Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lazy Sunday

It's another lazy Sunday here in Bavaria.  Everything apart from eateries and museums is closed on the sabbath, so we are forced to rest and relax.  I wasn't much of a fan of this practice at first ('What's this day of rest shit?') but as of this weekend I can say that I've come around.  It's something I now cherish, guilt-free relaxation!

In other news, it is legitimately cold today.  I just returned from the coffee shop where I was doing a bit of reading.  Sitting at my table on the sidewalk I wore a t-shirt, long sleeve shirt, jacket with hood pulled over my head, and a warm wool knit hat (hand made by Amanda, of course).  It is still August, right?  Germany is just 6 hours ahead of EST, not 6 months?  Just checking.  The current temperature is 55 degrees at 7:45 and there is a cool stiff breeze.

Friday, August 20, 2010

So we finally have functional bikes, which is rather exciting.  The process of getting them up and running was a challenge, go figure, but now we are free at long last.  Since our only other means of locomotion have been public transit and hoofing it, we've quickly gained an appreciation for the relative speed and ease of cycling (not to disparage the public transportation system here; it is excellent).  Even though these are secondhand, heavy-ass, 100 Euro commuter bikes...they get the job done.

It's been raining a lot here, but this past Sunday morning there was a happy confluence of sunny-but-cool weather and the aforementioned functionality of our Fahrräder.  So we went exploring in the Englischer Garten that is so conveniently located directly behind our apartment.

See Mike bike.

Having packed a picnic lunch we headed north, away from the city, following the mighty Isar.  We found a small lake (German: "See") a couple of miles away.  It was replete with its own bier garten, and ringed with a path and benches.  It, like all bodies of water in Munich right now, was semi-opaque and light green.  You should see the speed with which our teakettle is calcifying.  Anyway, we hung out and ate our lunch, wandered around for a bit, saw the shadowy outlines of some frighteningly large fish, and then hopped back on our bikes. 

You can see the lake off to the right if you look carefully, though it does blend with the plant life.

From there we cruised on back down to our neck of the woods, and the large dam just south and about a mile east of our U-Bahn stop: 

From which we could see people laying out on the gravel bars, some of them devoid of clothing:

A short while later we made our way back home for a rousing game of Scrabble...and then my knitting group...because we are old people.

I guess that about does it for today.  But I leave you with a word of caution:

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Bavarian Birthday Bananza

Last weekend was my birthday (thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes, by the way) and coincidentally, after a week of lousy weather, we finally were able to enjoy a couple of clear and sunny days. We decided to take advantage of the sunshine and spend the day at the Botanischer Garten by the Nymphenburg Palace here in München. The garden is gigantic and the diversity of plant-life is pretty impressive. Here's a little show-and-tell of our trip. And yes, I'm aware that 'bonanza' is misspelled. Stick with me...

Monday, August 2, 2010

We meet ein Golem

Thank you, Rabbi Löw.

It was pouring rain last Saturday, so Mike and I thought it would be a good opportunity to check out museum(s) in town.  Because we didn't really feel like spending the entire day at it, we decided on the manageably-sized Munich Toy Museum.  The museum is in a tower at the Altes Rathaus (old city hall) in the middle of Marienplatz, which is a little weird to begin with.

The exhibits span four floors of the tower - each room is maybe 20'x20', with displays around the perimeter and a display case in the middle.  The floors are sort of arranged by theme, or at least the cases are...the crowning glory being an artificial Christmas tree in the center case on the top floor, decorated with all manner of bizarre ornaments, and surrounded by teddy bears in various stages of (dis)assembly.

Oh the horror

More exciting even than dismembered bears, though, is the special robot exhibit - especially the Golem pictured at the outset.  I really liked this guy as well: 

There are also all manner of wooden and pressed tin handpainted toys, and articulated dolls which are evidently highly sought after by toy connoisseurs.

I found the whole atmosphere to be pretty macabre, in a way that seemed appropriate for a rainy day in Germany.  Really just reeked of the Brothers Grimm.  Allow me to illustrate:

Check out our Picasa album for more photos if you'd like.