We are away for a family biking trip in the Dolomites, a mountain range along the Austrian-Italian border.
First stop, though, was Munich. We had a full day to explore and get used to the time change before heading over to Italy.
I took a few years of German in high school, and so, I am enjoying the chance to use a long-ago dormant part of my brain. It also is nice to be together as a family.
Here are my impressions of Munich:
- Everyone was very friendly. I’ve read a bit about Bavarian culture, and I found that people projected a lot of friendliness.
- The old part of the city is very interesting. At the bottom is a photo of the altar at an old church called St. Peter’s.
- Very clean. Whether it was the subway or the streets, you saw almost no litter.
- The food. Bavarian food is simple and hearty. It is heavy-laden with pork and potatoes. The Wiener Schnitzel I had wasn’t bad. But, a fried piece of meat is not something I often would order.
- Diverse. There were many residents and visitors who are Muslim. I don’t think I’ve seen so many women fully covered up. August is a holiday month in Europe, and there were people from all over.
- A birthplace for Nazism. One website called Munich the first home for Nazism. As a Catholic, I feel very bummed out about this (Bavaria back then was very Catholic), particularly when we were at the train station en route to Italy. I suspect that station was the site of many tears. It serves as a warning to me that we always should think critically about movements.
- A few phrases of the local language went a long way. Mrs. T. and our son, who speak French, did all of the heavy lifting a few summers ago during our time in France. On this trip, I am on point. But, it is very easy, as most Germans don’t mind speaking English.
- Air conditioning was very rare. In a very energy-conscious society, we found that shorts and quick-dry t-shirts were ideal during the day. It was extremely muggy and warm. Even at restaurants for dinner, I did not see anyone dressing up. Paris was much, much more formal, FWIW.
We are very grateful to be able to visit a new country. I am looking forward to more family time and the chance to cycle.