Munich, August 2017
When asked where he comes from, Franz always says Bavaria, rather than Germany. Now I know why.
When I first arrived here in Munich (in the area of Schwabing where Franz grew up) It seemed like I was in certain sections of Rome… you know, that European feel. But Rome, in spite of how much I love it, just doesn’t have the charm of this beautiful place.
The buildings are mixed, those from before the war that were spared the bombings, and the new ones from the late 40s and early 50s that replaced those that didn’t escape the destruction. Red geraniums seem to explode from iron balconies of some of the older buildings, already adorned with beautiful architectural detail and red clay roofs. The newer replacement buildings are stark but also beautiful in their simplicity.
Here we are staying with Silvia, Franz’s sister and a colleague of mine from the restaurant business in Charleston. Her beautifully appointed apartment reflects the classic taste I remember well from her Charleston restaurant Fulton Five.
The perfect hostess, she greeted us with champagne and a traditional Bavarian meal of weisswurst, wheat beer and the most amazing pretzels I’ve ever eaten. I’m never going back to Synders!
We enjoyed our first feast on her terrace surrounded by lots of ivy, herb, and tomato plants. As we enjoyed our lunch we looked out on the neighborhood, rather quiet at the moment since most are on August holiday.
After lunch, at Silvia’s suggestion, we took a long walk in the English Garden. Larger than Central Park, there were a number rushing creeks running through it. Many people were bathing and tubing in them, and the banks were crowded with those lying on the grass catching the rays. To ease our jet lag, we stopped at the Chinese tower where we sat a bit in the shade and shared the biggest mug of beer I’ve ever seen!!
Refreshed, we headed back to the apartment and fought off the Sandman until about seven when we finally crashed.
Wednesday, after a sound sleep, we enjoyed a beautiful breakfast on the terrace of yogurt, fresh berries, walnut raisin bread, and fresh cheese. It was a very relaxing morning, settling in and catching up.
Later, we took a walk and Franz and Silvia showed me their old neighborhood and family restaurant. After a visit to their parish church St. Ursula, we had a delicious lunch in the garden of a nearby restaurant. The food was delicious, and I’m really loving the beer! We spent most of the afternoon there visiting with each other and some friends of Silvia.
Later in the afternoon, we traveled a bit out of Munich to see Cousin Fritz and his wife Anita. Again, we went to a wonderful restaurant where we ate outside on the river at long wooden tables, and just enjoyed the good life! The trout I had for dinner was from that very river, and cooked to perfection. Why is it that food always tastes so much better on vacation???
Tomorrow, we are off to Austria and the Wedding!