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July 21, 2005 - Munich, GERMANY

Reported by JoMar All rights reserved.

Germany... ah!

The train ride from Prague into Munich was going to be a long one... not too much sleep the night before and 7 hours with not much in scenery we were not looking forward to.  But, luckily we sat with two women from Mexico City: Lizette and her mom, Marta, and the time flew by, it was so nice to meet them.

Anticipation into Munich was building -- had not seen Lars for a year and now that we had been on the road for almost 3 months, we were looking forward to seeing a familiar face instead of one stranger after another.

We finally arrived and made our way to Lars and Nina's place and my shyness began. Had never met Nina and Lars was still away in Frankfurt on business until the next morning. But, we buzzed and walked up to their door only to be greeted by a warm beautiful smile that made us feel very welcome instantly and POOF, my shyness quickly evaporated!  Nina was delightful!

We settled in and had a drink and then Nina took us on a mini-tour of Munich before taking us to dinner to this fantastic authentic German pub. Cafeteria/pick-nick style tables, packed, and I mean packed with fun hungry Germans, and US!  Nina ordered and the food was A1.  John had this dish called Obatzda, which is this cheese ball, different kinds, with sliced onion and parsley/basil garnish and you get these HUGE pretzels for dipping! One of our favourites (not to mention the BEER!)

We headed home and just relaxed and got to know Nina a bit better!

Saturday morning, before going to get Lars from the airport, John really wanted to visit a former concentration camp called Dachau, not far away... so of course Nina obliged.  Entering the gates and standing in the courtyard and going into the barracks you could just feel the presence of so many suffered souls that had stood on this very ground so many years before us. A very moving experience to say the least.

Now to the airport to meet Larsi!  It was so very nice to see that smile again, but felt odd at the same time to be welcoming Lars at the airport IN MUNICH, when it normally would/should have been the other way around!

We just took poor tired Lars home to get some rest, then later they took us to a great park for the evening where there was this carnival-type venue where we caught up on the local beer!

In the week we were with Lars and Nina, we also went to a small town I had visited years ago, that I remembered was very quaint and charming.   I thought John would like to see, it was only a short distance on the train, and wow it was as nice as I remembered it. It's called Garmisch-Partenkirchen! Say that 5 times fast!

We also took an overnight trip into Switzerland. Zurich to be exact, and holy toledo (!), was this the most expensive place yet, but wonderful too. The city was hosting a Teddy Bear exhibit.   "All over the city" were these most cute bears -- life like!

Munich is a very clean, fun, relaxing city with people who really know how to enjoy life! Visited one of the largest parks in all of Europe here and the cool thing was that this park is in the middle of the city and people were sunbathing in the nude right along side people who were clothed. Picture English Bay half nude, and there you have it. This way of thinking impressed us to no end!

The last night we spent with our great hosts we went, guess where??  -- One of Munich's largest beer gardens -- there were 7 thousand Germans, John and I!  There was so much beer drinking, and the beer steins/mugs are so big, there were little trucks coming along to take away the empties!!!! We got so drunk, and had so much fun...

Saturday morning, our day of goodbye's... Lars and Nina had to attend a wedding this day, and it was a 6-7 hour drive for them and they had to leave by 6am....   very hard to say "so long" to say the least.  Thank you was just not enough for their hospitality, hopefully we can have them in our 5 star home one day!

Much more to say, but running out of time here at this very expensive cafe, so, bye for now, and take good care, all of YOU!

love,

Marc and John

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