Visitors from Connecticut

We dropped my parents at the airport this morning for their return to the States and said a bittersweet farewell. Bitter because that's how goodbye is and sweet because we had a great week here in Europe. They arrived last Saturday and we spent the first couple of days in Munich. The weather was perfect autumn weather and we toured around the city on foot, taking in the buildings, the shops, the Englisch Garten and the Chinese Tower biergarten. We spent a day at Oktoberfest, securing a prime spot in a tent through M.'s connections. We raced around the Bavarian countryside and the mountains indulging in ever more food and beer. I loved showing my parents around Munich and making this place real to them even if it is still too far away from home for their liking.

On Tuesday we took the show on the road and headed out for Salzburg and Vienna. It was a rough start as we realized while packing the car up that a hub cap was missing from the rental car. As we investigated more, we found out that the insurance that I thought I had on the car did not exist and I was driving around a very expensive BMW with absolutely no coverage. M. nearly had a heart attack, although at this point in our relationship I don't think it surprised him too much. We were able to get the insurance coverage updated and finally my parents and I were on our way (fully covered this time) to Salzburg.

We didn't have much time there but I would recommend a visit to Salzburg if you are in the area. The town is charming and interesting to visit. The only disappointment was that we didn't have enough time to do the Sound of Music tour. Apparently there are Julie Andrews wannabes running lose in the hills that are alive with the sound of tourists wailing. Now that I would like to see.

After our brief stay in Salzburg it was on to Vienna. This road trip was without the German as he has some deep-seated dislike of Vienna so the driving fell to me. It was my first time driving so extensively in Europe and I never felt all that comfortable with it. The highway is easy but if you don't feel like going either 200 or 80 km/hour there is no place for you on the autobahn. The cities are more harrowing for me. Being generally lost and trying to pay attention to signs that are different than what you are used to and also not knowing if there are special rules of which you are completely unaware is stressful. I was none too happy to ditch the (fully covered) rental car in the garage in Vienna to await our return back to Germany.

Vienna is beautiful and, if you like art and history, a great place to visit. My history and art education is lacking; I'm more the science and technology type. However, I still enjoyed the visit. We toured around on foot, saw an opera, the Klimt exhibit at the Belvidere, churches and coffee houses, the butterfly house and the Spanish riding school. We walked through the food market and drooled over all the beautiful dishes.

We headed back to Munich and stopped for lunch at the Mondsee in Austria. The weather was warm and sunny and the meal good. We could have lazed around there all day but we continued on. For our last days in Munich we did what else... we ate. M. and I introduced my parents to our local Italian restaurant and were overjoyed that fresh mussel season is back. Our table looked like a spaghetti bomb went off when we were done but no one was complaining. Yesterday we shopped around Munich for all the souvenirs and gifts my parents wanted to bring back and tried some of the seasonal zwetschgentarte that is everywhere this time of year.

For the last hurrah we went to Les Cuisiniers for dinner last night. The meal was heavenly. We had a four course french meal paired with wines and were definitely the most animated table in the restaurant. Overall, I'm glad my parents got to know Munich and M. a bit better and happy we all had this fun time together.

Posted from Munich


J said...

Sounds like lots of fun with your parents. They'll eventually get used to you being so far away.

I had to LOL at the cow pic. That is totally what I think of when I think of Switzerland.

that crazy sox fan said...

Good to know you're doing well - So truth be told do you just snap pictures or set them up? Perhaps one day soon we'll talk again and I'll share some of my newly taken photos with you.

Too bad about the Sox this year eh? At least the Mets are doing well and the Tigers handed it to the Yankees :-)


Expat Traveler said...

how incredible! Sounds like you had a great time...

And like J - I love that cow pic! Although I never got one myself actually the entire time I was there... More sheep than cows around I think.