Sunday, February 17, 2008

A visit to Munich

On our road trip, we stopped in Munich both on the way to Czech Republic and on the way back, thanks to the wonderful generosity of Veronika and her family. They came with us to visit the center of the town Friday a week ago. We took a train into town and arrived downtown at Marienplatz just a couple minutes short of noon. Just as many other tourists on that sunny February day, we stopped to watch the "show" (figures moving) on the New Town Hall. (Googling it, it looks like the show only happens three times a day, so indeed we were lucky, according to here.) I even got our camcorder out, thinking it was going to start right at noon. For five minutes, the bells rang and rang, and the figures did not move one bit. Since I had Emily in the sling, I was getting tired of holding both her and the camcorder. So I stopped it. Shortly thereafter, things started happening. So I started the camcorder again. They should have a big disclaimer for tourists "no need to start recording until ten minutes after the top of the hour".

Then we climbed the St Peter's tower nearby, which afforded us wonderful views of the police cars full of policemen (and women) for the extra security needed for the Munich Security Conference, as well as the new town hall and the square in front of it, now mainly deserted.

Veronika and Lisa looking down over their home town:

Afterwards, trying to figure out what to do next: Andrei and Veronika with Lisa and Leo, and Sonja in the stroller.

We ended up going for lunch of bratwurst and beer in the Hofbrauhaus am Platzl. (Martin was laughing that in Bavaria, they add an "l" to everything, such as Platz becoming Platzl in that name. Of course it should be pointed out that in many parts of Switzerland, it would be Platzli instead :).) Unlike the men at the adjacent table sporting 1 liter mugs, we only had 0.5 liter ones at our table. Veronika remarked that since the smoking ban in restaurants took effect as of Jan 1 in Germany, the atmosphere is rather different...

After lunch, it was a trip to the fishmarket for some fish, form which Andrei created some amazing sushi. He is an excellent chef. Because of him, Martin spent yesterday some money at on a knife and a book about sharpening knives, with more money likely to head their way in a not too distant future...

Sonja, Lisa and Leo in front of the shop:

Resulting sushi:

Veronika playing with the kids (I hope I won't get killed for these pictures :)

Thanks, Veronika, for a wonderful visit!

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