Day 40 – Quite Possibly the Most Boring Post of the Trip

Day 40 = Friday, April 20, 2012

Please note: I did not say it was the most boring day of the trip. I would not know, because I missed it… and very few photos were taken… which is why it will be the most boring post. Just keeping it real, people.

Remember all that running through Salzburg the previous day? Well, let’s just say that I learned a big lesson about doing too much, too soon after mega-steroids. I collapsed in a heap – so tired, so sore, so out of it – and lay in bed the entire day, barely lifting up my head from the pillow. Picture me on that sofa bed, below. (I got these photos off Herr Bremerich’s website; go there if you are ever thinking of staying in Munich!)

12796565521489389306.jpg

Here’s my view of the other side of the apartment, from the sofa bed:

12785972152108004208.jpg

You may recall that what brought us to Munich this week was the arrival of our friend Bryann from Portland for a work conference (aka a “Messe“). David and Q spent the day at the Messegelände (conference/fairgrounds) where they ate, drank, had candy, and saw exhibits. Q came home with a bag of goodies: a mood magnet, a ball, and some combo gel/highlighter pens.

I was still out of it, so Q decided to nap along with me in preparation for staying up late at Game Night. In fact, David “snuck out!” (his words) without him, with the following rationale:

  • He knew the people would be speaking German only;
  • He wasn’t sure if the evening was kid-friendly; and
  • They might play very late. (He was correct on the first two, but he got home by midnight. That’s early for gamers.)

He had fun. Here is proof of all the fun:

Meanwhile, Q and I woke up with no food in the house but the Wieninger leftovers and no house key, either. Obviously, since we could not lock the door, we could not leave, we would have to eat ALL the leftovers, even David’s, or risk complete starvation. So we did!

We also played Tiki Topple, read, and watched Pride and Prejudice 2005. (Obviously, I was starting to feel better.) If we’d had a way to watch Friends and Glee, it may have been a perfect lazy night.

Expenditures: Day passes for the u-bahn.

Experiences: Q’s first visit to a Messe!

Day 39 – Salt Mine and Salzburg After Steroids

Day 39 = Thursday, April 19, 2012

We really wanted to take Quinland to the Salt Mine in Berchtesgaden, but as we looked at our schedule, there was only one possible day we could go there: Thursday the 19th, the day after my medication day. I decided I would wait to see how I felt, but that David and Quinland would definitely go.

When we got up in the morning, I felt a little woozy and really steroid-puffy, but overall I thought I’d be fine to go.  We took the u-bahn to Ostbahnhof and – after a quick stop at Aldi for picnic food – caught the 9 am train to Salzburg. This was our old stomping ground, as the train runs right through Bernau am Chiemsee, our home back in 1993-1994.

We didn’t stop in Bernau, but we made a plan to get off in nearby Prien on the way back and have dinner at Wieninger Keller, my favorite restaurant.

We got into Salzburg about 12 noon and were mistakenly told by Tourist Info that there was a 12:15 bus to Berchtesgaden. There was not. We wasted half an hour waiting for it, then rushed through town to the edge of the Mirabellgarten, ate our sack lunch, and rushed back to the train station to catch the bus. (Quinland was very unhappy about all the rushing.)

Luckily, the bus ride to Berchtesgaden was drop-dead gorgeous. Beautiful Bavarian farmhouses, snow-covered Alps… all right outside the bus window. We were all in a pretty good mood by the time we got there!

The salt mine, as expected, was amazing. The miner uniforms we all donned before the tour had been updated: David and I remembered them as old-fashioned mining clothes, but these jumpsuits were practically space-age. We rode the train deep into the bowels of the earth, then got off and descended to the mining caverns the same way the miners have done for hundreds of years – on a steep, polished-wood slide.

It was fast. The speed was a wee bit unexpected. This resulted in the best family photo of the whole trip:

Even David, the thriftiest man we know, agreed that we had to buy the overpriced-but-incredibly-awesome photo.

After the salt mine tour, we caught the bus back to Salzburg, got off near the Dom, and walked through town.

As we crossed over the Salzach River, we noticed these locks attached to the bridge railing. Each had names and/or dates on them. I was intrigued. Apparently, I missed the cultural memo about “love padlocks.” Lovers – apparently inspired by a 2006 Italian novel – write their names on a padlock, fasten it to a bridge railing, and throw the keys into the water as a sign of their eternal love. City governments all over Europe are up in arms about them. Now I know.

After finding a place to get some Mozartkugel, we did a little Sound of Music tour of the Mirabellgarten (through the vine-covered trellises, around the dwarf statues, and up and down the steps to the tune of Do, Re, Mi).

Don’t I look relaxed in that photo? Well, that didn’t last much longer. Suddenly we realized that we had to catch our return train and we needed to RUN back to the train station. I mean that literally. We started running. I was in serious agony, but Q kept me going. And then, of course… the train didn’t come. Some kind of emergency on the tracks or something… We waited 15 minutes for an s-bahn, took it around the emergency area, then caught the Munich train for Prien.

Wieninger had the same awesome guy waiting on us, but no Indischer Pfeffertopf. I was sad, sad, sad. (That is probably my all-time favorite thing I’ve ever eaten.) Regardless of that, we all managed to gorge ourselves before we hustled back to the station. We got home about 11 pm – a 14-hour day.

Expenditures: Lunch food at Aldi; train to Salzburg (round-trip day pass that included bus to the salt mines!); photo of ourselves; postcards; Mozartkugel; dinner at Wieninger Brau. Totally forgot to get a magnet in Salzburg.

Experiences: Got to show Q the area we used to live in; visit to a real underground salt mine; visit to Salzburg; dinner at the fantastic Wieninger. If only Schengen hadn’t gotten rid of passport stamps, Q could have gotten one for Austria!

The Other Dream Team

Waiting period...

David and I had date night tonight! He picked me up from work, we got tickets to a movie, went for dinner at La Sirenita (a favorite in NE Portland), stopped by Goodwill (got two Christmas presents from Target overstock!) and then went back to the theater for the movie.

What did we see? Well, tonight was its Portland premiere, but it was not the latest James Bond movie. It was a documentary film called The Other Dream Team, and it was the story of the Lithuanian basketball team that won the bronze medal in the 1992 Olympics – beating the former Soviet Union, from whom they had just fought for their independence a few months before.

We are big fans of the Portland Trail Blazers, who drafted Lithuanian center Arvydas Sabonis in 1986 when he was still a member of the Soviet National Team. (Obviously, the Soviets did not let him come to America at that time, and he ended up entering the NBA as a 31-year-old rookie in 1995.) A prominent member of the Lithuanian team, Sabonis was interviewed at length for the film. This was fun to watch, but the film was compelling on many other levels as well. It was a history of Soviet sports, of Lithuanian patriotism, of the generosity of a band (and their tie-dyed t-shirts).

Do you remember the Lithuanian team getting on the medal stand in their tie-dyed outfits? I do. It was awesome… as was the movie. David’s comment as we left the theater: “That movie was fantastic.” It was.

Go see it if you get the chance. Portlanders, head downtown to the Fox Tower to catch it before its gone.

xo – Lori

Daily Check-In:

I’m grateful that we have food on the shelves in our stores, that goods are readily available to buy, that we have the freedom to travel as we choose and to make our own decisions about our lives.

I’m also grateful, of course, for the photo by A.J.85. Thank you!