In munchen state ein haufbrauhaus

Trip Start Feb 18, 2004
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Trip End Dec 05, 2005


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Tuesday, July 6, 2004

Deutschland - my first stop was in the university town of Freiburg. It turns out there was some sort of bicycle race and festival going on there that weekend so there were lots of food booths setup and musicians playing. I found me a place with crepes for cheap, so had to get a chocolate/banana one. Yum! I sat and listened to a jazz band amongst a crowd of beer-drinking Germans for a while. A radio station had a big stage setup with a lot of cheesey singers, but, much to my dismay, David Hasselhof never came out to sing. At night, there were fireworks which they were shooting off from a forest behind the town. I didn't think that was too great an idea as lots of sparks and such were falling on the trees...but the fireworks were cool. I went to a music/dance club called the "Jazzhaus" that evening where they were playing lots of music from the 1950s-60s (and a bit of the '70s). Everyone was singing along and dancing so it was fun.

Freiburg

Having spent almost a day in Germany, I decided to get out and went to Strasbourg, France. It's the seat of the European Union parliament and such. The buildings are of modern design, but by no means attractive. The city has an "old town" that's quite cool looking. Since it was a Sunday, most everything was closed and it was quiet...not much to do.

Petite France in Strasbourg

Having spent almost a day in France, I decided to get out and went back to Germany. :) I went to another university town, Heidelberg (the university towns have lots of cute young ladies...makes me want to go back to college). It has a big castle up on the hill overlooking the town and a couple big churches.

Heidelberg

I took the train from there to Frankfurt to meet up with my friend, Diana (some may remember her from Nike Desktop Support). I spent a couple days with her in Bad Homburg and since she has a computer and Internet connection, got to upload pics and update the travelog (woo hoo!).

She was nice enough to drive me to Rothenburg (along the Autobahn going 500mph!). Rothenburg is another medieval walled town. Around this time is when I realized I'm either becoming a travel snob or just getting tired of seeing very similar towns. After about the 8th medieval walled town, they're just not too exciting anymore. There was a summerfest going on though which helped improve the status of the town. They had a little carnival and biergarten. I saw a bit of a puppet show in the biergarten during the day and a really bad live band that evening. Had to get a big 'ol beer too...one was enough. They had fireworks at 10:30pm to celebrate the end of the 'fest. I guess that will have to do as pre-July4 fireworks for me.

Rothenburg

From Rothenburg I did a daytrip to Bamberg. With all the train changes, it actually took a while to get there (it's not really too far in distance). Bamberg had a cute old town and several churches. Again, it's pretty but I've seen similar stuff already. I stopped in Nürnberg on the way back. It had a couple cool fountains and a castle up on the hill. And, of course, the pedestrian shopping area. I'm not doing much of any shopping on this trip so I don't linger around the stores. My train was late leaving Nürnberg so I missed my connecting train back to Rothenburg and ended up stuck in a little town a ways away (no more trains after 8pm!). I had to take a taxi back to Rothenburg. If I knew how to speak German, I'd yell and curse at the freakin' Die Bahn (train) people to reimburse me. I don't like Die Bahn anymore.

Bamberg

Next stop was Füssen - castle country. I did a 5km walk out to where the castles are and did a tour of Hohenschwangau. That's the castle Ludwig II grew up in. It's right above a lake so in a pretty area. In town that evening, they had some sort of relay race going on. I got there after a couple of the heats had already taken place and saw people limping and looking about ready to collapse. I thought it must be a long race and sat to watch. The people lapped quick before handing off the baton so I had to check out the course...it was maybe 1/4 mile! Most the participants must have been really out of shape, though it was cobblestone streets so that'd be weird to run on. The next day I went up early to see Neuschwanstein. The views from the bridge above are amazing. I took lots of pics. The castle itself doesn't have that many completed rooms, so there wasn't much to see, but what I did see was cool.

Neuschwanstein

I went back to town along the river and wandered in via the old town and saw a dead guy. Just an ordinary day for me - seeing one of the coolest castles in the world and someone dead with a sheet over him and his feet sticking out. It looked as though he was sitting at an outdoor cafe having a beer (actually, the beer was the first thing I noticed 'cuz it was sitting partially drank on the table with no one sitting there and I thought to myself "someone didn't finish their beer!" then I looked down and noticed the guy laying there with the sheet over him.). The police were asking someone questions and then went back to checking on the body. I've obviously been numbed by American media 'cuz the whole thing didn't phase me that much. And, no, I did not take pictures or poke the guy with a stick. I hope the guy at least died happy since he was enjoying a beer.

After that I went to Lindau which is right on the Swiss border and on Lake Constance. It was a beautiful day out with lots of sun, which was nice 'cuz otherwise there wouldn't have been anything to do there. I just wandered the town and hung out by the lake in the sun. That evening I watched Greece win the EuroCup final...it didn't look like Portugal was playing too well.

Lindau and Alps

Now I'm in München staying with a friend of MO's. I arrived here yesterday and checked out some of the sights (Glockenspiel and such). I went by a lederhosen store 'cuz they had teddy bears in the window with lederhosen on and I was thinking that would be close to fitting Spanky. The ones on the bears were sewn on, so I asked the lady if they had any small lederhosen. She said they had some in size 1. I replied that I was wanting something about the size of the clothes on the teddy bear. She informed me that that would be too small to fit a human. Oh really!?! Apparently there isn't a demand for lederhosen clothes in extra extra small sizes. It's rainy today so I guess I should find things to do indoors (museums?). I'll be here another day then on to Berchtesgaden and Austria.

I need to be able to get to far away places quick and cheap. Then I could go off somewhere else, get un-Europeanized then come back. I think I'd enjoy the sights more if I hadn't been seeing the same sort of thing the last few months. That's probably not going to happen though. If anyone has any brilliant ideas, let me know.

So I was reading some of the Travelpod logs by other people trying to figure out what makes them a "Travelpod Pick". It seems to me the "picks" are preachy and try to tell you to GO TRAVEL!!! Well, I can't claim to have the wisdom of the Ages, the experience of an old man, the intelligence of Einstein or the enlightenment of Buddha so who am I to tell anyone else how to live their life. I've seen people along the way who really don't make good travellers - there are the married couples that bicker and blame each other for anything that goes wrong, people who are so homesick they're near tears, the college students who are just here to party, etc... And there are people who are content working and raising a family. So I'm not going to go all preachy in my entries and say you should all be out traveling. Do whatever makes you happy. How's that?
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