Archive for September 14th, 2013


After being a sleepless night flight bird, as we winged our way from Newark New Jersey to Munich Germany, I gazed with tired eyes to the level fields and pastures below as we approached landing in Newark. My friend companion, Martha, had caught a few winks through the night, but I flew from the 5 pm departure time in the United States in the light, through sundown into the dark and back into the horizon’s sunrise in Europe…awake.

All the while, pushing the clock six hours ahead in time. Shall we say, I arrived a bit on the tired side. Yet adventure lay ahead.


Here comes Munich and the beginning of a twelve day European Alps tour through four countries and a principality: Germany, Austria, Italy, Switzerland and Lichenstein. After clearing the passport officials, and safely securing our travel documents and itinery (which I continued to check a zillion times throughout the next twelve days), we located our luggage, even though our flight arrival number was not posted anywhere in the baggage claim area. Not bad, huh, for two women, new to Munich!  Then we looked for our private escort, arranged through the tour, to take us the thirty minute trip into the city.

There he was at the end of the line holding signs for newly arriving passengers. No more baggage handling for us. He took over and directed us to his sleek and shiny black BMW, an upgraded model in which we were comfortable passengers.


It was somewhat rainy, damp and grey on our arrival day but this was the only time and day that we were rained upon. The rest of the trip boasted exceptionally sunny blue skies and moderate, comfortable, edging toward hot, temperatures.  We experienced our first of many International Five Star hotels here in Munich. We saw quite a bit of this lobby, as we were very early arrivals and we had to wait for our room to be ready.



We were both definitely wrestling with jet-lag tiredness as we resided in the lobby, watching the comings and goings, and attempting to get our telephones and ipads in wifi sync. But since we had “arrived”, we both agreed, to waste not a minute and take a stroll down into the Marienplaz to “see what we could see” just like the bear who went over the mountain. We knew just enough to know that the famed Glockenspiel Clock Tower was in that vicinity. There was a lot of construction going on throughout Munich, and perhaps, this is why I have the fewest photographs of this location than anywhere else on the tour.

Or maybe, I was just a little groggy.




Department stores and wares for sale were everywhere throughout this plaza. I was fascinated with people-gazing along with the new feeling of being so far away from home. We didn’t stay out long, returning to the hotel to catch a breather of a rest before our official greeting and dinner party of the evening. Here, we would meet people, seemingly unfamiliar to us, but whom we will be able to recall readily as friends, after the tour is over. It seems like that is what traveling together does to you.

Anna, our marvelous Tauck Tour Guide, explains the next day’s schedule in Munich, along with some free time. We agree to meet the bus at the Opera House at 1pm that day for the beginning of our travels to Oberammergau in Southern Germany and then onto Austria.


The Vier Jahreszeliten Kempinski Hotel afforded us sweet, luxurious bed and bath accomodations for our first night’s rest and several rooms of food choices for breakfast the next morning.



Before leaving the hotel that morning, we got a glimpse of a $450,000 Mercedes Benz, parked behind our bus. I saw a sheik checking in, so perhaps it was part of his entourage.


Martha and I chose to take a stroll through the famed English Garden during the free time we had in the morning before departing Munich. It was one of our many great choices throughout the tour. The garden was too large to take in altogether, but the time we were there was exquisite. The sounds and sights of nature surrounded us on the paths we chose, Martha having a keen sense of “this is where I think we are”.



We wanted to get up to the Chinese Pagoda, but we were not sure on time allotment. Since we definitely wanted to be “on the bus”, we chose some shorter paths that wound our way back to the hotel, caught a lunch at a Marienplaz biergarten, and met up with our group at the Opera House. All missions accomplished.



The local people we passed were out walking their dogs, riding their bikes, running their fitness training trails, walking and conversing with friends. Germans walk and ride bikes a lot! The sounds of the birds in the park just made it a nice place to be.



When I hear the song, “In an English Country Garden”, I will think of Munich because I have not yet been to England.


Back in town, sitting at the Biergarten. A great beginning to what just gets better and better every day ahead.



Goodbye Munich. Strike up the band, Willy….we’re on the road.



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