Aug 20, 2008

Munich Moments

July 2008 – one month that I’ll always remember. I was out on my first trip abroad... all by myself!!! I visited the beautiful city of Munich in Germany. There’s loads to write about the trip, but there were some really small (some may seem silly too!!!) yet meaningful things that I just cannot forget. I thought it will be better to simply list them out without getting into the details. These moments lasted only for a couple of seconds or minutes… but they bring a smile on my face even now. Read on and hopefully you would be smiling by the time you’re through with the list...
  • The weird first timer feeling I had on my first international flight – the travel pillow, the blanket, the headphones and the built-in TV with its retractable remote!!!
  • The strange feeling of not feeling different when I got off at Dubai airport
  • The even more strange feeling when I didn’t feel lost or home-sick at Dubai airport and during the trip in general
  • The pleasantly enchanting feeling when I first stepped out of Munich airport… there was something in the chill air that gave me a warm welcome
  • The real life phoren experience with foreigners all around me… actually I was a foreigner this time round :)
  • The cool feeling of being driven around in a BMW
  • The promptness with which Sabrina gave me an agenda for my time at Germany – agenda of what they had planned out for me to do each evening and over the weekend :)
  • The fantastic roadways with really fast cars speeding along
  • The clean broad roads and the trees that lined them
  • The apartment hotel room with a built-in kitchenette… my home sweet home at Munich
  • The smart corridor lights in the hotel that would light up every time I stepped into the corridor :)
  • The Maggi noodles and other ready-to-eat stuff that I cooked up for dinner sometimes
  • The whole breakfast experience at the hotel every morning – all kinds of breads, cheese, marmalades, juices and the serve yourself arrangement
  • The whole ‘I am a traveler and I have a map to help me around’ experience
  • The train travels and the English-German instructions for boarding/ alighting on every station
  • The escalators at all the stations – the ones that worked and the ones that didn’t too :)
  • The huge sprawling Allianz campus at Unterfuhring and the sparkling glass exteriors
  • The perfect work-life balance that the Germans maintain – when they’re working they’re working… when they’re not working they’re living life!!!
  • The huge canteen at the Allianz office with so much of food… the pure vegetarian in me had to settle for the salads and fruit juices though!!!
  • The wonderful company of colleagues at Allianz and how they tried their best to converse with me in the little English they knew
  • The almost every evening visits to beer gardens around the city
  • The health conscious Germans walking, jogging, cycling, skating or playing football while the others drank beer
  • The funny and otherwise unimaginable importance that beer got over water
  • The enthusiasm and general spirit of every localite I came across and the sincere attempts they made to make me feel comfortable
  • The effort Mr. Grimm made at the Johanneskirchen beer garden to translate everything on the menu from German to English – helping me make sure that it was vegetarian :)
  • The baked potato and cream that I finally ordered – took me to my Enid Blyton days where all her characters had potatoes baked in their jackets with cream and herbs :)
  • The chill in the air and the occasional rains
  • The funny experience of having daylight up to 9.30 or 10.00 pm
  • Christopher Street Day and how I was dazed at all that I saw!!! (I know what you’re gonna be Google-ing next :P)
  • Roaming around the streets by myself in my attempts to explore the city
  • Viktualienmarkt and its awesome spread of stalls selling everything from fruits, flowers, cheese and beer to handmade dolls, straw dolls and all kinds of cute and colourful wooden dolls
  • The street-side musicians and acrobats who entertained the crowds
  • The beautiful flowers outside windows and balconies of most of the buildings – the uniform pattern added so much charm to it
  • The awesome architecture all over… the churches, the town hall, The Residense, Odeonsplatz etc
  • The contrasting architecture of the old buildings and the ultra modern shopping complexes along Karlsplatz Stachus
  • The small packed shop Max Krug – that had a huge collection of cuckoo clocks and other Munich memorabilia to choose from
  • The tall enchanting church towers and the beautiful glass paintings on their glass panes
  • The special feeling inside the churches I visited – Frauenkirche, Peterskirche and St. Maxmillian Church
  • The walks I took along the River Isar... never knew I could give myself such good company :)
  • The beautiful refreshing green landscapes at Olympia Park, Hofgarten and Englischergarten
  • The fairy tale kind experience of visiting the Nymphemburg Schloss Castle and the sprawling gardens behind it
  • The fun ride I had with Sabrina in the open top double decker tourist bus on the weekend sightseeing tour
  • The ride down Maxmillian Street – the most expensive street in Munich where the world’s costliest brands sell their stuff
  • The pista, vanilla and hazelnut ice creams that I had for 1 Euro each :)
  • The visit I made to Prasad’s house at Bonner Platz… felt great meeting his wife and daughter Madhulika and enjoyed eating Indian food in foreign land
  • The visit I made to Karsten’s house in Gauting… meeting his wife Karen, kids Lhasa and Maya, the pancakes and vanilla ice cream with fresh strawberries for dinner... strolling around in Gauting was a wonderful experience too
  • The visit I made to Jurij’s house… meeting his daughter Milianna, eating the delicious home-made pizza and the rest of the Bavarian delicacies that his wife Tanya had made for me... can't forget the cake too :)
  • The BMW World and BMW Museum visit – am not so much of a cars person, but seeing so many cars of one of the most desired brands was an experience by itself
  • The Kinetic Sculpture demonstration at the BMW Museum and how we simply couldn't take our eyes off it
  • The chocolate shopping that I did at ALDI for my family and friends back home… never shopped for chocolates like that… ever!!!
  • The good-byes I bid to every piece of furniture in my hotel room on the day I was leaving (please excuse the senti factor :P)
  • The strange feeling I had on the day I had to leave…

Munich never once made me feel lonely, lost or home-sick… that surely means there’s something about the place that makes it really special. What I’ve tried to do here is to list out my moments in Munich that I would never possibly forget…. I’m sure I would have missed out on many such moments in my hurry to post this article online… I will add to the list as and when they come to mind :). If ever you have enough money and time on hand… Munich is a must visit… I truly love the place and would not hesitate to take the next chance I get to be there!!!

8 comments:

Swastika August 20, 2008 at 8:46 PM  

wow! seems like you had an amazing trip!

Priya August 20, 2008 at 9:56 PM  

hey swastika.... thnx for the comment... i sure had a wonderful trip :)

karthick,  August 21, 2008 at 8:23 AM  

Ten days and ten thousand memories... Amazing yaar! Where are the chocolates?

S. Ravi Venkatramana August 21, 2008 at 9:20 AM  

Dear Priya,

The nice little things that you mentioned about your trip will bring back nostalgic memories to you for a long time.

Kiddo, have you turned a bit narcissist? Just kidding...

Hope you make trips to many more countries and places and I get to read your adventures over there.

- Ravi

Priya August 21, 2008 at 1:54 PM  

@karthick - thanx for the comment... 10 thousand is an understatement :) chocolates... oops... guess i munched away all of them while writing out the blog :P now i have a reason to go back to munich... thanx :)))

@Ravi Sir - thanx for the comment. I'm looking forward to many more such trips too.

Anonymous,  August 31, 2008 at 6:54 PM  

ATROCIOUS,totally unfair, unpardonable for missing out important things...You know who this is Ms.CIP :P

Nautankey September 11, 2008 at 10:43 PM  

So how many bottles of beer you gulped in ma'am are they any better than the ones in india?

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