanes and then floor it to pass the slow car (only moving 120 kmph/75 mph) in front of me.

But hey, I averaged around 135 kmph and enjoyed it. Who doesn't enjoy driving 83 mph on a fairly open highway?

After obeying Garmin, Marion and I arrived at our hotel in Munich. I got out of the car, walked past three older gentlemen talking in front of the hotel entrance, unbuckled Marion from her carseat, locked the car, and started towards check in. I had gotten two steps away from my car when one of the men stopped me and started speaking in German. I asked him if he spoke English and he told me that he did. Then he told me in English that I would have to move my car closer to the curb because the police monitor the opening of the roadway. He then told me that I would have to move my car within 15-20 minutes to a parking garage to make way for other patrons.

While I understood his concern, I was confused as to why he watched me get out of my car and go through the routine of getting Marion out of the car before asking me to move my car three INCHES closer to the curb. Obviously this man doesn't have children.

So I buckled her back into her carseat, got back into the driver's seat, and moved my car the required three inches.

Finally we were allowed to check in. I then unloaded our bags from the car (clock was ticking!) and headed up to the room. Once up there we found my friend Elizabeth and her son Will who we had come to Munich to see. They had the hotel room next to ours. I dumped our bags in my room and left my daughter with Elizabeth so I could move my car to the parking garage. Time was almost up!

On my way back to the hotel I tried calling Brian to tell him we had arrived. I didn't use the Swiss country code and ended up calling a German phone number. I, of course, was confused since I had called Brian this same way from the Autobahn and the call went through fine. Not sure why it worked one time and not another but the next time I made sure to use the Swiss country code to avoid calling that person again!

After returning to the hotel room, Elizabeth and I decided we would head out to see the Marienplatz and Rathaus-Glockenspiel.

It was a short walk from our hotel and breathtaking. It wasn't too busy so we enjoyed some music being played in the square before heading in to the Rathaus (city hall). Marion was fascinated by the monk on the ceiling just inside of the entrance.

We then went up to the tower in Rathaus where we saw great views of Munich. The beautiful weather helped.
Marion loved the little alcoves at each corner of the tower and spent her time running in between each of them.
Once inside she would turn around and demand us to follow her saying, "Come. Come!"
Thank god it wasn't crowded when we were up there.

After the tower we headed back down to Marienplatz to grab a spot to watch the Glockenspiel.
It was a pretty impressive show. Marion seemed to enjoy the music but was fascinated when the figures started to move. Her favorite was the coopers' dance (the bottom figures). They moved towards to the end of the show and would turn around. Marion, not wanting to be left out, started to spin. Yep, she definitely enjoyed the Glockenspiel.

After the show, we decided to have dinner at the Glockenspiel Cafe. The food was wonderful and we were having a great time. Then the rain clouds rolled in and the sky opened up. Luckily, the cafe has a canopy that covers the outdoor dining area. Unfortunately, it moved very, very slowly. So we ended up getting a bit wet but it just made for a more interesting night.

Marion enjoyed eating penne off of Elizabeth's plate (she didn't like my gnocchi). Then she hit a wall and we started getting those looks. You know, the ones that clearly say, "Why did you bring a toddler here? She is ruining my meal!" They are universal it appears.

Anyway, we headed out, leaving the looks behind us. On our way back to the hotel we stopped at a store to pick up some drinks and a bottle of wine for the mommies. We have to relax too you know.

Back at the hotel, I put Marion to bed and then joined Elizabeth and Will in their room to unwind for the rest of the evening.


Lonely Paul said...


Anonymous said...

sounds like a crazy fun filled day! i LOVE the pictures :) too cute as always.

mrsmac said...

Thanks Colleen!