Monday, July 18, 2011


Tuesday, March 26, 1996 Munich

I was up during the night and found Barbara sitting up, sound asleep, with the TV and the lights on. She had been staying up to catch the Academy Awards program on CNN when we’d gone to bed. It was scheduled to be shown at 3 AM, apparently, she missed the program. Thought about taking a picture but didn’t. I woke up again about 6 AM and started reading. It was raining outside and the birds were still chirping. I ate the rest of the cinnamon bagel chips with three cups of coffee while I started writing postcards to the grandchildren. In taking out the postcards she found the missing receipts from the hotel in Augsburg . This was quite an issue since Jim had insisted that Martha never loses a receipt! Barbara awoke about 8 AM and Jim finally stirred about 9 AM. An eventful night for me!

The rolls that André left for breakfast had spoiled, so Barbara went with just coffee and Jim had his grapefruit that he’d purchased at the grocery store the day before. André arrived about 9:45 AM and took us in his car sightseeing. He explained how Munich was once a walled city, several of the gates still remain; when they took down the wall they created the Middle Ring which follows the path of the wall. He showed us several areas where they are just now beginning to rebuild due to owners arguing for fifty years on what to do with the property. We saw the Opera House and the large buildings that were put up by Hitler . They’ve been reconstructed without the Eagle and Swastika because they were demolished at the end of the war by the bombing. Munich was 60 to 70% destroyed in the downtown area when they bombed at the end of the war. We went to Manfred’s law office, then to a very old and different church. It was very ornate, narrow (crammed in between stores in the old town area), with a mummified body behind glass at one of the side altars.

When André needed to go down a one way street the other direction, he simply put the car in reverse and backed up straight down the street. We were all rather stunned to say the least! Seems as though he does this regularly! They have lots of one way streets. Then we went to the area for city tours but found out that they were on a different (winter) schedule. So André went off to do some work for his job and we shopped for an hour. Purchased candles as a gift for André. Barbara bought a table cover and Jim found an up to date Wall Street Journal.

When André returned, we went to a Swiss restaurant called Movenpick in the center of Munich. We had a delightful lunch and then left André to go back to work and we proceeded to walk down Kaufingerstrasse to the Marien Plaza where the Glockenspiel clock is in the town tower. At noon each day the figures revolve around but it’s only once a day and we were there at 3 PM. We waited for about half an hour for it to move at 3 PM but by the third chime we’d figured out it wasn’t going to perform for us. On the walk we also saw two churches. Both had been completely restored, we saw photos of 1945 to compare. The first was very beautiful and named St. Michaelskirche. It is also a Jesuit College. The organ was playing the whole time we were there. The second church was the local Cathedral. It had been modernized about 1933 and then we saw pictures of it in 1945. Today it is very stark compared to most of the churches due to the modern decor which almost gets lost due to the Gothic architecture.

Barbara purchased a red & white bag to carry some of her purchases at the Woolworth Store on the way to the Residenz Museum which is housed in the Palace. It was very impressive and well worth the time and money. We had a thunder storm with hail while we were going through the museum. One of the most unusual displays was that of “relics” of the saints that were displayed in beautiful containers in one section of the museum. We met a guard who was American. He’s been in Germany for over thirteen years. He really seemed to enjoy talking with us and spent a lot of time explaining about a great bakery that we should find when we’re in Dachau tomorrow. He described his favorite torte in great details. The other guard finally yelled at him as it was closing time and they wanted him to clear people out. The rain had stopped just as we left and we were able to catch a taxi back to André’s apartment.

After we arrived home, Barbara took a short nap and Jim continued to read his new newspaper and I turned on my computer to work on the journal. André arrived home to collect his things for this evening’s dinner with Manfred’s client and then a trip to Czechoslovakia tomorrow. He’ll be back for dinner tomorrow night with us. Jim went to the car and brought up our food from home and we fixed soup with pieces of beef jerky for a light dinner in as it’s raining outside. Jim and Barbara decided to put the orange juice and coke outside as it was colder on the balcony than in the refrigerator.

Barbara helped edit the journal as we read through the daily entries with added details and stories. Now that all of the receipts are available, we’ve also added the Money section to each day. Showed Barbara how to play a game on the computer. Barbara was just starting to wash her hair when we discovered that the Academy Awards was about to start. We already knew who’d won, but watched the whole program, which didn’t have any commercials, with a German commentator doing the highlights. It was late when we went to bed but worth the time. Barbara still did her hair after it was all over.

No comments: