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John1

OT - Germany Travel Question

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16 minutes ago, ringleheim said:

 

John, didn't realize you won't have a car.  Too bad, as driving on the Autobahn is a vacation activity in its own right.

 

Lol, I’ve been there and done that.    I had a crappy Ford Escort wound up to around 115 mph.   I thought the motor was going to explode.  All good fun but god help the dumm Amerikaner who neglects to remain in the right lane!   

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Just got back from my trip.  Thanks for all the great suggestions guys.   We hit the regular tourist spots in the city (the Viktualienmarkt was great), also got out to Salzburg, Zugspeitz (most amazing views I've ever seen) and Nueschwanstein Castle.   Spent a rainy day at the Deutsche museum which I (and my wife and young daughter) thoroughly enjoyed.   All in all, it was a wonderful vacation.   

 

A few random observations:

 

Lufthansa is a fanatic airline.  They keep your wine glass full and offer Baileys (a double in my case) or cognac after dinner.  Nice touch.  I'm a Boeing fan but I have to admit that the A340-600 was significantly more comfortable than the AA 777 I flew on my last European trip. MUC is a great airport.  Processing times upon arrival and departure were both around 10 minutes at most.  Nice observation deck for plane spotting as well. 

 

Munich is a wonderful city.  I was surprised by the fact that even on cold nights, there were plenty of people sitting in outdoor cafes, drinking and talking.  Equally surprised at how many people were walking around with beers in hand.  If that was Boston,  I wouldn't have made it 10 steps without getting gang tackled by the police.  Despite all the drinking, not once did I see any stupid behavior.  A great place to drink, eat and be merry, just don't make the mistake of walking in the bike lanes!!  It seemed like half the city commuted on bikes and god help the poor tourist who got in their way!  On a semi-related noted, I didn't see a single overweight German.  Obviously there are exceptions but the only obese folks I saw in a week were some American tourists.  In short -  If you love good beer and good food, this is the place to be!  

 

I remembered again that the German local and national rail service is simply amazing.   No need for car, we took the U and S-Bahn everywhere.  When we ventured out of the city, we used the Deutsche Bahn national railway system, which again was first rate.   Everything was perfectly understandable for a non-German speaker like myself.   Fun fact - there are no turnstiles on the subway.  Everything is done on the honor system.  Unlike my own local transportation system, everything was clean, safe and efficient.   The longest I waited for a train was 5 minutes.  

 

I was surprised by how many young children (9-10 year olds) were passing through the main train station on their own at rush hour.  Same for playing in darkly lit parks after hours, with no parents around.   If they were my kids in the the US, I'd be thrown in jail for child endangerment.   The entire city felt safe.  The polizei were always present and had an air of "don't mess with us if you know what is good for you" about them.  I compared that to my return to the US where the first two law enforcement officers I saw at the airport both had their heads buried in their cell phones. 

 

In short - for anyone looking to experience Germany, I can't recommend Munich highly enough.   I look forward to returning in the future. 

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