After a restful night’s sleep on a horribly uncomfortable bed, we made our way to breakfast where we met some of our fellow travelers for day two of Two Days in Munich. Uniworld had about seventy people on our pre-cruise tour, so we met many people before we even got onboard.
Counting in German, and Dancing Dolls
Roomers Munich has a staggering array of breakfast items. We fortified ourselves with breads, cheeses, eggs, salads, fruits, meats, mimosas, and more, before heading out for the morning city tour. As we gathered into several groups, our guide started counting the number of people in our gang. I heard “eins, zwei, drei…” before my brain went off to la la land. Abruptly, I whipped my head around, and could not imagine how I knew the first few numbers in German. Aside from schnitzel and schnapps, I don’t speak German. At all.
And then it dawned on me: Cool Runnings. In the part of the movie where the Jamaican bobsled team tried to imitate the Swiss team, they count in German. And that is how I learned to count to three in German. Perhaps I should spend more time watching telenovelas to improve my Spanish…
With that mystery solved, we headed out on a tram towards downtown. Our two hours of strolling came to a halt at the Marienplatz in time for the glockenspiel. The figures perched high above the square on the Town Hall building, reenacts 16th century stories twice a day at 11 AM and 5 PM to the delight of tourists gathered below.
Following the glockenspeil, we headed to the market and enjoyed a cheese and sausage sampling. (We would later discover that tasty snacks are an integral part of nearly all Uniworld tours.) Another hour of wandering, and clearly the guide thought we had not eaten enough, so we stopped for some donuts. Because Bavarian food is not heavy enough, we added some fried, sugary goodness to the mix.
As our tour was winding down, FKGuy and I had a plan to meet up with our friends, so we bid our gang farewell and made our way across the river to meet our friends. I enjoyed not planning the morning, and figured I would do the same with our afternoon. After all, we were hanging with the locals, so they could make a plan.
Starting at a local fair, we soon learned that everyone is basically the same: regardless of where you are, at a fair, people eat loads of fried foods. In Munich, these treats are supplemented with the ever-popular grilled-fish-on-a-stick. When we all declined to go on any of the rides, FKGuy refused let me buy metal flowers for our backyard (“how will we get them home?” he asks. “Carefully,” I reply.) *I should add that he did have a say in the matter because (a) he would have to drag them around all day and (b) I would blame him when they got ruined in transit.
FKGuy: 1, Home Decor: 0
We made a brief stop at our friends’ house for a gin and tonic, before heading out to the countryside for a late lunch. As we meandered the lush green, winding roads, we made our way to … well, I have no idea where, actually. Somewhere twenty or so minutes outside of Munich sits an abbey where they make schnapps (not as good as some of the other schnapps we would buy later in journey, but still tasty.)
Sitting outside, on a gorgeous day, enjoying a beer and overly heavy Bavarian food with good friends, makes for a very good afternoon. I enjoyed the spaetzle, a traditional German dumpling, served here with cheese in a creamy sauce. While it was not promising for my pants to ever fit again, it was delicious.
Making our way back to the city, we had one more stop before reaching their home: ice cream. Because, you know, we had not eaten enough (and my pants still fit). Another tasty bite, a short drive back, and we had just enough energy to sit on the river banks and relax. It’s hard work being a tourist, but someone has to do it.
As dusk approached, we made our way back to our friends’ home, and spent some time hanging out with them before heading back for our last night at Roomers. I can’t say I was sorry to be moving on to another, more comfortable bed.
Somewhere around 10 PM, we realized that although we had done nothing but eat, we should maybe get a snack. I could not look at one more traditional German dish. My normal diet of salads and vegetables had gone by the wayside in favor of spaetzle and ice cream. (OK, fine, ice cream is in the regular rotation, too.) Either way, I wanted something else.
Our arrival at La Biznaga, a Spanish tapas restaurant, was met with slight disdain, as they seemed ready to close. And when I asked our waiter if he spoke English, we were met with more disdain. Until I realized that I could speak to him in (admittedly lousy) Spanish. From there, disdain quickly turned into free drinks, and excellent service. The food was good, too, and we ended our time in Munich on a high note.
Read the Instructions
Sunday morning I awoke to FKGuy wondering aloud if we really needed to put out luggage out by 8 AM. I decided the answer was no, and confirmed that with the tour director. She was horrified that we would have to then carry our own luggage all the way to the bus, a mere five feet in front of the hotel door, but I assured her we would manage just fine.
Seated in the row across from us were a South African couple we had not yet befriended. I looked over, and noticed something odd about his outfit: he was wearing hotel slippers. At least they were black. Being from Key West, I am no stranger to people tootling about in all sorts of outfits (I’m looking at you, yellow tutu man,) but slippers on a fancy tour seemed slightly out of place.
It seems, that they had out their luggage out before 8 AM. Kudos to Uniworld’s efficiency, as their luggage was en route to the ship before they were. So when Slipper Man got out of the shower, he discovered his husband had packed all of his shoes. I thought it was fortunate that he had not packed all of his pants.
Embarking a ship that carries a maximum of 150 passengers is a non-event. We presented our passports, and were given room keys and shown to our room by our stewardess. It was that simple. More on the ship, and the overall experience next time. (I am happy to report that our new friend was eventually reunited with his footwear.)