Monday, October 16, 2006

Bavaria is at her most beautiful in fall. Like Sophia Loren, she is somehow at her most beautiful, easy and self-possessed, in the golden warmth of the autumn sun.

We spent the weekend in Munich. Travelling down on Friday the 13th, the countryside going by in cascades of green and gold, red tile roofs, green fields and white inviting villages and dorfs.

It's so beautiful here, I love fall so much. We don't get fall, in Texas. The poor leaves scorch right off the trees and spiral down screaming, leaving tiny smoke trails.
Here, the apples redden, the leaves yellow, the evenings cool and sweeten.

Munich was its usual carnival of construction and people. We stayed at Pension Excelsior, the beds were soft and yummy, the room large with a sink for face washing and tooth brushing. It's on Kaulbachstrasse near the Englischer Garten, but the usual German desire to Fix Something was afoot and a Giant Noisy Machine was across the street with someone going for extra credit with a chainsaw at 8am.

It's useful to ask, if you like to sleep late, about "baustelle" in the area. If there's one right outside your window, as there has been %85 of the time I've been staying in Munich over the last 3 years, they probably won't tell you.

Pension Geiger is a great cheap place to stay, but don't bet on anything but the coffee for breakfast. I love Pension Steinberg for their soft beds, nearness to the English Garden, and incredibly fresh and fabuluous Fruesstuch (brekkie) and general gemutlicheit (hospitality), but the guest windows are across the street from a pub (this is normal) and people can be incredibly drunk and inconsiderate (gosh, I've never been one of *those* *ahem*) at 3 and 4 am.

Generally, if you can be forgiving of various personal errors, the Schwabing pensions can be delightful, especially if you are interested in having fun in Munich.

Other than that,look for cheap deals, check out the Bayern-Ticket, learn your Bittes and Dankes and enjoy the educated German's easy English skills. Germans love to speak English. It's required in school (from grammar school) and most understand at least spoken English. Perhaps it is a trait of Anglican obstinacy that everyone has to understand US.. honestly it makes me feel a little silly. Certainly any given German's skills in English are better than mine in German, but I like to give them a
"run for their money".. wait.. the $ is getting its pants beat off by the Euro... an even better reason to learn Deutsch.

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