We “woke” up in München (although the verb “to wake” implies a preceding period of sleep that didn’t actually occur, it will suffice for the purposes of this narrative), and were picked up by our friend Daniel in the airport. He delivered us to his house and the waiting breakfast prepared by his wife, Theresia. It was an amazing spread of breads, cheeses, and meats. My favorites were the weisswurst, a white sausage that is a München specialty, and pretzels. Those were the big chewy Bavarian pretzels encrusted with big chunks of salt. Mmmmm…. Daniel and Theresia fed us, let us shower and change, and dropped us off at our hotel. It was a wonderful welcome to Germany, and we left feeling refreshed and ready to start our tour for the day.
The tram that led us directly to our destination was closed for repairs, but I managed to break through the haze of jet lag long enough to find our way to our destination of Schloss Nymphenburg.
Schloss Nymphenburg was the summer palace of the Wittelbachs, the ruling family of Bavarian kings. The palace was smaller than I expected, but the main hall was cool, as was the Hall of Beauties. The Hall of Beauties was filled with pictures of women that King Ludwig I had had painted. Apparently he preferred young, not especially attractive, girls. It was just a wee bit creepy. The best part of the visit was walking through the palace grounds—an extensive park with ponds, streams, fountains, and paths through cool woods. Scattered around were several smaller palaces, which were actually nicer (and less crowded) than the main building. The exercise, fresh air, and sunshine really helped our jet lag.
We were getting pretty tired, but managed to rally to visit the carriage house. It was filled with fantastically carriages and sleighs, belonging to the kings of old. Ludwig II really knew how to pimp a ride. The building also housed a porcelain museum, so the sign outside read “Carriages – Porcelain”. This prompted Dorinna to question, “Where are the porcelain carriages?” Once I stopped laughing, she blamed the jet-lag.
That night we went on a search for a restaurant that I had eaten at a year ago. We searched the area but couldn’t find it, and settled on the Ayinger restaurant instead. When the waitress brought out my meal, I immediately recognized it. Not only had we found the right restaurant, but also I had ordered the same dish! I had a medley of sausages, pork, and bacon served on top of spätzle with a mushroom sauce, washed down with an amazing beer. Dorinna had cheese spätzle with wine.
We took a circuitous walk home, visiting the outside of the Theaterinerkirch and the Residenz, rubbing the lion statue’s noses for good luck. (Too many lions—a city campaign had installed dozens of fiberglass painted lions throughout the city as a public art project). We ended our first day in Europe with a blissful 10.5 hours of sleep.