There is something very luxurious about waking up in a hotel room knowing that you do not have to pack up again and check out. After a leisurely shower in our spacious bathroom followed by an unremarkable breakfast, we hit the streets of Munich. Wandering around, we came some churches, including the Church of our Blessed Lady – the most identifiable landmark in Munich and has impressive stained glass windows. There is the bustling Viktualienmarkt, a farmer’s market a few steps away from Marienplatz which has great meat and cheese shops and is full of eateries where you can have your fill of bratwursts and saurkraut and beer. It was just about warm enough to sit out on one of the benches to enjoy a couple of hotdogs.
With Lenny deposited back in the hotel room, Frank and I visited the Jewish museum. Architecturally, the building housing the museum is a stunning creation. An almost bare square leads to two modern blocks – one a very contemporary mosque; the other, with a heavy steel door at its entrance, is the museum. The architecture inside doesn’t disappoint. You enter into a bright space with high ceiling – this is the ticket desk, cafe, and book shop. The permanent exhibition is downstairs. It’s quite small but interesting and focuses on Jewish migration to Germany since the late 18th century.
Next was the obligatory stop at a bier halle. I chose the Augustiner Haus because I remembered it being slightly less touristy than the Hofbrau Haus and the beer being just as tasty. There was a moment of disappointment when Frank tried to order HB and I explained that you can’t get anything but Augustiner beer in the Augustiner Haus. It turns out it was a dream of his to go back to Munich and relive his youth by having a Hofbrau beer… I did not know that… We had some pretzels of course because they go hand in hand with german beer. Frank had to order some sausages so he went for the weisswurst – the white sausage. The presentation was promising. Two lidded white bowls, one containing a large quantity of some kind of mustard; the other a bowl of warm water with two extremely anemic looking sausages. They tasted as they looked but Frank polished them off with lots of mustard and pretzels. After paying the extortionate bill, we headed back to the hotel and had dinner in the Italian restaurant attached to it. Frank went for the carbonara and I had a pizza. The food was decent and it would have been a nice last meal in Munich had it not been for the ‘confusion’ with the bill. We had been given a voucher by the hotel for a free Aperol spritz but when we presented it, were told that we should have given it to them before ordering and that it was now ‘not possible’ to cancel it from the bill. Go figure. We got nowhere with arguing so it left us with a bitter taste.
Next morning, Frank headed off to the ATU shop so I had some time to spend with Lenny. We decided to go for a walk around the Museum area nearby via the Old Botanical gardens. There are three almost identical looking large Romanesque buildings assembled in a large triangular area all facing each other with a grassy space and roadway between them. These are the Alte Pinakothek, one of the oldest galleries in the world, the Neue Pinakothek, and the `Pinakothek der Modererne museums. All displaying art from different eras. Behind these is the lovely yellow-coloured Lenbachhaus art museum. At this stage it was time to head back to meet Frank and hit the road eastbound for Slovenia.