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Grand Tour of Munich
by Kathy Kuddes on March 6th, 2016

An Easy Start

​Thankfully, we didn't have any structured activity this morning, so we could sleep off some of the jet lag. The hotel breakfast runs late on Sunday, so we were able to have a big plate of cheese, sausages, delicious pastries, and fresh fruit. My favorite part of breakfast in Europe is the fabulous coffee! I don't know whether it is the spring water or the roast on the beans or a combination of both, but they brew a fantastic cup of joe here!

After breakfast we went down the block to Marienplatz to get cash from the ATM machine and reorient ourselves in old town Munich. We are so thankful that this city government chose to reconstruct the old town after World War 2 because is it really beautiful. Julie Scott and I took a table in the cafe across from the Glockenspiel in the town hall and enjoyed another beautiful coffee and an Apple Strudel while we watched the mechanical show in the clock tower.

City Sites

​We gathered in the hotel lobby just after lunch where we met Tanya, our local guide. We boarded a small tour coach to see the major sites of this charming city. Tanya was a wonderful guide. She shared a ton of local history as we drove through various areas of town. This was the center of power for the Wittlesbach dynasty which ruled Bavaria for nearly 500 years, so the Residenz palace in town and the Nymphenburg "summer" palace on the edge of town (maybe 15 miles from the other palace) were the homes of Maxamillian I & II, Ludwig, Luidpold and other members of the Wittlesbach clan.

​We hopped on and off our little bus several times to get a closer look at various beautiful locations. The first stop was at Max Joseph Platz. This square includes one side of the Residenz, the Opera House and a huge statue of Emperor Max Joseph. Munich has a cluster of incredible Art Museums all within a three block area. We also made a quick stop for photos at the Nympenburg Palace (photo to the left). This expansive palace was built over the reigns of several Emperors of Bavaria. The entrance is accessed via a long lane on either side of a canal that you can imagine the royal sleighs dashing down the lane. The pond in the front is home to a flock of white swans.
We traveled further out of the downtown area to the Olympic Park, built for the tragic 1972 games, when Palestinian terrorists took Israeli athletes hostage and eventual killed them. The stop out here is at the BMW World. The home of "Bavarian Motor Works" (BMW) now has a huge display room for their various lines of automobiles & motorcycles - BMW, Rolls Royce, Cooper Mini and others (group photo above). We saw some fancy cars and had another great coffee. One of the most interesting stops was a bridge over a small branch of a river where the water that been forced over a pipe. Men were surfing on the river (see photo below). The air temperature was about 35 degrees. I can only imagine how could that water must have been!

We concluded the tour back at Marienplatz just in time for the Glockenspiel performance at 5:00 pm. Follow this link to see a video of the Glockenspiel (https://youtu.be/hsfxTyhCzr8) It was a fun afternoon and a great way to get acquainted with the city. There were no group activities planned so I had dinner with my friend and colleague, Kenny Allen, who had hopped over from his current home in Prague to spend the weekend with us. We had a terrific time drinking Bavarian beer and eating Spaetzel. A great first day!


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