Well, we’re back, and already super busy, so a quick wrap-up.
Saturday morning, we all (including my daughter) took the train up to Munich. We’d be flying out on Sunday morning, she’d go back to her home in the south at the same time.
We arrived in Munich about 10:30, found our hotel, checked our bags, and set out into the very cold Munich morning. That day was the coldest we’d experienced – including our time on the Zugspitze, it felt at times. I didn’t have big plans for the day, which is good, since it was so cold, our program quickly evolved into: Walk in one direction, duck into a warm place, venture out again, walk…find warmth. Now.
What did we see? The lovely architecture of the very clean city of Munich. Mobs of people. By early evening, the streets were more crowded and challenging to navigate than Times Square.
The New Town Hall – with the glockenspiel wedding feast revolving at noon, and then carolers at 5:30.
Christkindl markets everywhere. More sausages, schnitzel and gluhwein.
The Medieval Market:
We eventually found our way to the Alte Pinkothek Museum, much of which was under renovation, but the open sections of which had some wonderful works of late Medieval and Renaissance art. It was warm, too.
The major task after that was to find Mass. We would be leaving too early in the morning to go on Sunday, and I really didn’t want to wait until Birmingham at 6pm to go. I had attempted to find Saturday evening Masses in Munich before we left, but without real conviction, since I didn’t know the city and didn’t know where we’d be in the early evening. I just rested my hopes on the fact that there are lots of Catholic churches in Munich, and the odds are that we’d be near one or two of them around 5 or 6 o’clock.
And we were – St. Peter’s Church, the oldest parish in Munich.
Mass celebrated ad orientem, Communion at the altar rail – some received kneeling, others standing. The music was marvelous. A male schola sang, mostly a cappella. There was little chant and no Latin, but the music was solid, substantive German liturgical music. It just shows, I supposed, what “inculturation” can mean when there’s, you know, an actual culture to build on.
We got some pizza for the boys, and then headed back to the hotel. My daughter and I would eat at the Thai restaurant I said I’d seen across the street from the hotel. What? No German food? Well….I’d been eating German food all week. My daughter lives in Germany. I figured she’d appreciate a change, and she agreed.
Trouble was….it wasn’t a Thai restaurant I’d seen. It was a Thai grocery.
So now, at 8:40 pm, we are faced with the task of finding an open restaurant outside the city center. Not as easy as it sounds in Munich. We walked down one street, then another, found a couple of Italian restaurants which didn’t interest us, passed another small Christkindl market, saw a McDonald’s in the distance, shuddered, and then, in the nick of time, found a tiny little Turkish restaurant called TuDoRa…and it was great.
Marvelous server. Other customers who greeted each other warmly with hugs and great shouts of joy. A fellow who picked the lute on display off the wall and started to play.
The menu was in Turkish, so I asked the waitress to recommend something. She asked me if I preferred meat or vegetables, and I said the latter,so she brought me a lovely plate of grilled and wrapped things, brought my daughter falafel,and it was all quite wonderful – one of the best meals I had in Germany.
We got ourselves up the next morning, arrived at the airport in plenty of time, took off at 9:45 am (Munich time), and were in Atlanta by 2 (Eastern) where we watched a drug dog at the Atlanta baggage claim dig into a wrapped-up box owned by a man who looked like a cross between Owen Wilson and Dolph Lungren and who told the agent that the box contained what everyone brings from Munich – herbal tea bags and whole chili peppers.
And then back in Alabama by 4, where we were driven home by a taxi driver with an 18-inch monitor propped up in the front passenger seat, on which he was watching the NFL. While driving.