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  The Chatter Box : Travel
Germany by peripatetically on 4 February 2003 3:46am
USA: Well, Eloise-Little Peep, here is a travel experience. I hope you didn't give up on me!

In 1975 I went to Germany and other alpine countries, for the first time. I landed in Munich and stayed there, with a tour group, for 3 nights. I couldn't imagine, then, all the wonder that lay before me in the next 16 days. For years I wanted to visit that part of the world, especially the Alps. My heritage is part German, mostly, and part English, and I recall my grandfather speaking the language from time to time and listening to German radio programs. So this piqued my interest in Germany and a deep desire to see the mountains. On the second day, we headed out toward the Austrian border with a group, and the first view of the mountains suddenly came into view. They were unbelievable and I couldn't before imagine their beauty. My camera never stopped . I must've taken a million photosthat day, or so it seemed. My firsr cablecar ride was exciting, frightening, but fun all at the same time.

I explored Munich on foot for three days and nights. Lots of pretzels and beer, and music. I loved the beer gardens, the English Gardens, the palaces and treasury and the churches. In later years, on return trips to the city, I bought a down featherbed and linens and still use them to this day. Talk about cozy. You could be stark naked and warm up underneath them in just seconds. I know from experience!! It is on my bed right this minute. Anyway, this is the city where I met a wonderful German man through a friend of mine who met him the previous year on a similar trip. He was the German marksman champion in several disciplines several years in a row and was handsome and successful, had a wonderful singing voice and lots of genuine charm. We still communicate even though he has since moved to Perth, Australia. I miss him whenever I am in Munich. He took me on picnics and excursions far from the city and away from the touristy areas. He fed me and housed me on a subsequent ski trip to Innsbruck in 1976. (My friend and I took two days of that trip and rode the train through the Austrian Alps countryside to Munich where he met us at the airport. He took us to the oldest wine cellar in the city and let us stay at his apt. He took us to the Olympic Park and we danced and met a German celebrity at a nightclub. There, he took the microphone himself and sang to us, "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World". He was a gentle and kind person and his accent and little mistakes in pronunciation endeared me to him even more. Another time, he and his girlfriend, (He was divorced and had a teenage daughter, whom I know too and who is beautiful, I might add. And his girlfiend is a model.) drove us to a castle and to a lake. At another time, they met me in Garmisch for dinner and the evening. That meant a drive after work for them during rush hour, going into a weekend. I really appreciated that.

His gun club held a bicycle race and picnic and I was invited to that for the awards. He gave me a tour through the clubhouse and let me hold the weapons they use for target practice. And by the way, this is all SPORT. Nothing is killed and there are no evil intensions.)His condominium has been a place for us to relax and eat heartily on many occasons. His girlfriend's mother baked me cookies for a ride home on the plane. He gave me a plaster bust of King Ludwig as a souvenir, and also several of the pewter awards he has won. His place was loaded with them, ribbons, plates, mugs, cups. Like I said-he is the champion of the entire country. His photo was on the cover of several magaines. I didn't know that until I went to the gun club and saw them framed and hagning on the wall. He explained the different targets and who made them, and why, etc.

One night, he took me to an old quaint restaurant where he ordered a wonderful dinner. I can't recall what it was right now, for I eat like a queen the entire time I go abroad.

We always take presents to our friends when we travel. They do so much for us and we like to say thank you by giving them something totally made in the USA-- not in Japan, or China, like so much is today. It is always nice to take something from the home region. I am from the east coast, so my traveling companion took a mug from Intercouse, Pa. It was lots of fun trying to explain it to him. He has a wonderful sense of humor and understood the joke.

The first trip to Munish was on a tour, as you might have guessed from the first few things I said in this chat. I was 27 then and worked at a hospital. One of my bosses, a pathologist, was a big traveler too, but I had no idea he was booked for the same trip. My friend was his secretary and she broke the news to me of his plans as she made the reservations for him. You can imagine how startled and worried I was that I was spending two weeks under the eye of him and his wife. What a bummer. But, it was wonderful. He and his wife invited me to a Munich dinner when we were in line at the airport. We hadn't even left the country yet(USA). He told me to select any restaurant and let him know. I, of course, had no inkling, so I inquired at the front desk of our hotel upon arrival. The concierge gave me a few names of places. I told him we wanted "something nice". WELL----------It turned out to be the most expensive place in Munich--The Four Seasons. Doc and the Mrs. were very pleased and didn't blink an eye when I told them. Come to find out, they are both gourmet lovers and cook up a storm at home. So, I REALLY got to know my boss very well, and we had a lot of fun. A couple of lovers sat a few tables from us and had a big, but quiet, argument. She stormed out of the place. He was left sitting with two huge gourmet dinner plates full of food, drinks, linen and crystal and the works!!! He was very composed and left in his neatly pressed tuxedo. It was a classy place, chandeliers, a very grande and sophisticated place..

After we had our dessert, the doc and his wife took me to a nightclub called The Yellow Submarine in the student and arts district of the city. That sector is called Schwabing. It was interesting, with fish tanks surrounding the room's perimeter. You had the feeling of being under water. Later in the trip, I was treatd to an ice cream at a tour stop and we shared a ride on a 4 -seater cable car. Towards the end, he and his wife happened to be aboard the same boat I was when we were in Lucerne Switzerland. But other than that, we really didn't cross paths, so all was fine. Often, after that, we shared vacation tales with one another from trips we took in later years. SInce then, he has traveled vastly, more than me, and I have done a good share myself.

I can remember sittiing in my German friend's living room and listening to the radio. All of a sudden I heard our local baseball team announcer call a play. It must've been the station the US soldiers listen to over there. The Orioles were beating the Yankees. YEA!!!! It was really fun hearing the game all the way over there in Germany.)

On Sundays, until 11:30 a.m. , you can eat certain foods at the English Gardens. It is a tradion. He took us to do that. We had the big pretzels and liters of beer too. A beautiful day near the Chinese Tower. A gazebo was nearby too, and a pretty lake. That's a great place to stroll and is quiet even though in the city. Bicycling and hiking, boating, sunbathers. Very pleasant way to spend a Sunday. Don't miss it. There are a few beer gardens scatteered around too. Everywhere you go in Munich is convenient. Over and below ground transportation is fun and efficient. There's a nice pedestrian area where there's so much to do and see. Any beer lovers out there??? It's heaven in Munich! Everything you ever heard about Germany's beer is true. But Ocktoberfest is really for the tourists and drunks. Real beer people only go to have a look and that's it. My German friend doesn't like the Hofbrauhaus, and I can understand that. It's pretty touristy, but fun nonetheless. I've been there 3 times, twice for the evening shows and once for a courtyard lunch. It's something to see, but be sure to walk up and down the stairs and all around the place, because it's pretty big. There are beer gardens and restaurants sponsired and owned by breweries everywhere in Munich and they aren't hadr to find. Just keep your eyes opne and you're bound to stumble into (and out of) one!

By the way, if anyone has some questions , maybe I can help. I'm not an expert by any means, but I might be able to give you some help.

If you are an art lover-DON'T MISS
Alte Pinochotek. I was mesmerized by the Ruebens and the old masters and all the other things I saw. It's a small museum and worth visiting alone, if nobody else wants to go with you. I did. I spent almost an entire day sitting and absorbing the beauty. It's works span many centuries of art and you can see how art has transformed itself and progressed through the ages. There were few pieces of art there that disappointed me. And that's unusual. Some art I can pass by without a glance. But not here. I loved it and would love to go again. I never thought I'd spend that much time inside a museum when going away, but it was well worth the time. Take it in on a rainy day.(Weekends are free.)

I think I will end this epistle for now. Tune in again, folks, unless you are bored, then I'll not tell any more. This was particularly for Eloise. (Like I said, I could go on for years...) I wish
I had the photos. It's much more interesting that way.

Later. My neck is killing me.
Re: Germany by Eloise on 7 February 2003 9:57am
I really enjoyed that! Some was very sweet, and some exciting.......a much better story than I could tell. Thanks for sharing :)
Re: Germany by Eloise on 7 February 2003 9:55pm
I skimed through it this morning, as I had to get ready for school.
Now I've had a proper read, I'm hooked! I never really thought about Germany much before, it seemed sort of dull, and not as cultural different as Spain or France. Now I see its much more! Even if everyone else did get bored, which I doubt is true, I'm listening. It's way more interesting than my holidays!
(No Subject) by peripatetically on 7 February 2003 10:31pm
USA: Whoops! I made a mistake in this chat. See "Germany yet again, Eloise!"
Germany yet again, Eloise by peripatetically on 7 February 2003 10:32pm
USA: Elosie, it all depends on where you go when visiting a place. There are plenty of places in Germany that I'm sure wouldn't be suited to either of us. But, there is definitely a lot to see and do there. Germany, or any country for that matter, I have found, is as unique as each person is unique. Similarites can be found between lots of places, but even the geographical features can make it totally unique from another country. Southern Germany is much differnt than the mid or the northern part of the country. And that's makes the people and their way of life differnt too. Houses are differnt everywhere you travel, occupations too. it's like anywhere, a big diversity... Also, if you're traveling that far (Germany), and have time and resources, you mustn't miss the Alps, and Austria and a taste of Switzerland. I've been back so many times and discover something new each time. Even within the same place, new people, new streets and restaurants, and so on... A really good idea is to get up early and go to the markets and parks, riverbanks... before the shoppers and workers arrive en masse. It's fun to see and hear the sounds of a place that early. Cars and delivery trucks, birds singing, church bells chiming, little kids going to school. Parks are also good, if you feel safe. Once, in Vienna, I got up very early and strolled the park before breakfast and snapped some pictures of the birds and people sitting on benches reading their newspapers. It was so peaceful. Little dachshunds were out with their masters getting their walks before the rush of the day was upon them. It was fun. Church bells ringing and aromas of bread and rolls and pastry---I love it all. Early in the day, before noise of the city ruins it all, THAT's the best time to peek around and make discoveries. I find people are always pleasant and don't mind if you peek through a gateway or look into their courtyard. Sometimes you get some interesting stories.

On an excursion to one of the mountains near Lucerne, I met an old lady who spoke no English, but she saw me taking close-up photgraphs of wild flowers. She took me by the hand and guided me along the rim of the mountain path and pointed to some flower pods and and still in bloom that I otherwise might have missed. I thought that was very cute of her. She was very old and bent over, but it wasn't too much for her to show her interest and kindness.

In the outskirts of Luxembourg I met a very very old man outside the US military cemetery where General Patton and his tropps are buried. It had been snowing like crazy, for many hours and I was with a friend who was driving. We needed directions and stopped when we saw this one man braving the elements. When he realized we were Americans, he remembeed WWII and how we helped liberate their town. He thanked us over and over and felt so honored to have met us. I was very touched by that. Of course, that was my father's generation and I had nothing to do with it, but it really meant a lot to me. It brought a tear to my eye, actually. Then he invited us for a drink. We weren't able to accept his offer, for it was snowing and it was getting on to the late afternoon and we had to get to a hotel. He was also not in any financial position to treat us to drinks, but we appreciated his offer. I'll never forget his reaction though. He must've suffered during the war for him to be so gracious to us after so many years. His weary eyes lit up when he heard our accents.

Remind me to tell you about the time my traveling companion and I had a "medical" experience" in Germany. It's another long long story, but interesting. Also a story in Salzburg about a camera. And another camera story at a fountain in Munich. All good stories. Like I said, I have a lot of them.

Re: Germany by Eloise on 8 February 2003 8:11pm
I'm offically gluded.
I am now reminding you of a "medical" experience in Germany.......
..........Can you remember it yet?
Re: Germany by peripatetically on 8 February 2003 10:08pm
USA:Eloise, I can certainly remember it, but I don't have time to write it at the moment. But once I get started, I'll be in 4th gear!! Hang in there!

Re: Germany by peripatetically on 19 January 2004 1:46pm
Lyn, I found that thread. But I don't if it's for archiving.

Are you archiving anything in the travel section?

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