Tuesday, Oct 8:
Today's travel was complicated - four buses and three trains.
The weather was "socked in". The webcam on top of the Wendelstein showed clouds up to the station. We could have seen other mountain tops around the mountain, but not the view down. So instead of spending a lot of money to go up and over, we took the bus around to Brannenburg. It was an interesting trip, through small alpine villiages that I imagine are isolated during part of the winter. At times the grade on the road was as much as 14%!
At Brannenburg, we caught a train to Rosenheim, then another one to Reit im Winkl. I will have to plan a trip to Reit sometime. It's a very scenic mountain resort very close to the Austrian border. The whole purpose of the complicated trip (three of the buses) was to travel along the Alpenstrasse and spend a little time in Reit.
As a result of all the connections, we didn't get to Berchtesgaden until about 6:30 PM.
Wednesday, Oct 9:
Our first of two days in Berchtesgaden. The sky was overcast, but we had heard that tomorrow might be even worse, so we decided to go up to Kehlsteinhaus (the Eagles Nest) today. At the top, we couldn't see more than a few feet in the fog, so we stayed inside, had a meal, and visited the room, with the marble fireplace from Mousolini, at the outer end of the Nest.
When we arrived in Germany at the end of September, the leaves were just beginning to turn. Over the last two weeks they have progressively turned. Now the hillsides are marked with trees with yellow and orange leaves.
Thursday, Oct 10:
Our second day in Berchtesgaden. Today we took the electric cruise boat on Königssee, with a stop at St. Bartholemä, to the end of the lake, at Salat, where we had lunch. By the time we got back to the boat dock, it was starting to rain. We caught the bus back to the Berchtesgaden Hauptbahnhof. By then it was raining quite hard, so we took a taxi back to the Gästehaus. I mentioned to the taxi driver that it might snow by night, but he insisted that it was too warm to snow.
Friday, Oct 11:
We awoke today with snow in the air, on the bushes and ground, but not on the road. When we got to the Hauptbahnhof, there was a train sitting at the platform that was supposed to have left hours before. Apparently they had lost the power for the trains (or maybe the snow had caused a tree that still had leaves to fall, blocking the tracks). Whatever, they had substitute buses to take us to Bad Reichenhall, where we caught the train the rest of the way to Freilassing.
In Freilassing, we were met by Dr. Wolfgang Ruetz and his wife, Suzi. Wolf was a classmate of ours from Sammamish High School in Bellevue, Washington. He had come to Seattle from Germany when his stepfather got a job with Boeing, and, after graduation, he got his PhD in forestry and eventually a job in Germany. After a tour of his hometown in Laufen, we went back to his house where Suzi prepared a wonderful lunch. We had planned to catch the 15:25 train to Munich, but we were having so much fun reuniting with Wolf that we missed the train (and the next one an hour later) and ended up not getting to Munich until almost 8 PM.
Saturday, Oct 12:
Oh, boy! I have Wifi again. First thing I did was go on the Hohenschwangau website and try to book a reservation for the Neuschwanstein tour. Since the last time I was on, they have increased the lead time for reservations from 5 Pm the day before to 5 Pm two days before. If I plan to go to Hohenschwangau on Monday, then I could get back into Munich late in the evening and have to fly home the next morning. I don't want to do that, so I will skip Neuschwanstein for this trip. As Rick says, "assume you will return." Anyway, there is enough to see in three days München without going down to Füssen.
This morning we walk from our hotel to Marienplatz, stopping for a few minutes to see Frauenkirche. We got to Marienplatz by noon, in time to see the famous Glockenspiel (playing clock) on the Neues Rathaus. After watching the Glockenspiel,
we retired to the Hofbräuhaus for lunch.
Insert picture from the Hofbräuhaus here
After lunch, we walked down to the Isartor (old gate in the town wall opposite the Isar River), saw the gate, then walked across town to our hotel near Sendlingtor.
Sunday, Oct 13:
We left the hotel this morning around 11 and walked to Sendlingertor (another town gate). This was the day for the München Marathon. The course went just inside the gate. When we got there the competitive runners were on the course. There was band at the turn in the course at the gate, and it played every time a runner came through that part of the course.
We went back to a little pastry shop for coffee. The goodies inside the shop were enticing. I ordered at chocolate mousse tort and coffee. The tort was enclosed in a cup made of chocolate. Yum.
After dessert, we went back to the marathon course. By now the competitive runners had finished, and they had released the citizen runners. Mobs of runners were on the court, but the band was packing up to leave.
I had wanted to take the streetcar three stops from Sendlingertor to the Deutsches Museum, but that route was broken because the marathon runners were using the same streets, so we took the U-Bahn from Sendlingertor to Max Webber Platz, on the other side of the Museum, then took a streetcar from there.
The Deutsches Museum has been described as the German Smithsonian. It is soo extensive. You could spend days in there. Today, we didn't even try to see everything. First thing you enter is the maritime exhibit with actual boats (a fishing boat and a tug boat) cut away to show the insides. Behind that was the aviation exhibit. I think the aviation exhibit is the highpoint of the Deutsches Museum. They have a German built F-104, a WWII German jet fighter, a Fokker Triplane, a Messerschmidt 109, lots of other planes. last time I was in the Deutsches Museum, I really enjoyed the bridge building exhibit, but today it was closed for renovation.
Monday, Oct 14:
Tomorrow we leave for home. We are just going to spend the day "wrapping up" loose ends. There are a few things we want to buy while we are here.
We walked up to Maximilian Strasse, a little east of the Opera. It's the Munich version of Rodeo Drive. Cartiers, Versace, Dior - lots of expensive shops - get out of here.
Well, this is it. We're relaxing in our room over a bottle of wine, packing to leave early tomorrow to fly home.