Normality for 11 days

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What I did

Flag of Germany  , Bavaria,
Tuesday, July 5, 2011

This village was recommended by our dear friend Mike Brown.

Arriving in Garmish around 1430 we unpacked and took to the supermarket. Aft 40 minutes we discovered much to my great annoyment they did not take credit cards. I left in a fluff of fury. In both Vienna and Salzburg I was caught having to pay cash for dinner. Next door, literally we found a supermarket that did and we started all over. Back to the apartment we enjoyed our first noodles and vegetables for over one month. They tasted great with our Hungarian Egri red on the living room balcony. Desert was half a mars bar but we'll go for a walk after we finish the wine.
Afterwards we must solve the internet access issue as we can’t stay 11 days without access. This was achieved by my using their office in the basement next to the router and Susan sitting on the staircase. Not satisfactory but a solution.

Over the next 10 days we'll rest and explore the area in day trips.

July 6 - Over breakfast we witnessed platoon after platoon of runners going by heading towards the mountains. After hundreds we finally saw the tail-enders.

A short but interesting train journey to the top of Germany i.e. Zugspitzeplann. Great engineering feat and worth the E48 each for the round trip. We followed that joining the crowds in the Garmisch Kurpark to await the announcement of the host city for the 2018 Winter Olympics. While losing to South Korea the faces were not terribly sad her in Garmisch. 

July 7 - A bus trip to petrol best was to do a day trip and learn another language. Quite a city and no doubt we missed heaps but there you go! The Glockenspiel was a highlight as I wanted Susan to see this. Being in summer and having missed the 1100 display (the only time each day in Winter) we came back for the midday one and subsequently learned had we missed that one there is no more in summer until 1700. So, it's not on every hour.

While the tour was conducted in German we went along as it was cheaper to get to Munich on the tour bus than drive and we also go to see the Nymphenburg Schloss / Palace which took 4 pics to capture.To complete the circle it creates, there are a number of houses / mansions lined along one great wall. I suspect the cost of the palace may have been covered by sellling these mansions to coutiers and 'would-bes' at the court.

Tonight there is a bit of rain while last night, when I forgot to put the top up on the car, it was a clear night and very dry. Must be Irish! Also, with the Hungarian red almost gone we drank the tasty Bordeaux and at the supermarket bought a couple of amazingly cheap reds from South Africa and Bordeaux. Also tonight i finished the first bottle of Vegemite. Onto the second....

July 8 - Bavarian Castle day, also by bus via Austria to Fussen then to the castles. You can't go to Neuschwanstein Schloss with a camera and come back with fewer pics than me. Throw in a rococo church from the 18th century and Hohenschwangau Schloss to boot and it's lots of pictures you have to share. On top, the busker looking almost like Barry Fitzgerald and the en route sights and this is what I present to you.The white swan features prominently in the Neuschwanstein ...more than Ludwig and almost as much as Richard Wagner, Ludwig's musical hero. Tonight it's Musikkapelle in the Kurpark, if not raining.

What a musically wonderful evening with a 40 off wind and percussion band playing a great variety including a Petula Clark medley with My Guy and I Will Follow Him. It made me so happy yet also miss my choral past so much. Some great Bavarian music (I guess) and the whole band was dressed in traditional clothing. We bought their CD and will listen to become familiar with their music. I wish I had taken my camera. However....they are back on Sunday playing Glenn Miller and so we will be there too with camera hoping for a magical night. After coffee we strolled through the mall to the strains of a trio we had seen getting ready earlier. Two violins and a clarinet playing Summer (Vivaldi) and at my request after buying their CD, the Canon by Pacobell. Looking at the traditional dress worn by many a Bavarian man made me wonder about their nationalism and provincialism and how else it might manifest in a negative way. I certainly love the music and the hats though you can keep the pants and braces.

July 9 - This morning's tennis at Hausburg (literally up the road) on clay was a real effort but, Susan, gracious as ever and a bit slower from food and wine, gave me the win. A beer afterwards gave me a new souvenir in the form of a re-useable bottle. Thanks Lowenbrau! Now off to Oberammmerbrau.

Passing through Ettal (and by it's imposing church) we saw the sign for Linderhof castle and followed it on our return trip. 

 In lieu of a play in Oberammergau it seemed to be village carnival day with a band, beer garden, children bike racers on a course around the garden and all then featuring Bavarian dancers. The world famous passion play theatre is massive but significantly smaller than many arenas. I guess they sell viewing rights as with a concert or sporting event.

 I'm still trying to find out about the socks the men wear but no luck today.

I did however pick up two 'top quality' hats which are guaranteed to require 10 hours of rain to make them wet (according to the charming Bavarian sales woman at one of the many Linderhof souvenir shops). She also didn't know about the socks.

Tonight a quiet dinner in Gainau (with a little debate with the chef about wines and in particular my distaste of German Reislings) and then a rest for another tennis match tomorrow to be followed by a picnic...sounds great to me....check that! By chance I've managed to get tickets to the Women's World Cup Quarter-finals match in Ausburg instead to watch Sweden play ...yes, Australia! So that should be a first for me and Susan, having never been to a football match before anywhere.

I write this for me as much as I write for readers. It's sort of my own log for later. I'm watching the Germany v Japan second half of extra time. How is it possible...Germany must be useless with the women...have I over paid to attend an ordinary game tomorrow. Well I do watch lousy movies in the hope of seeing a great one. That's also possible tomorrow since Australia has beaten Sweden only once in 8 games.

The chef (Herr Lutz) tonight talked me into a case of mixed wine which should last us into Croatia and sailing. [Japan just scored...can't believe Germany gets put out by Japan...better get Susan up to watch]. no Vegemite toast for me tonight...Susan has been sneezing all day and has not slept well for weeks. I've given her anti-histamines so she should sleep very well tonight especially after all the wine. 

Yep! Germany went the way of England and tomorrow maybe Sweden too. What men can't women do!

Jul 10 - I think when opportunities present themselves for a first time experience one must take it. I did that today and came to understand why I'm not a fan of soccer. It was my first (and last) attendance at a game of soccer. Forget the cost, it was the price for the experience. 

In sports where the errors are so obvious and amateurish one can't help but get very frustrated with the player(s) you are supporting. Usually in team sports like rugby much is invisible to the fan and supporter. What I witnessed today was consistent with so much I've happened to see on TV broadcasts of the game. So much of the activity goes nowhere and seems pointless and the question, "What did you do that for?" or the statement, "Well, that achieved nothing" or the rhetoric "You get paid to do that!" flowed from my mouth all during the match which resulted in favour of Sweden 3-1. You would have to say Australia most foolishly gave away one of those goals. Sweden now go through to the semi-finals.

The drive up and back was smooth and occasional rain made little difference until our return when it became obvious the clay courts would be unplayable. Never mind...we still have the big band night and Dimitra is joining us so the evening will end well as usual. 

What a great night watching so many dancing, as only Ben & Silvana can these days, to the music of Glenn Miller James Last and Matovani. It was great. The video tells it for many of us...the past lost.

Jul 11 - Tennis deferred and Susan reaped her revenge on me this morning so now the picnic missed yesterday. Held at Reissersee, the site of the 1910 Olympic bobsled competition we ate drank and swam and enjoyed the idyllic setting. Now a rest and then the Bavarian concert in the Kurpark.

The concert, situated beautifully was less fantastic than I expected.



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