Day 1 & 2 – Departure and Arrival

This past week has been filled with the make-ready ritual that many travellers go through.  Packing enough, yet not too much.  Trying to decide what to throw in which suitcase.  If a bag goes missing, is there enough in the other bag to cover?  Do we have everything?  Has the list been fully addressed?  Does everyone, that needs to have one, have an itinerary?

Have we run around the house sufficiently this morning rechecking for the umpteenth time?

The bags are not in the bulging-over-weight category…at least, not yet.  Knowing that many memories have yet to be made on this journey, there will be ample time and opportunity for that to happen.  Homecoming might then be its own unique struggle.

The anticipation is now replaced by reality.  Heading to the airport with visions of beer and sauerkraut and pretzels and sausage and….  Wait a minute.  We have just shy of 24 hours of travel time in front of us yet!!  We might get pretzels on the plane.  Sausage and ‘kraut are highly unlikely and beer, IF available, will not be served in a one-litre mug.  Hmmm…maybe the reality isn’t quite here yet.

Getting to the airport presents no challenges with good time in front to meet all the necessary security requirements.  Leaving at noon is a bit of rather good fortune.  A decent departure time and a good connection for the second flight allow for an overnight flight to Munich.  This brings us in at ten Monday morning.  If we’re really lucky, sleep will accompany us and our arrival will be with open eyes and little jet-lag.


Oktoberfest awaits, but it will be Tuesday before we have time for that experience.  Arriving in Munich Monday morning will at least give some time to do a little wandering about.  Having never been there, no doubt much more than a country-wide party awaits.  Now all that needs to happen is for those uneventful flights to take place and a little slumber to rest the eyes and mind.

Tomorrow will indeed be a new reality.

Uneventful (albeit long) plane ride (and Lufthansa treated us very well from the ‘adult beverage’ perspective!).  Avalon Waterways (our river cruise hosts) picked us up at the airport and whisked us away to the Westin Grand Munich where we are enjoying our next 4 days.

As the room was not yet ready (we got in at 10 AM), we stowed our luggage with the concierge, got a tram pass for the day and made our way to the Marienplatz.  As it turns out we didn’t quite make it all the way there (which is ok as Avalon is taking us there on Wednesday anyway).

We did get very close however.  We ended up at Viktualienmarkt  What we ~did~ discover was an open-air market in existence since 1807 with 140 market stalls and eateries.  Much drinking, eating and singing were evident.  So were a multitude of hairy legs.

It’s late September and the market stalls were replete with fresh vegetables.  Mushrooms are very much in season and we found truffles galore – although at 5 Euros PER 1 GRAM for the highly-prized white truffles, it was thought prudent to wait until we got to Italy before trying them.  They may not be a lot cheaper, but maybe we’ll have some as part of a supper somewhere.  We should be so lucky.

The array of fresh flowers that were available everywhere was almost hard to grasp.  Having just left a part of the world where fresh flowers are coming to an end, there seems to be no end in sight over here.  Which is not a problem given their beauty.  And extremely affordable even with the exchange rate.

Gas is a little different story however.  On our way in to Munich from the airport, local Esso stations (which are common over here) had diesel at $1.15 Euros per liter, $1.25 for regular, $1.35 for number 2 and $1.44 for premium.  Add 50% to that price and our $1.00 per liter seems cheap in comparison.  Yes, I know…we’re surrounded by oil (that’s in the ground and costly to get and refine) but it’s still less expensive to drive in Canada than it is in Europe.  Be thankful for small favors.

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