Ok, let’s talk about cars

As I’ve mentioned before, cars seem to be a topic that pops up all the time on tours, partly because we’re walking along the streets a lot I suppose.  Anyways, the comments people make are quite interesting.  Americans seem to expect all European cars to be tiny.  Hell, Germans expect European cars to be tiny.  What you see when you walk down the street is a different story though.  I’ve done this many times…why don’t you try it and report back:  walk down a street downtown wherever you live and note the general make of we’ll say 20 cars.  Just note the # of doors and approximate size. 

I’m guessing you’ll have a fair mix, if you’re in the states there will be a truck or two in there, a few SUV’s, and a good number of cars. (seriously, if you do this, let me know your results, I’m interested)  Guess what you get in Munich?  almost the same, granted, they’re BMW’s and Mercedes…but the same size.

The next question people ask:  so BMW’s must be so much cheaper here, right?  wrong.  They’re about the exact same, give or take a couple grand. (at their costs, 1 or two thousand isn’t much of a difference imo)

SO, how do people afford them?  well, quite a damn few are company cars, others, well…there’re people living in debt here just like there.

Now, on to the pictures.  Since my tours are obviously in the downtown areas of Salzburg and Munich, I see a lot of damn nice cars regularly (especially in Munich).  Sometimes I take pictures of them…

BMW Z8

The first one is a BMW Z8.  It’s a personal favorite with 400hp and no weight.  It was built for 3 years, for a total of 5, 703…I think about 500 of them are in town here.

late 50's corvette?

I love vettes.  This one parked right next to me, so I had to snap a quick one.

Lotus Elise III

Lotus Elise III

Anyways, the Z8 is rather normal around here…the other two are not.  The point is, we’ve got just as many SUV’s and 4-door cars as you do…in fact, we have so many damn station wagons it’s sickening.  I hate station wagons…

Happy thanksgiving weekend

OK, so I’m a bit late on posting happy thanksgiving, so I added “weekend”.  What have I been busy with?  Well, not much as I’ve been home sick, umm…Civilization IV has kept me busy, with this new computer it is just FLYING.  I’m loving the new computer.  Anyways, other than that I’ve been writing travel tips for a website…and umm…drinking mango juice.  I love mango juice.

 At least several dozen times in the last few years people wanted to have a lengthy discussion about the cars here in Munich.  I intend to have a proper post on this, and by posting this first, hopefully I’ll remember to actually get the pics together to properly write on this topic…so look for that on Sunday.

In the meantime, try to stay away from shopping malls, they’re full. 

Sick again? crap…no…

My nose is running like you wouldn’t believe, but only out the one side.

 Anyways, I think I’m sick again, I believe this is already the 2nd time since I started this blog that I’m sick…that’s not good.  Well, it is more or less as far as tours are concerned that the tourist season is over.  I’m on the once or twice a week I have a tour thing at the moment, so I’ve been wandering around Munich with ~150 posters a day instead.  Oh well.

On a positive note, the tours that I have been getting have gone really well.  My last tour, on Saturday, was to Neuschwanstein.  I had people from 9 different countries on the tour…oh, wait, 10 countries.  Two of the guys who claimed to be American turned out to be Mexican…it took several hours to get that out of them.  However, that certainly explained why their English wasn’t perfect.  They were cool, we talked talked politics and agreed on about everything. (one was from Tijuana one L.A.  ….but neither were U.S. citizens, technically) (also I want to note I was asked to not include tour numbers anymore…so now you’re gonna have to guess based on the # of countries represented!)

I believe Petra and I will get our new computers either tomorrow or the next day, so that means a hell of a lot of work needs to be done to transfer data to the new HD, reformat my biggest current drive for Petra…and well…re-install every program.  I made a list of things I need to install immediately, it’s over 30 progs…then there’s gonna be random other ones that I’ll need to install whenever I get around to it of course *cough*.

 Check this out, I had a good laugh.

Windy as heck, but well…no tours this week

On Monday I had a Munich Highlights walk.  For those who haven’t taken my tours, what this means is that I take (typically) between 5 and 15 people around Munich for just over 2 hours.  My normal plan of attack is to general make a circle around the old town area of Munich (I won’t get into specifics because, well, that’s insider knowledge).  So I basically try to cover ~850 years of Munich and Bavarian history in that 2 hours.  So really, I do my best and depending on the group, it can be the best 2 hours of my day…as I really do enjoy talking about Munich’s history to anyone even slightly interested.

SO, Monday’s tour…well, only one woman showed up, which is typically a no tour, since our company policy states that we need at least two, because otherwise the company could lose a lot of €.  So she was paying 9 euro for the tour, I won’t say how much a personal tour is, but it’s a long ways off of 9 euro.  My boss happened to be in the office and offered her the personal tour for just 5 euros more, which she of course took because that’s how she had planned to start her day, and, well…who doesn’t like a personal tour?  ….so um, €13 is still a LONG WAYS from a personal tour rate, so she got a great deal, meanwhile I got paid more by having the tour go rather than not, so everyone’s happy.  (did that even make sense?)

 I sent out the “monthly e-mail” to family and friends today, so I’m kinda in rambling mode, sorry.

Last week I went to Salzburg twice, both times I spent the 3 hours in the middle of the day in a large shopping mall at the edge of town.  For those who haven’t been on the Salzburg tour, I take a group to Salzburg, we walk around for 1.5 hours, then they have 3 hours to go into all the places I talked about…meanwhile I usually read a book or whatever.  Then we meet back up and head for Munich.

SO, just to do something a bit different, the last two trips I hopped back on a bus and went to Europark, which is quite nice.  It has lots of restaurants, a couple bookstores, a large supermarket, a large electronics store, and free bathrooms *cough*.  Now, on to pictures…first off, here’s one of a 80,000 EURO TV. 

€80,000 TV? What the hell...

Here's the proof of the price

Here’s a pic of Untersberg from the mall entrance, on a crappy day:

Untersberg

…and here’s a recent pic from Neuschwanstein looking down at Hohenschwangau, this was last week, Nov. 5th 2007.

Looking down at Hohenscwhangau from Neuschwanstein

Top 5 best day-trips from Munich

This list is taken from showing various visitors around and personal experience with their reactions…as well as looking back at my own first-time experiences with these places.

(I’m NOT going to include Neuschwanstein or Salzburg, as those are the most common ones…and let’s face it, you’re gonna go there anyways)

1. Linderhof Palace, Ettal Monastery, and the Eibsee:  All three of these are easy to do in a day, and makes for one of the highlights of anyone’s visit to the area.  The down side is, you need a car.
Linderhof, Ludwig II's only completed palace
Linderhof
Ettal Monastery
Ettal Monastery (and awesome brewery)
the Eibsee, down by the Zugspitze
the Eibsee

2. Regensburg, including Walhalla:
Regensburg
Barely outside Regensburg:  Walhalla

3. Herrenchiemsee:
Herrenchiemsee
Petra and I @ Herrenchiemsee in 2003

4. Landshut, the ancient capital of Bavaria:
Trausnitz Castle

Trausnitz Castle, Landshut

5. Augsburg:
Augsburg
upstairs in the town hall, this is the golden hall...cheap, too.

Top 5 most under-rated sights of Munich (or within 15min of)

1. Schleissheim Palace (beautiful very large palace just outside Munich easy to get to on the S1 line)

Schleissheim Palace

2. Grünwald castle ( it’s just outside munich, but it’s still within tram distance (tram 25)) (for picture, see last post)

3. Blutenburg castle (a small castle IN Munich)(for picture see last post)

4. The Bavaria (statue next to the Oktoberfest grounds)

The Bavaria

5.  Fürstenfeldbruck monastery
Just outside Munich, a beautiful church worth seeing

Grünwald’s castle

Hi everybody, I’ve been too lazy lately to write much…sorry.  Last Sunday Petra and I went down to Grünwald, which is a southern suburb of Munich, to finally visit their castle.  I was very impressed with it myself, having low expectations for any castles that close to Munich.  However, I definately recommend it to anyone who really wants to see a real castle and is in the area at length.  Here’s some pics we took at Grünwald’s castle.

So basically, if you live in Munich…go see it…if you’re visiting, and it’s under 2 weeks, don’t bother…there’s just so many other things to see that I’d recommend first.

The most comparable castle in the area in my opinion is Blutenburg.  Some of our visitors we’ve dragged out to Blutenburg, the only castle in Munich itself.  Grünwald’s castle is a bit more impressive in my opinion just because you can actually go up the towers and they’ve made a proper museum out of it, where as with Blutenburg, it’s a children’s library and a restuarant…located in a park.  For those who haven’t been to Blutenburg, again…it’s not a major site, but if you have plenty of time…or happen to be in the area behind Nyphenburg palace…then go for it.

here’s a pic of Grünwald’s caste (and Petra):
 Petra and Gruenwald castle

…and here’s a much older picture of Blutenburg castle in Munich:

Blutenburg Castle, Munich