|One of the mighty demon-fighting cherubs in Marienplatz
For instance, who knew that the smooth sidewalk-looking ribbons of asphalt that skirt the streets of Munich are bike lanes? Not us! The first rule of walking in Munich, it turns out, is sticking to the cobblestone sections of thoroughfare. The second rule is: when crossing at intersections, stay in the fatter of two crosswalks or you'll get mowed down by a cruiser. The third rule is, this is Germany--so you'd better pay attention!
But seriously, we're having a blast. Last night, whilst negotiating the traffic and trying to get our bearings (both Kirk and I are maptards with crappy senses of direction, so it took three times as long to figure out where we were and which way to turn next as it would have taken if we weren't so stoopid), we stumbled into the infamous Hofbrauhaus for a meal (though I think it was breakfast time by our jet-lagged internal clocks). Amid the oompah and dirndls and the lederhosen and the huge liter pitcher-steins of beer, we hungrily slurped onion soup and inhaled dumplings. Not to mention a dunkle and a Radler--which led to a hunt for WC on the circuitous route back to the hotel.
Today's journeys included a walking tour of Marienplatz and the Residenz, the latter taking most of the morning since the Wittelsbach's Bavarian family palace is featured prominently in the Empress Chronicles. Those Bavarian royals liked their rococo!
After the Residenz, we hopped on the U briefly, popping up after a couple of stops to stroll through the English Garden (another stop on the Sisi trail for me). I am pleased to report that the Garden in my mind (and on the page) is eerily close in landscape to actual "Central Park" of Munich. Here, Kirk and I had a "when in Munich" afternoon and gulped down an ein Mass in the centrally located Chinese Tower Beer Garden (while watching a 10-year-old girl at the picnic table next to us do the same) before stumbling out of the way of more zooming bikes.
Tomorrow we'll tour the Nymphenburg with its Gallery of Beauties, before heading off to Garmiche mountains and points South.
Heaven help us, the Autobahn awaits!