While on a trip recently I was sending emails in a travelogue form to a few close family and friends – have represented some of them here with some edits and removing personal details. Hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoyed the trip.
(For reference, S here refers to the husband who was with me on the trip)
Hello people…we have reached Wien! The airport looks no different from Delhi but you will be happy to know the loos are sparkly clean. I stayed in there for so long S missed his loo chance as our turn came in the immigration line. Oh well.
I remember when we used to go on holidays as kids Baba would always say to keep a journal…which somehow we never did. So I thought why not start now (and its more fun typing on gadgets).
The DEL-VIE flight was uneventful. We had good seats (window and aisle), dinner was grilled chicken, veggies and choc cake…no complaints there! Slept most of the time…the only time you get an advantage for being tiny is on flights. S also slept but apparently kept trying to fit his legs here and there. They woke us up for breakfast – sandwich and muffin.
We landed at local time 5:45 AM. The temp outside read 7 degrees but thankfully we only felt it for a little while from plane to bus (there was no airbus…I was not pleased, specially since we had one in Del). But then they had Mozart we didn’t.
Landed in Munich a while back…there’s free wifi Yayy. Will write more later!
We landed at Munich airport early morning. It was pret-ty chilly outside so we wrapped up in overcoats muffler etc. Now that that is out of the way and Ma is relieved we can move on to the less important stuff. We took a cab from the airport to pension…the driver had hitchhiked in India in the 70s (quite Hare Rama Hare Krishna if you know what I mean) and was quite funny. When S said regretfully that the Oktoberfest just got over, he said “don’t worry there’s lots of beer left in Munich” (which we experienced and how!). The pension was right in the middle of the old city centre, 2 min walk from Marienplatz which was ‘the place to be’. Checkin wasn’t till 4 hrs later so we kept our luggage and went out to explore. It’s a city which wakes up late and stays awake late – suited us just fine! We walked around (was deserted initially but started getting filled with tourists around 11), saw beautiful old buildings, churches etc. When I say old I mean in old style architecture, the place itself was rebuilt post war I think. Had lovely hot cappuccino at a coffee shop…we sat outside for some time then went in where it was warm and cosy. S had beer even though it was 10 in the morning because he said its Munich. Whatever that means!! Then the tourist centre opened and we went and got tourist information and nice colorful brochures. At the pension Marco (son of owner Christoph) had already given us a map. There was one main road with shops with wonderful window displays – Dior, Hermes, Gucci, Armani, Valentino and whatnot. There was a Mercedes showroom with a shiny red car from wayyy back…the kind you see in Gregory peck movies…I don’t remember the year but we posed so will show you pictures. Around 12 we went back to the pension and since rooms were ready they let us check in early. The room was tiny and the bathroom was huge! Everything was spick and span clean. The radiator was in the bathroom which I thought was a Very Good Idea. The owner was nice and helpful, and overall Pension — was a success (I’m taking all the credit because I found it).
We bathed (the radiator helped) and rested for an hour or two and then went out again. Had one of the best walks around the Residency area and plopped down in gardens when tired. There was a lady in one of the gardens playing a strange but haunting instrument – looked like a huge shield, the kind which you see in Asterix. Then we took the subway to Englishgarten which is huge sprawling endless acres of green with trees and lots of little walks. There were people cycling and running, but the place was so huge it looked deserted and a little eerie. We walked around and it was so beautiful! There was more beauty waiting for us at one point where we came upon a “biergarten” – lots and lots of green tables with benches with shady trees all around. There were a few stall like enclosures selling -what else – beer. It was self-service and suddenly I saw S coming with 3 HUGE mugs (and huge grin)! He had ordered a large for himself and apparently that fits in 2 huge mugs…rather jugs. Mine was a ‘small’ (name not to be taken seriously) Radler – that’s half beer n half lemonade mixed. I still found it bitter but it was fun to sit there and drink beer. One guy called Eric came over and spoke to us – he asked if we are from Amsterdam because S was wearing his Ajax Amsterdam cap! I was actually a little wary because it was starting to get dark and we would have to go back through the semi-jungle garden again. S didn’t pay any attention to my sensible suggestions. But anyway it was fine. Then we went back to the pension by subway again, freshened up and walked to Hofbrauhaus which was nothing like anything I’ve seen earlier. It literally means “beer house”. A huge warehouse like building with wooden tables and benches, waitresses in traditional bavarian costume and live bavarian music (horns, pipes, violin etc). And it was filled to the BRIM. The system is everyone shares tables (and stories). We thankfully got a table because 2 Japanese girls called and made space for us. So we chatted with them, a German couple, a Ukranian couple settled in NY, and a Swiss couple at the next table. The German lady insisted I was 18 and wouldn’t stop saying “I love your Indian face and your beautiful dark eyes” (nobody allowed to laugh!). S, who was like a baby in a candy shop, was getting quite ‘happy’…when she said my eyes are all dark and mysterious he thought she’s asking why they look dark and tried explaining kajol to her!! I kicked him under the table because she was talking about ‘natural beauty’ not kajol! Hah! Then one drunk German guy came and sat at our table for a little while, then while leaving came and hugged me and kept saying “you are worried about something, is everything ok” around 5 times. We finally got rid of him…it was quite hilarious. The German couple man was very apologetic and said “all Germans are not like this”…I reassured him that I wasnt offended but he looked a little shocked so I dropped it. It was great fun…I had Radler again and here they made it better I think, it wasn’t bitter. Finally we went home in the middle of the night I think, but the streets had people about, mostly outside the pubs and restaurants. All in all a good day!
Will continue later…otherwise it will become long winded.