I have a real soft spot in my heart for German music boxes, so imagine my delight at the biggest music box I’ve ever seen: the glockenspiel in the New Town Hall at the Marienplatz in Munich. Think of it as the biggest cuckoo clock in the world, without the cuckoo. I tried to video the “performance,” but it is too high up for my cell phone to get the ambiance. Here is my picture:
Here is a link to a much better quality video than mine if you want to see the glockenspiel in action:
It is so very cool.
We loved the Viktualienmarkt open air market. It reminded us of Pike Place market in Seattle: lots of fun stalls and great food. Steve liked the meat vendors with their very WIDE assortment of meats, including pig heads. (I will spare you the picture of that!) We strolled through munching on giant pretzels and pickles looking at stands selling everything from flowers to mustard. So much fun. We lingered a particularly long time at the World of Chocolate (hmmm, wonder why?)
Everything we read said that Hofbrauhaus was not to be missed. No kidding! It was everything stereo-typically German that we wanted to see. There was an oompah band in leiderhosen playing all night. Periodically they would play a beer drinking song and everyone–no kidding everyone–in a very crowded hall of beer drinkers would raise their glasses and clink with each other, even if they were strangers and did not come close to speaking the same language. Seating is large tables where everyone sits together, and around the perimeter are smaller large tables for huge groups of toasting friends. The beer is in ‘one-size-fits-all’ glasses the size of two-liter Coke bottles. Even I, the non-beer drinker, found one that I liked called Radler, which is beer mixed with lemonade. We enjoyed so much talking to a man from Boston and his son who grew up in Germany. They most definitely live their lives globally, with family not only in Germany and America, but also in Portugal and Belgium. Fascinating to talk to and great, great company. They also love American football, and made the insightful comment “That SEC is crazy down there.” Yes indeed.
The highlight of Munich for Steve was our last day visit to BMW world. Finally we had a found a museum with art he could appreciate! First was a showroom with cars to sit in like the auto show:
Did you know that BMW owns Rolls Royce? I didn’t, but I do now. Even though I’m not really a car person, I must admit a Rolls is a thing of beauty. We couldn’t sit in them, of course, but admiring up close was good enough:
It had stars on the ceiling. Yes, that’s right–the car had stars on the ceiling. Amazing!
I also discovered that BMW owns Mini Cooper. I love Mini Coopers, and I think I want one for my next car. It’s primary draw–it is easy to park. I’m not very good at maneuvering my van into tight parking spaces, and most parking spaces are tight if your driving a minivan.
We trailed across the street to the Museum and found it not only a walk through the history of BMW, but as much a history of the world as any other museum we had seen. BMW, like Forrest Gump, seems to have been everywhere anything of importance was happening.
Here ends Beth and Steve’s Excellent Adventure in Europe. Since it covered two full weeks, I have obviously left out a great many things that we did, saw and ate, any one of which would have been a story unto itself. I think you have a good idea, however, that we had a wonderful time. We have a whole new set of great memories to add to those of the previous 30 years, and a serious incentive to go back to Europe and see some more of what we missed.