This morning was supposed to be a slow-start morning. When Dad told me that, I almost clapped my hands with glee and proceeded to take him very seriously. It was 9am and he was knocking on my door asking if I were ready for breakfast – in reality, he woke me up. So, we’re even. Since I was rushed, I didn’t have much of an appetite for breakfast, but that was okay, and I’ll explain why below.
We left the hotel around 10 and started wandering around the old city again. We just aimlessly browsed the side streets, looking at churches, interesting architecture, and big-name American stores housed in really old buildings. Dad wanted to be back in the Marianplaz for 11 to see the glockenspiel at the Rathaus. There is a café on the fifth floor of the building that is right across from the Rathaus that Dad had patronized before, so we arranged to be there shortly before 11. When we rolled in, the place was busy, but we were able to snag a table with a decent view of the glockenspiel. Dad had a coffee and croissant, while I had a tea and an apple strudel with vanilla cream (trés yummy, btw, and totally made up for my lack of breakfast). Unfortunately, no one else seemed that interested in the glockenspiel, so the chiming of the bells that accompanies the life-size dancing figurines was drowned out. (Okay, not familiar with a glockenspiel? Picture a really big coo-coo clock, built into the side of a building.) I got some video on it, but unfortunately, the only sound you get is the busy restaurant. Oh well, we tried. Now we know that the experience might be better from the platz!
After that, we started heading to the English Gardens in Munich. Unfortunately, the weather has been crappy again, and it was drizzling lightly by then. On the way to the gardens, Dad wanted to stop at the Rezidence here in Munich – the former palace of the Bavarian rules. We wandered around the treasury museum (like the one at the Tower of London, but German) and then the actual residence. Very beautiful, but by the end of it, my feet were killing me and my mood was starting to sour. When we were finished, I was all set to get back to the hotel, but Dad insisted I get to see the English Gardens since it was the only concrete thing to do on my Munich list. But now it wasn’t drizzling so much as raining. We got the Gardens, but only walked through a teeny-tiny part of it, so I missed out on the Pagoda and tea-house. But I look at it this way: 1) gotta’ save something for the next trip, and 2) I was in London last year and got to see lots of gardens, pagodas and tea houses.
After this, we started to head back to our hotel, but stopped for lunch at a café on the way back. Little did we know that Germany was playing a world cup game today and, as we walked in, we were greeted by all the wait staff huddled around a TV watching the game. In a really good-naturedly begrudging kind of way we ordered a light lunch, and I stopped in the confectionary for some little cookie sandwiches on the way out. Now it wasn’t so much raining and lightly pouring. We started to head back to the hotel at a fast clip and got in around 4.
Dad and I had arranged to meet for dinner in the lobby at 7, and by that time the rain had stopped, but the wind picked up so it was pretty chilly. We headed back into the old city to find Dad a restaurant that serves chicken (he’s been eating a lot of pork lately, since that seems to be the staple meat in most of Germany), but it was impossible. We ended up eating in the basement/cellar of the Rathaus. We had found a restaurant very much like last night’s Hofbrau restaurant, but this one seemed to be full of locals rather than tourists. After we ate, we started trying to find our way out of the place only to realize that the entire basement of the Rathaus has been converted to various restaurants – we ate in the beer hall, but we also passed a wine-bar, a family restaurant, a pub, and a swanky joint before finally finding a set of stairs out. It’s all the same company that runs these places (I gathered), but they cater to everyone’s needs (including a quick canteen style restaurant on the ground floor that was closed when we went by).
Well, tomorrow is going to be a long day I’m told – we’ve got to make it from Munich to the fields of Waterloo, and that should take about 8 hours. We’re going to be more conscious about sharing the driving tomorrow so neither of us gets tuckered out, but it’s still going to be a long haul.